A well-marked, 2.5mi loop trail accessible from the local high school, Oliver Ames, provides fun for the whole family. There are geocaches, bridges, and a playground at the start of the trail.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Oliver Ames High School
100 Lothrop St.
North Easton, MA 02356
Park at Oliver Ames High School; if you turn left into the parking lot at the top of Lothrop St. you will find plenty of spaces (as long as school is not in session). Then head towards the playground. The trail head, and a map, are on your left.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP:
Enter the trailhead at the map. Take the red trail about .25/mi to the main/large yellow loop. You can head either left or right when you get to the yellow trail. We usually go left, so to keep things simple, these directions make the assumption you go to the left as well! Red or blue trails lead out to the roads. Keep following the yellow blazes to the right to stay on the main loop. If you are interested in a longer walk, add on the second yellow loop to make a figure-eight of yellow trails. You can pick up the second yellow loop about halfway down the main/big yellow loop trail. You’ll come to a point where the yellow blazes go both left and right. Go right to just do the 2.5 mile single loop. Head left to add on the second loop, which will bring your total distance to about 3.5 miles. If you add-on, you will be rewarded as you pass through the Town Forest. There is a particularly beautiful section known as the “Cathedral of Trees,” which is a long path of very tall pines. When you are done with the second loop, it connects back to the big/main loop. When you once again get to the point where you see yellow blazes heading left and right, head left. The only tricky part about this hike is to remember which red trail you need to take out of the forest back to the parking lot. When you see the stone fire pit in the middle of the trail, start looking for the turn off (although you will still have a little ways to go). You’ll see the red blaze and you’ll head left out of the forest the same way you came in.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 5/1 (Super easy when school not in session; difficult when school is in session)
I – Interest Level – 3 (varied terrain, lots of fun little wooden bridges, “hallway” of pine trees, geocaches)
N – Navigation – 4 (well-marked trail, easy to follow, one potentially confusing area where the second yellow loop is)
T – Terrain – 3 (not too bumpy or rocky on the trail; accessible with a jogging stroller)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions on this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Off the red trail at the start, to the right, are a bunch of forts. Stop and add some sticks!
- Check out the weird metal junk and fence posts about half-way around the trail.
- Look for the monument in a little clearing. That’s our only hint!
- Hunt for the “campfire site”. This landmark will also tip you off as to when you should start looking for the red trail out of the woods back to where you started!
- The Cathedral of Trees is truly spectacular on a sunny morning as the light filters through the pines. Don’t miss this spot on the second loop!
- Bonus: explore the Militia Park baseball fields (visible and accessible from the trail) or use the school playground before/after you hike!
Photos from the second/add-on loop and the Cathedral of Trees