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      Climb a hill for great views extending from the surrounding Merrimack Valley to the Boston skyline, or explore this sprawling landscape along almost 10 miles of trails.

      What makes the Ward Reservation a special place?
      Credit Mabel Ward for her foresight, generosity, and enduring love. In 1940, seven years after the death of her husband, Charles W. Ward, she paid tribute to his memory and their union by making an original donation of 153 acres to The Trustees. In ensuing years, the Ward family and others have made additional gifts; the reservation now totals 700 acres.

      Trails link three major hills – Shrub, Boston, and Holt – and looking out from their summits you can see how the property melds with the surrounding landscape. The “Solstice Stones” mark the grassy summit of Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County. This compass-like arrangement of stones indicates the cardinal points on the compass, the points of the summer and winter solstices, and the points of the spring and autumnal equinoxes.

      At the base of Holt Hill, step onto a boardwalk that leads to Pine Hole Pond, at which point you may ask: Is this water or land? In fact, you are walking across a rare quaking bog, comprised of concentric rings of floating vegetation, each with unique growing conditions. The bog is home to a number of interesting plant species, including orchids and insect-eating pitcher plants. Stop at the numbered stations along the way, each of which signals an interesting botanical or geologic feature. Pick up an interpretive booklet at the bulletin board to follow numbered stations along the boardwalk and learn more about this rare natural phenomenon.

      Trails
      Almost 10 miles of trails, easy-to-moderate hiking, strenuous in places. Some of the trails here are part of the Bay Circuit Trail, a regional greenway linking the North Shore and South Shore.

      When to Visit
      Year-round, daily, 8am to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours.
      Primary Trail Type: Cross-Country
      eBikes Allowed: No
      Land Status: Conservation Reserve
      Land Manager: The Trustees of Reservations
      Prospect Road Parking google parking directions
      Access Info:
      Most people ride to Ward Reservation from Harold Parker State Forest. It does, however, have two parking areas of its own, one on Prospect Road near the Bog Trail Board Walk and one at Brightview.
      Links
      Activities Click to view
      Region Details
      • 3
      • 41
      • 21
      • 2

      Region Status
      Caution as of Oct 17, 2021
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      72
      Trails Mountain Bike
      80
      Trails Hike
      85
      Trails Trail Running
      85
      Total Distance
      21 miles
      Total Descent
      3,271 ft
      Total Vertical
      251 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      419 ft
      Reports
      46
      Photos
      65
      Ridden Counter
      2,976

      Photos of Ward Reservation Mountain Bike

      trail: Trail 7
      4 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 1:42pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Shrub Hill
      4 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 1:13pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Trail 39
      4 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 1:11pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Beth's Trail
      4 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:52pm
      May 3, 2021
      15 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:41pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Lynn's Trail
      4 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:39pm
      May 3, 2021
      5 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:37pm
      May 3, 2021
      4 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:34pm
      May 3, 2021

      Recent Trail Reports

      statustraildateconditionuserinfo
      Trail 12
      Oct 17, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 17, 2021
      Drywadeeasley
      Ward Entrance/Exit
      Oct 17, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 17, 2021
      Drywadeeasley
      BCT - To Wards
      Oct 17, 2021 @ 7:33am
      Oct 17, 2021
      Wetwadeeasley
      Margaret's Trail
      Jun 10, 2021 @ 3:16pm
      Jun 10, 2021
      DryKkibs
      Trail 15
      Apr 24, 2021 @ 11:14am
      Apr 24, 2021
      DryBenKoeThere's not actually a trail, it's just a...
      Exit to Boston Hill CR
      Mar 20, 2021 @ 11:35am
      Mar 20, 2021
      Prevalent MudBenKoeDon't bother riding until it dries up...
      Greg's Trail
      Sep 24, 2020 @ 2:17pm
      Sep 24, 2020
      Drywadeeasley
      Bay Circuit Trail 1
      Sep 24, 2020 @ 1:23pm
      Sep 24, 2020
      DrywadeeasleyTrail Running
      Trail 30
      Sep 3, 2020 @ 2:27pm
      Sep 3, 2020
      IdealwadeeasleyTrail Running
      Trail 13
      Aug 25, 2020 @ 1:11pm
      Aug 25, 2020
      UnknownwadeeasleyLarge trees blocking trail.

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      user #2289745wadeeasleyaddreportTrail 12 and 3 more
      Oct 17, 2021 @ 6:10pm
      Oct 17, 2021
      user #2140921CaptDavewishlisttrailCascades Trail
      Sep 23, 2021 @ 8:51am
      Sep 23, 2021
      user #1791795natescancommenttrailTrail 6 and 1 more
      Sep 5, 2021 @ 6:53pm
      Sep 5, 2021
      user #2709294SnowcrossmxzwishlisttrailTrail 36 and 2 more
      Aug 20, 2021 @ 7:51pm
      Aug 20, 2021
      user #2790451BenabbottttttttcommenttrailMargaret's Trail
      Jul 21, 2021 @ 1:03pm
      Jul 21, 2021

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      user #1791795natescantrailTrail 7This climb is incredibly steep.
      Sep 5, 2021 @ 6:53pm
      Sep 5, 2021
      user #1791795natescantrailWard Entrance/ExitTough climb but fun decent
      Sep 5, 2021 @ 6:53pm
      Sep 5, 2021
      user #2790451BenabbotttttttttrailMargaret's TrailOne of my favorite trails at Ward, with a...
      Jul 21, 2021 @ 1:03pm
      Jul 21, 2021
      user #1791795natescantrailBay Circuit Trail 1Best ridden the opposite way
      Nov 11, 2020 @ 2:13pm
      Nov 11, 2020
      user #18468476daysofslaytrailExit to Boston Hill CROne of the best downhills in the north shore. ...
      Oct 25, 2020 @ 6:49pm
      Oct 25, 2020

      Nearby Areas

      namedistance
      Stanley Reservation1.8 km
      Purdon Reservation 12 km
      Harold Parker State Forest 6 82 262.4 km
      Indian Ridge Reservation 8 12.5 km
      Den Rock Park 1 13 km

      Local Badges

      National Scenic Trails & Official Routes


      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike8020 miles3,120 ft9 miles253 ft
      #3,539#1,60764461601
      Hike8521 miles3,271 ft10 miles253 ft
      #2,876#1,4644631
      Trail Running8521 miles3,271 ft10 miles253 ft
      #2,881#1,46214657
      • By WillieJacobsz TRAILFORKS NEMBA & contributors
      • Admins: craftbeervanity, SiamDelightRules
      • #27996 - 2,071 views
      • ward reservation activity log | embed map of Ward Reservation mountain bike trails | ward reservation mountain biking points of interest polygons
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