This is a short (about 1.5 miles) and easy loop. It’s not worth driving a long way to visit this small spot, but if you are in the general area and looking for a stroller-friendly loop that is well-marked and not heavily trafficked, this is a great option. Maple Park Conservation Area is located minutes away from Borderland State Park, so it’s a good back-up plan for anyone who arrives at Borderland just to find the main parking lot closed (which happens quite often these days). The small, but pretty pond is a popular swimming hole for dogs, and there are some chairs scattered around the shore for you to stop, rest, and take in the scenery. The biggest drawback to this place is the constant popping of gunshots from the local gun club. After a while you get used to it, but it sure does interrupt an otherwise peaceful and serene setting.
HOW TO GET THERE
Mansfield, MA 02048
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP
Fro the gate, we followed the orange (Copeland Trail) trail to the red blaze trail to make a loop around the property. The trails are well-marked, and the map is easy to read. There are lots of smaller, narrower trails around the pond that we also explored. The trail layout is intuitive and it’s not hard to get your bearings here. So make sure you take the time to explore some of the smaller trails down by the shores of the pond. If you head down on the side with the orange blazes, you might find some chairs by the water!
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 1 (There are very few spots here–perhaps enough for 3 cars if people park well.)
I – Interest Level – 2 (This is a pretty straightforward trail without a ton of extras. However, it would be easy to hike to the pond for fishing, and the water is pretty! We just wish the noise from the gun club weren’t so loud.)
N – Navigation – 4 (The trails are well-marked and easy to follow.)
T – Terrain – 4 (The main loop–orange and red trails–is fairly wide and relatively flat without a lot of obstacles. You could take a jogging stroller on these trails. Some of the smaller trails around the shore of the pond would be hard, but not impossible, 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
- The shipping containers and the tall concrete building (barely visible behind the trees in the third picture). We don’t now what company this is, but my kids liked looking at the tons and tons of stacked shipping containers behind the barbed wire fence… ;-/ Luckily, this less-than-quaint area is soon left behind.
2. The pond
Here are some more pictures from our hike!
This trail is not far from Flannel Cow Creamery or Flint Farm–both of which have amazing ice cream. Which is better? We like them both–so maybe you should visit both and form your own opinion?! For lunch, try the new Bar Pizza & Salad Co at Mansfield Crossing!