Boxford State Forest
Boxford State Forest
This walk through the woods doesn’t offer steep climbs or views, but for its proximity to civilization, Boxford State Forest offers quiet trails and glassy ponds, with signs of beaver, deer, and birds all around. The path traces the shore of Crooked Pond, then climbs the gentle Bald Hill before descending to the stone foundation of the Russel-Hooper Farmhouse. It closes the loop with a short stroll on a paved road. Hikers will be rewarded here for keeping their eyes open for signs of wildlife— it’s easy to find squirrel nests in trees above piles of broken, shelled beech nuts; and deer have left their tracks and scat everywhere, some quite near hunters’ deer stands. And the historic Russel-Hooper Farmhouse at the base of Bald Hill—today just a crumbling stone foundation—is a sign of early inhabitants, who cleared the land and built the stone walls. The state forest is adjacent to the J.C. Philips Wildlife Sanctuary, and part of its land is protected by the Essex County Greenbelt Association. Hunting is permitted in some areas here, according to season. There are no blazes or trail names, but numbered intersections aid in navigation. There are no motorized vehicles allowed in this wildlife sanctuary, so the trails are in great shape, although they can be deeply flooded during the spring melt. Bald Hill itself is part of the Bald Hill Reservation, a 1,624-acre plot split between Boxford State Forest, the Philips Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Essex County Greenbelt (and thus between the towns of Boxford, North Andover, and Middleton). Protected here are ponds, wildflowers, and historic landmarks.
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Directions to: Boxford State Forestprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Skill Level||Easy, with flat, broad trails|
|Trailhead Elevation||80 ft|
|Top Elevation||200 ft|
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