Willow Brook Farm Preserve is a fairly standard woodland trail with a few features that set it apart. There is a large open field in the middle, a high wooden tower with scenic views, and boardwalks and bridges over wet areas. There are two main loops (one is 1.1 miles, the other is 1.8 miles) that would be great options for children who are ready for a longer hike but might not be able to handle several miles. The only downside is the limited parking!
This trail is mostly mowed grass and boardwalks, making it completely stroller accessible. The beginning of the trail is also wheelchair accessible (see trail map).
The Fox Hill Trail and River walk are through a meadow and marshland, with no shade. You probably wouldn’t want to hike this trail in the middle of the day during the summer. So either come early or come late… or hike on an overcast day… or wait until spring or fall for cooler temperatures.
The trail is home to an abundance of wildlife, so bring binoculars if you have them. It’s a Mass Audubon property known for the bird watching. You’re likely to see a variety of bird species here.
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 minutesContinue reading “MANSFIELD – Corporal Robert Francis Hardy Conservation Area”
Betty’s Neck is a beautiful property that snakes long the shores of Assawompset Pond (the largest freshwater pond in Massachusetts) from above–you’re high above the water while on the trail, and this provides some amazing views of the pond and the opposite shore. The trails also provide a challenging workout–the hills will get your heart pumping and your legs burning. We recommend hitting the white blaze loop and the blue out-and-back trail, but if you can only do a short walk, prioritize the blue trail–it has the best views of Assawompset as well as an unmarked narrow single-track trail down to the pond so you can put your hand in the water and skip some rocks. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a bald eagle; this area is known for them.
We are huge fans of the Trustees of Reservations. They do amazing work making nature available to the masses while simultaneously preserving historic buildings and promoting the history of Massachusetts. The Bradley Estate, with its 90 gorgeous acres, is no exception. It’s immaculately kept, convenient, and beautiful. The estate hosts weddings from May to October, features amazing gardens in the spring and summer, and offers a wooden reindeer hunt and holiday light walk-through in the winter. Located near Route 95 and the Blue Hills, the Bradley Estate is easy to get to. Parking is a breeze (although it costs $6 if you’re not a member of the Trustees), and you really cannot get lost here, which makes this property a much less intimidating option than the Blue Hills across the highway. Speaking of the highway, that is the one downside to this spot–you will hear the constant hum of cars during your whole hike. However, after a while, it becomes white noise, and you’ll be more focused on your burning calves–this property has a fair amount of steep hills!
The Great River Preserve (GRP) is 125 acres of woodland, field, and riparian (Google it!) habitats. You may find box turtles or hear bullfrogs along your way, and you’ll most certainly be treated to beautiful views of the Taunton River. Hot and buggy in the summer and wet in the spring, you might have theContinue reading “BRIDGEWATER – The Great River Preserve at Conihasset, Wildlands Trust”