A GUIDE TO
NORTH ANDOVER TRAILS
FRIENDS OF NORTH ANDOVER TRAILS
A GUIDE TO NORTH ANDOVER TRAILS BY
FRIENDS OF NORTH ANDOVER TRAILS
Friends of North Andover Trails PO Box 212 North Andover, MA 01845 www.fonat.org/contact Please send all additions, corrections and comments to the address above. First Edition (2015) ISBN 978-0-692-43495-6 EDITOR & MAPS
Mike Agosti Brian Christiansen Dana Dubois Stan Limpert James McCarthy Phila Slade
Glen Aspeslagh Jen Bauer Howard Hoople Deborah Monte Bill Wakeham Ron Wybranowski
Some map data is ÂŠ OpenStreetMap contributors, and is open data, licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License. More information about the data and license is at openstreetmap.org. Other sources of map information include MassGIS, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Town of North Andover, Essex County Greenbelt and The Trustees of Reservations. Map boundary lines are approximate. Maps are neither legally recorded nor are they surveys and are not intended to be used as such. Consult appropriate boards or town departments for specific questions and accuracy requirements. Friends of North Andover Trails and the Town of North Andover expressly disclaim responsibility for damages or liability that may arise from the use of this guide. Friends of North Andover Trails operates under the umbrella of the North Andover Improvement Society, a 501(c)(3) organization. FRONT COVER Milkweed at Foster Farm INSIDE BACK COVER Red pine plantation at Harold Parker State Forest BACK COVER Guided walk at Osgood Hill
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Acknowledgments Introduction Rules and Regulations Trail Signs and Markers Trail Use Symbols Trail Tips About Our Maps Map Legend Town Map Mazurenko Farm and Carter Hill Osgood Hill Shawsheen River Trail Den Rock Park Weir Hill Town Farm and Farnsworth Reservation Bruin Hill James Swamp Woodchuck Hill Foster Farm Ward Reservation and Boston Hill Windrush Farm Boxford State Forest Harold Parker State Forest Cyr Recycling Center Short Walks Academy Rd Old Center Common The Stevens-Coolidge Place Patriots Memorial Park The Stevens to Stevens Trail Carter Fields Old Center Map The Bay Circuit Trail Other Resources Sources and Further Reading About Friends of North Andover Trails Membership Form
3 4 6 7 7 8 9 9 10 13 17 21 25 29 33 37 42 45 49 53 56 59 65 71 74 74 74 74 74 75 75 77 79 80 81 82 83
“IN EVERY WALK WITH NATURE ONE RECEIVES FAR MORE THAN HE SEEKS.” JOHN MUIR
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This guide was made possible by the hard work and enthusiasm of the all-volunteer Friends of North Andover Trails and our parent organization the North Andover Improvement Society. Additional thanks to members Alan French, Tom Powers, Phila Slade, Walt Soule and Lisa Swarbrick whose long-term dedication to the Friends of North Andover Trails are the reason for this book’s existence. The guide would not have been possible without the guidance and support of the North Andover Conservation Department’s Heidi Gaffney and Jennifer Hughes and the North Andover Conservation Commission. We are also grateful to the North Andover Historical Society for providing information about historic land use. And thanks to the generosity of local nature photographers, the guidebook features wildlife photos from around North Andover. Inspiration for this guidebook was drawn from the wonderful trail guides published by Andover Trails Committee and AVIS, Haverhill Trails Committee, Boxford’s BTA/BOLT, Middleton in Motion, The Trustees of Reservations and Essex County Greenbelt. Funding for production of the guidebook is provided, in part, by a grant from the Essex National Heritage Commission. Other funding has been provided by the Town of North Andover and Friends of North Andover Trails member contributions. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the Friends of North Andover Trails, including producing new editions. 3
WELCOME TO THE NATURE OF NORTH ANDOVER Nature has the power to heal and inspire. The Friends of North Andover Trails invite you to come discover the beauty and the history that await you on the trails of our town. We hope you will use this book to guide you on your way.
Male wood duck
5500 ACRES 30% OF TOWN LAND AREA
MILES CONSERVATION LAND OWNERS
TOWN OF NORTH ANDOVER
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
F O ES S TE ON US TI TR VA E ER TH RES
PRIVATE (CONSERVATION RESTRICTION)
RULES AND REGULATIONS Please abide by these rules when enjoying our townâ€™s open spaces: Open space parcels are open from sunrise to sunset. Stay on the marked trails to prevent disturbing the wildlife and damaging vegetation. Littering and dumping is strictly prohibited. Always carry out anything you carry in. Do not disturb or damage any natural resource, historical feature, or town property. Dogs shall be leashed at all times and kept on the trails so they do not disturb the wildlife and damage vegetation. Be sure to pick up dog waste, carry it out and dispose of it properly. Hunting and trapping are permitted at Mazurenko Farm, Carter Hill and Foxwood PRD subject to state and local laws. In addition, only bow hunting is permitted at Town Farm Forest, Half Mile Hill, Half Mile Hill Summit and Sunnyridge. Refer to the town website for additional Special Hunting Provisions for Half Mile Hill including special license requirements. Hunting is also permitted in Harold Parker State Forest and Boxford State Forest in North Andover. During hunting season, signs are posted at properties where hunting is permitted. Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited on town property. Motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited on town property. Fires are strictly prohibited on town property. No camping or overnight use of town property unless otherwise authorized by the North Andover Conservation Commission. No person shall conduct any commercial, or special activity or event upon the town owned lands or waters without first obtaining written permission from the Conservation Commission. All Massachusetts State and Federal hunting and trapping laws are enforceable to their fullest extent. Contact the North Andover Police Department at 978-683-3168, MassWildlife at 508-389-6300 or the Conservation Department at 978-688-9530 to report violations. 6
TRAIL SIGNS AND MARKERS NORTH ANDOVER TRAIL MARKER (VARIOUS COLORS)
BAY CIRCUIT TRAIL MARKER
State Forest Boundary MASSACHUSETTS Division of Forest and Parks
STATE FOREST BOUNDARY MARKER (PLASTIC SIGN OR BLUE PAINT ON TREE)
THE TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS (COLOR-CODED TRAILS)
TRAIL USE SYMBOLS
r t q ´ N ²
s 6 ? > %
TRAIL TIPS GO EARLY One key to a successful and satisfying hike is to start early. Most all open space and recreation areas in North Andover can offer several hours of hiking enjoyment on a variety of trails. Beginning your hike early in the day can mean an abundance of viewable wildlife as each morning progresses. Another benefit of heading out earlier in the day is cooler weather. Less heat means less sweating, therefore less water needed and a lighter load. GO LIGHT A minimalist approach is suggested to food, clothing, and other items. Each hike should be planned considering the risks involved. One advantage to day hiking on well-established trails is the reduced need for survival items since itâ€™s harder to get lost or to hurt yourself. Survival equipment is not necessary for most day hikes in North Andover. WATER Staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of a successful and rewarding hike. By studying the weather in advance, one can carry the minimum amount of water. Drinking liquids will replenish your body as you sweat while hiking along the trail. Remember to always carry out any containers that you brought in. INSECTS Mosquitoes and ticks are common in all open space and recreation areas in North Andover. Avoid dry areas where tall grass and overgrown vegetation are present, and stay on marked trails. Inspect your clothing on a regular basis. POISON IVY Always pay close attention to vegetation as you move down any trail. Poison ivy is common and can cause skin irritation any time of the year. FOOTWEAR Minimize shoe weight by selecting a cross-trainer with ankle support, a trail-running shoe, or a lightweight hiking shoe. Comfort rules on a trail. SAFETY Always check the local weather report before setting out for your hike. If you are hiking alone, always let a friend or family member know where youâ€™re going before you set out. TRAIL ETIQUETTE Be sure to share the trail appropriately: Bikers should always yield to hikers. Hikers and bikers should yield to horses. HIKING WITH DOGS Whenever hiking with pets, always have your pet on a leash out of consideration to other outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The Town of North Andover has a leash law for all dogs and the open space and recreation areas are not exempt. Please respect your fellow hiker and always restrain your dog as you approach other hikers. Always carry out animal waste. 8
ABOUT OUR MAPS In the following pages, you will find sixteen original maps of North Andoverâ€™s trails and conservation land. Larger, printable, PDF versions of these maps can be found at FONAT.ORG. Trail data was collected using an iPhone, sometimes with a mountain bike, and other times under the guise of a leisurely family walk. As the GPS data was collected, the trails were added to the OpenStreetMap database, a worldwide open mapping project. The trails shown in this guide can also be viewed at OPENSTREETMAP.ORG on your computer or smartphone. Information for buildings, wetlands, streams and contour lines was obtained from MassGIS via their OLIVER website. Roadway information is from OpenStreetMap. Open space boundaries are derived from deeds and survey plans recorded at the Northern Essex Registry of Deeds. We hope you enjoy using the maps as much as we enjoyed making them.
MAP LEGEND PARKING AREA
PAVED PATH (NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES)
OPEN SPACE (WOODED)
OPEN SPACE (CLEARING)
STONE DUST TRAIL
BAY CIRCUIT TRAIL
BRIDGE OR BOARDWALK
FIND A TRAIL NEAR YOU FARM AND CARTER HILL 1 MAZURENKO Over 2 miles of hiking trails through woods and open fields. Enjoy views of active farm fields and drumlins from the top of Carter Hill.
HILL 2 OSGOOD A country estate, over 200 acres of woodlands and sweeping lake views from Half Mile Hill.
ROCK PARK 4 DEN Dozens of walking trails
M AS S
RO UT E1
A trail departing from the end of Greene St follows the meandering Shawsheen River.
5 16 JO
criss-cross this 120-acre Lawrence nature preserve.
Hike straight to the top of the hill, or follow trails along the shore of Lake Cochichewick.
TOWN FARM AND FARNSWORTH
Follow Town Farm’s forest road to the rolling trails of Greenbelt’s Farnsworth Reservation.
Departing from the footbridge at Reynolds Field, a mile of trails traverse these woods and wetlands along Johnson St.
BO ST ON
From Winter St, walk along a peaceful forest road before following the summit trail to the top of Bruin Hill.
WOODCHUCK HILL Trails and a forest road wind through tranquil woodlands. Park at the end of Molly Towne Rd for a 1½-mile loop.
FOSTER FARM From the kiosk at Foster Farm athletic fields on Boxford St, follow an old lane through open fields to a wooded knoll. RO U
WARD RESERVATION AND BOSTON HILL
TE 13 3
Skyline views from Holt Hill and Boston Hill, open fields, a quaking bog and 13 miles of trails to explore.
WINDRUSH FARM 12
T PON GREA
Wide, welcoming trails used for walking and horseback riding begin on Lacy Street.
BOXFORD STATE FOREST The entrance at the end of Sharpners Pond Rd is the gateway to over 2000 acres of conserved woodlands and 12 miles of trails and forest roads.
6 SAL E
HAROLD PARKER 14 STATE FOREST
A vast forest spanning four towns, with 11 ponds and over 50 miles of trails.
X FO RD ST
CYR RECYCLING 15 CENTER
D ON ERS P SHARPN
Trails through state and town land provide a link between Harold Parker State Forest and Boxford State Forest.
THE OLD CENTER Explore the history of North Andover’s beginnings on foot.
May on Carter Hill 12
Centered around peaceful Bradford St, this collection of woodlands, wetlands and farm fields includes a heron rookery and one of the last undeveloped drumlin vistas in town. SIZE 176 ACRES MILES OF TRAILS 3
OWNER TOWN OF NORTH ANDOVER WALKING TIME 30 MINUTES - 2 HOURS
rtq´6N² ACCESS Mazurenko Farm and Carter Hill have parking lots on Bradford St. There is also parking for Rea’s Pond on Great Pond Rd. (See map for locations.)
TRAILS LOCUST TRAIL The trail begins at the trail kiosk and stone steps at the Mazurenko Farm parking lot. The wetland crossing may flood in springtime. Be mindful of poison ivy growing along the trail edge.
MAZURENKO FARM AND CARTER HILL
MAZURENKO FARM AND CARTER HILL
SCOUT TRAIL After crossing the wetland area on the Locust Trail, turn left onto this trail to follow along the edge of the flooded meadow to Rea’s Pond. A steep connector trail heads up the hill to the Ridge Trail. REA’S POND TRAIL A tranquil spot near the road, with a bench on the shore of the pond. It is ringed with trees which blaze with color in autumn. The trail soon forks left for the Ridge Trail and right for the Scout Trail. RIDGE TRAIL One of the longer trails, it climbs the hill behind Rea’s Pond and traverses the ridge from a pine grove to open fields at the other end, where it meets the Locust Trail. CARTER HILL VISTA LOOP TRAIL The trail is through open fields. Park at the Carter Hill Lot and proceed up the hill. The climb to the top of the hill is worth the effort. The view is of forest and farm fields. This trail is swallowed by tall grass at times, but Carter Hill can still be explored. The hill is also used for sledding.
HIGHLAND TRAIL Pick up this trail at the far corner of the Carter Hill field. After a short distance, you’ll emerge at another farm field. Proceed along the edge of the field to the nearest corner, where a woodland trail will connect with the Ridge Trail. If you have extra time, visit Carter Fields, across Bradford St. (See Carter Fields in the Short Walks section on page 75.)
FLORA AND FAUNA The Locust Trail is named for the locust tree. Look for a small grove of them as you leave the parking lot. Other trees to watch for are silver birch and river birch along Rea’s Pond, and large ash and white pine on the Ridge Trail. Look for trees felled by beavers on the northern side of Rea’s Pond. Throughout Mazurenko Farm, you’ll see many trees constricted by large vines. These are invasive oriental bittersweet vines, which can kill trees by smothering and eventually pulling down their crowns with the sheer weight of bittersweet vines and leaves. The wet crossing on the Locust Trail is a great spot to get up close to native wetland species such as Joe-Pye weed and cattails. On a recent afternoon in May, birdwatchers reported sighting song sparrow, warbling vireo, common yellow throat, great blue heron, tree swallow, mallard, red-winged blackbird, northern flicker, brown-headed cowbird, Baltimore oriole, bobolink, turkey vulture, downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, rose-breasted grosbeak, yellow warbler and a catbird.
HISTORY Purchased in 1975, Rea’s Pond was the first parcel of land to be acquired by the town for conservation and watershed protection. Two sites here are believed to have been occupied between 2,500 and 6,000 years ago. Artifacts are presently at the Buttonwoods Museum in Haverhill. The Mazurenko Farm area was farmed from early times first by the Tyler Family, and during the 19th century by the Barker and Rea families. In the 1930s, the Mazurenko family, originally from Ukraine, bought the farm where they raised cattle, pigs, corn and hay. There was a small apple orchard as well. The abandoned farmhouse burned in 1986. In 1988, the town purchased the land for a recreation area and to protect the Lake Cochichewick watershed. Carter Hill was acquired from George Barker and the Carter family in 2001, funded in part with Community Preservation Act funds. 14
WILDLIFE VIEWING PLATFORM
L HIL N ER TIO A RK BA SERV ION N ICT CO STR ATE) RE RIV (P
HICKORY HILL ROAD
DF BR A
MAZURENKO FARM AND CARTER HILL
D R OR VE XF DO BO AN H RT NO O CAR TER FIELD R
GATE ND LA GH HI
L AI TR
ST CU LO
R A IL ND T
T GE ID
RAIL T OU SC
Scale in Feet
RO UTE 1 33 (GREA T PON
Coordinates: 42째 43' 1.5"N 71째 5' 28.4"W
Our 84-page, full-color guidebook provides detailed information on the town’s trails and open spaces. With a chapter devoted to each conserv...