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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
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      The DCR’s Harold Parker State Forest is in the towns of Andover, North Andover, Middleton and North Reading. With 3000+ acres, the Park has 51 miles of roads, old woods roads, double track and singletrack trails. The singletracks are some of the most enjoyable to be experienced in the region.

      The white-blazed Bay Circuit Trail goes through Harold Parker and links it to the nearby Charles Ward Reservation (The Trustees of Reservations) and the Boxford State Forest. The Bay Circuit Trail is saved as a route, as the separate pieces that makes up the trail are individually name.

      For many years the members of North Shore NEMBA, in close collaboration and partnership with the DCR's park officials and the Friends of Harold Parker State Forest, have been actively maintaining, repairing and upgrading the trails in Harold Parker State Forest.

      This Trailforks map has been updated using the DCR’s Official Maps as well as the Friends of Harold Parker’s paper map as reference. Only properly sanctioned trails are allowed and included in this map. The brown dots at intersections are the official intersection numbers / trail markers as used on official DCR maps. Click on them to know at which number you are.

      I start most of my rides in the eastern section of the forest on Harold Parker Road where there are numerous small parking areas. Alternatively many riders start nearer to the center of the forest at the intersection of Jenkins Road and Harold Parker Road at the Main Parking Area. The Lorraine Pond Camping Area, which has 91 sites, is also centrally located and near to most of the forest's trailheads.

      At least a few days will be needed to fully explore all of the trails that Harold Parker has to offer.

      Every year North Shore NEMBA hosts the Wicked Ride of the East at Harold Parker. This is a challenging fun event that uses many of the best trails in the forest, including many that North Shore NEMBA has had a hand in maintaining. Be sure to check out the Route Map for this event.

      For more information on Harold Parker, including camping and swimming visit the DCR's Harold Parker Website.

      The best way to get introduced to Harold Parker's trails is to explore. Go there, take off on a trail, and get lost. Then find yourself and get lost again. You'll never be too far from a paved road; so cutting the forest up into pavement encircled blocks will keep things manageable. Not to mention provide you with many days of fun exploring. I particularly like the way the singletracks make use of all of the forest's best terrain. They wind around and over all of the forests' hills and provide you with lots of scenic photo opportunities along the shores of the forest's many ponds.

      Everyone I know who rides at Harold Parker raves about the place. The trails seem endless. The terrain ranges from smooth buffed singletracks to some of the most technical cross country trails on the North Shore.

      When I ride at Harold Parker I normally do one of three rides.

      For the first ride I’ll park in the dirt Bracket Pond Parking Area or the Collins Pond Parking Area on the north side of Harold Parker Road between Field Pond (South of Harold Parker Road) and Collins and Bracket Ponds, (North of Harold Parker Road. I try to ride all of the singletracks and woods roads in this area North of Harold Parker Road, as they loop around these ponds. In doing this I do not cross any paved roads. So if you get to one, turn around and continue exploring. I don’t have a preferred route, although some of the singletracks are much more fun when ridden down than they are as uphill climbs. If I have time I’ll finish on the trails to the south of Harold Parker Road that loop around the north of Field Pond. Actually, I always have time, as these trails are among my favorite trails in the forest. If you explore the trails to the east of Field Pond you’ll find one that leads into the back of the Lorraine Pond Campground.

      The second good ride option is to park in the Main Parking Area at the junction of Harold Parker and Jenkins Roads. Berry Pond Road also comes into this intersection. There is a large parking area here which is located pretty much in the center of the forest. From there I’ll choose one of the many forest roads to get deeper into the forest and then dive into any of the almost uncountable number of singletrack trails that lead off from them. A particular favorite among these is the technical singletrack Rootball that branches off from Harold Parker Road, and joins up with Secret Stash. To get to Rootball, about 100 yards from the parking area turn right on the first singletrack. This trail is difficult and will serve as a great warmup for all of the other similar trails that you’ll encounter. The popular Yellow Diamond Route, marked by yellow diamond blazes, runs around Salem Pond and up to Berry Pond Road. This Route includes, from the Berry Pond Road end, Yellow Diamond Trail North, Yellow Diamond Trail South, School Days, Terry Trail South and Terry Trail North, which ends back on Bradford Pond Road from where it is an easy ride back to the Main Parking Area.

      For a third ride I focus on the trails in northeastern third of the forest. I’ll follow Berry Pond Road from the Main Parking Area to the crossing of the Bay Circuit Trail (white blazes), where I will take a right onto Healthy Heart Trail, which is part of the Bay Circuit Trail, heading north. Following the white blazes of the Bay Circuit Trail into the north east corner of the park where you will find the popular Ledges, Lock & Load and Black Ops trails. Alternatively you can, from Healthy Heart Trail, explore additional singletrack further South, which spits you out on Harold Parker Road near Route 114. From there you can continues South and behind Stearns Pond for almost a 10 mile loop, approaching the trails listed above from the Southern end. This vast array of convoluted singletracks trails in the North Eastern corner of the park is almost too much fun to believe.

      Riding in Harold Parker State Forest is a constant and continuing challenge. Every time I go there I am awed by the trails that I find and surprised at how much fun I have. And, depending on the trails that I ride, how difficult they are.

      In the winter I’ve encountered snow frozen as hard as Styrofoam here more than anywhere else. Frozen snow covers up all the roots and rocks that normally protrude from the ground and add it tends to make your ride very fast. But fast or slow, you’ll enjoy the trails at Harold Parker State Forest.

      Rules:
      Expect to find hunters during hunting season in many areas of the forest. However, there is no hunting in Massachusetts on Sundays and the entire areas west of Jenkins Road in Andover and along Berry Pond Road are always closed to hunting.
      The Lorraine Pond Campground is open from mid April to mid October.

      Events 10/25/09 Kona Bicycles Mountain Bike Adventure Series 10th annual Wicked Ride of the East http://www.mtbadventureseries.org/mtbadventure/

      Local NEMBA Chapter
      North Shore NEMBA NS NEMBA Harold Parker article By Jim Humphrey
      Nearby NEMBA Shops
      The Bike Shop of Topsfield Cycle Loft
      By Bill Boles & Dan Streeter
      Primary Trail Type: Cross-Country
      eBikes Allowed: No
      Camp Ground Parking google parking directions
      Access Info:
      Directions
      From route 93 take exit 41. Follow 125 north (toward Andover), for about 4 miles to the State Police Barracks (on right). Turn right on Harold Parker Rd. There are several parking areas on this road (Bracket Pond Parking Area and Collins Pond Parking Area) and the Jenkins Road intersection's Main Parking Area is about one mile away. From that intersection turn right to get to the Lorraine Park Camping Area.
      Links
      Region Supporters & Maintainers
      • Friends of Harold Parker State Forest
        trail builder
        Sponsor
      Region Details
      • 36
      • 2
      • 6
      • 83
      • 24

      Region Status
      Open as of Oct 11, 2020
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      151
      Trails Mountain Bike
      151
      Trails Hike
      151
      Trails Trail Running
      151
      Trails Snowshoe
      1
      Total Distance
      55 miles
      Total Descent
      5,727 ft
      Total Vertical
      138 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      218 ft
      Reports
      765
      Photos
      24
      Ridden Counter
      29,236

      Photos of Harold Parker State Forest Mountain Bike

      trail: NA29 to NA31
      4 |
      Oct 9, 2020 @ 12:38pm
      Oct 9, 2020
      trail: NA29 to NA31
      3 |
      Oct 9, 2020 @ 12:37pm
      Oct 9, 2020
      trail: NA 27 to NA30
      1 |
      Oct 9, 2020 @ 8:54am
      Oct 9, 2020
      trail: Boulder Road
      2 |
      Oct 9, 2020 @ 8:50am
      Oct 9, 2020

      Videos of Harold Parker State Forest Mountain Bike

      Mountain Biking Harold Parker State Forest |...

      3:23 | 491 | Aug 28, 2018

      Recent Trail Reports

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      user #1791795natescancommenttrailA25 to A27
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 4:32pm
      Oct 22, 2020
      user #2270699LeweyleweywishlisttrailMiddleton Rd Street
      Oct 14, 2020 @ 11:33am
      Oct 14, 2020
      user #884052leviathan1976addreportBracket Pond West Shoreline and 5 more
      Oct 11, 2020 @ 8:02am
      Oct 11, 2020
      user #1793355TreikwishlisttrailYellow Diamond Trail North and 1 more
      Oct 11, 2020 @ 7:55am
      Oct 11, 2020
      user #2150153WeathermandanvotetrailBlue Loop
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 1:37pm
      Oct 10, 2020

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      user #1791795natescantrailA25 to A27Better to ride in the opposite direction that...
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 4:32pm
      Oct 22, 2020
      user #1791831notfadeaway567trailNA 27 to NA30Nice little bit of rocky uphill / downhill. ...
      Oct 9, 2020 @ 1:38pm
      Oct 9, 2020
      user #1791831notfadeaway567trailNA29 to NA31Nice little stretch in either direction. Not...
      Oct 9, 2020 @ 1:34pm
      Oct 9, 2020
      user #1700879Jtbald21trailBlack OpsThis trail just does not exist anymore, at...
      Sep 28, 2020 @ 7:27am
      Sep 28, 2020
      user #1700879Jtbald21trailField Pond Area 6This trail is absolutely mislabeled as a blue...
      Sep 25, 2020 @ 10:17am
      Sep 25, 2020

      Nearby Areas

      namedistance
      Ward Reservation 44 18 22.4 km
      Wilmington Town Forest 53.3 km
      Windrush Farm 6 23.9 km
      Boxford State Forest 63 34.3 km
      Lord-Ericson Woods 54.6 km

      Local Badges

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      • #4025 - 11,391 views
      • harold parker state forest activity log | embed map of Harold Parker State Forest mountain bike trails | harold parker state forest mountain biking points of interest polygons
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