Northborough trails perfect for exploring
By Joyce DeWallace, Contributing Writer
Northborough – It’s time to dig out the hiking boots or comfortable sneakers, spray on some bug repellent and head for the open spaces. Now that the nice weather is here, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the numerous trails in Northborough. Not only do they delight the senses, they also provide the ideal setting for spring and summer conditioning. There are nine main recreational areas in the town with over 20 miles of trails.
Credit for the planning and upkeep of the system goes to the Trails Subcommittee of the Northborough Open Space Committee, commonly referred to the Northborough Trails Committee. The committee was founded in February 2001 when Arthur Cole went before the Open Space Committee to inquire about the possibility of a trail system being created within the town’s borders.
“I had observed over the years that the opportunity existed for an extensive trail system, because such a large percentage of land in town was unable to be developed as it was wet, town-owned, state-owned, or for any other reason. And I always liked to be out in wild areas. Also, I was already retired and was looking for something fun to do. Obviously, both reasons had something to do with a selfish, seeking of pleasure [reason],” Cole said.
Since then, the committee has gained members and expanded the number and quality of trails in Northborough. The volunteers groom existing trails by picking up trash, clearing brush and mowing grass. They build bridges over wet areas, and create maps for new trails. They keep the signs and maps replenished so others can enjoy this local resource.
The specific mission of the Northborough Trails Committee is to make and maintain trails with the permission of land owners, public and private. They consider themselves to be “trail stewards.”
All parts of this central Mass town have trails. They include: Carlstrom II Forest, Carney Park/Cold Harbor, Coyote Trail, Edmund Hill Woods, Little Chauncy/Cedar Hill, Mount Pisgah, Watson Park, Yellick Conservation Area, and Stirrup Brook Trail.
Mount Pisgah, the largest area, boasts two scenic overviews. On a clear day, Boston’s tallest buildings are visible to the east from the North View rock formation. With almost 100 acres of Massachusetts wildlife land, this site also covers a section of Berlin. The hardwood forest has grown up on what was formerly farmland. Other parts include wetlands and open meadowlands all crisscrossed with many trails, including some shorter loop trails. Located in the northwest section of town, Mount Pisgah is ideal for families to explore and enjoy a picnic.
The Cold Harbor Trail wends its way from West Main Street to Cherry Street and continues onto Church St. with its scenic views. This is a watershed area and part of the trail runs along a dam, while wooden decking paths provide dry footing through the marsh and wetlands.
Close to the Shrewsbury town line on West Main Street is the one-mile Jubilee Loop Trail. This is part of the Carlstrom II Memorial Forest owned by the New England Forestry Foundation. This interpretive trail has signs explaining the features along it including glacial erratics (rocks that differs from the size and type of rocks native to the area), stone walls, chestnut tree sprouts and a vernal pool.
Visit www.northboroughtrails.org, for detailed directions to the parking areas, maps of each trail and descriptions of the various features of each property.
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