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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
      • 5
      • 41
      • 22
      • 2

      Region Status
      Caution as of Jan 3, 2024
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      75
      Trails Mountain Bike
      70
      Trails Hike
      75
      Trails Trail Running
      75
      Total Distance
      21 miles
      Total Descent
      3,040 ft
      Total Vertical
      245 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      414 ft
      Reports
      72
      Photos
      68
      Ridden Counter
      5,116

      Photos of Ward Reservation Mountain Bike

      11 |
      Oct 1, 2023 @ 6:19pm
      Oct 1, 2023
      46 |
      Nov 1, 2021 @ 1:06pm
      Nov 1, 2021
      trail: Trail 7
      25 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 1:42pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Shrub Hill
      16 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 1:13pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Trail 39
      21 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 1:11pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Beth's Trail
      16 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:52pm
      May 3, 2021
      56 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:41pm
      May 3, 2021
      trail: Lynn's Trail
      27 |
      May 3, 2021 @ 12:39pm
      May 3, 2021

      Videos of Ward Reservation Mountain Bike

      Harold Parker & Boston Hill
      9:11 | 95 | Nov 21, 2022 , Andover

      Recent Trail Reports

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      DTWLynnriddentrailactivity #46531385 and 1 more
      Nov 21, 2023 @ 12:48pm
      Nov 21, 2023
      DTWLynnriddentrailactivity #46397063 and 1 more
      Nov 17, 2023 @ 4:28pm
      Nov 17, 2023
      Amitch92riddentrailactivity #46227446 and 5 more
      Nov 12, 2023 @ 5:58am
      Nov 12, 2023
      Pilefevrewishlistregionactivity #45036956
      Oct 9, 2023 @ 4:15am
      Oct 9, 2023
      bhuckleyaddphotoactivity #44760794
      Oct 1, 2023 @ 6:19pm
      Oct 1, 2023

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      SnowcrossmxztrailSanborn TrailSeriously fun rock gardens
      Jun 18, 2022 @ 8:02am
      Jun 18, 2022
      natescantrailTrail 7This climb is incredibly steep.
      Sep 5, 2021 @ 6:53pm
      Sep 5, 2021
      natescantrailWard Entrance/ExitTough climb but fun decent
      Sep 5, 2021 @ 6:53pm
      Sep 5, 2021
      BenabbotttttttttrailMargaret's TrailOne of my favorite trails at Ward, with a...
      Jul 21, 2021 @ 1:03pm
      Jul 21, 2021
      natescantrailBay Circuit Trail 1Best ridden the opposite way
      Nov 11, 2020 @ 2:13pm
      Nov 11, 2020

      Nearby Areas

      namedistance
      Stanley Reservation1.8 km
      Purdon Reservation 12 km
      Harold Parker State Forest 11 100 262.4 km
      Indian Ridge Reservation 8 12.5 km
      Den Rock Park 23 km

      Local Badges


      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike7020 miles2,887 ft9 miles246 ft
      #2,233#1,196677211,052
      Hike7521 miles3,041 ft10 miles246 ft
      #1,724#1,05172131
      Trail Running7521 miles3,041 ft10 miles246 ft
      #1,725#1,049172163
      • By WillieJacobsz TRAILFORKS Trailforks Map Team & contributors
      • Admins: craftbeervanity, SiamDelightRules
      • #27996 - 4,077 views

      Downloading of trail gps tracks in kml & gpx formats is enabled for Ward Reservation.
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