Featured Property Fall 2015

Boxford Town Forest

If you’re interested in exploring some of the amazing fall colors in New England then look no further than our featured property: the Boxford Town Forest. Split in two by Oak Ridge Road in West Boxford, the First Town Forest and the Lower Town Forest, each about 30 acres in size,  are owned by the Town of Boxford with the Conservation Restriction held by BTA/BOLT. The clearly marked trails will lead you past vernal pools, eskers and through a stunning beech forest. When the snow starts to fall, this is the perfect place for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Winterberries and cattails

Birch forest in Boxford Town Forest

MAPS

HISTORY

SUGGESTED WALK

This part of Map 21 in the Boxford Trail Guide shows part of the trails through Boxford Town Forest. The suggested walk, described on page 166 of the guide, is approximately 2.5 miles total.

HISTORY

The Boxford Town Forest is located in West Boxford. By the early 1700s the population in the western part of Boxford was increasing and many people found it inconvenient to make the long trip to the Congregational Church in Boxford Village. In 1734, a meetinghouse was built nearby and the west or second parish was incorporated by 1736. (Boxford still remained one town, however.) By 1774, the original West Boxford meetinghouse was considered to be too far from the developing center of West Boxford, so a new meetinghouse was built at the site of the present Second Congregational Church.

The Boxford Town Forest was given to the Town by Matilda Lund in 1924. Matilda Lund’s ancestors settled here around 1754. Their descendants included a Revolutionary War veteran, a merchant ship owner and teachers. The Lund farmhouse burned down in the 1920s, but the door stone and cellar hole are still visible on Oak Ridge Rd. The field of Scylla (squill) planted by the Lund family and now naturalized along the side of the road is particularly lovely in spring.

At one time the Forest provided firewood for Town buildings, including the schools, but now it is left relatively undisturbed.

 

 

SUGGESTED WALK (approximately 2.5 miles total)

The suggested walk through the First Town Forest section starts on Oak Ridge Rd. This is a mixed forest with many beautiful red, black, and white oaks. After crossing a brook, you pass a glacial esker on your right. As the trail bears to the right, a vernal pool is visible on the left. The trail leads up a short hill to Lake Shore Rd. Return to Oak Ridge Rd. by taking the loop to your left shortly after crossing the brook. Look for Bloodroot and Witch Hazel by the brook in the spring.

The Lower Town Forest trail is reached by turning right as you come back out onto Oak Ridge. Rd. You will pass a water hole on your left. Shortly after, there is a field on the left. This is owned by the Town, but leased. Please respect the plantings in the field. A path through the middle of the field is visible. Enter on this path. Cross a causeway and enter the section of the Town Forest that is mostly magnificent beech forest. Arrows mark the trail. The suggested walk goes right as indicated by arrows. The trail follows an old stone wall. Then it bears left to an old woods road. You will come to two granite posts on your right marking the entrance to private property. The trail bears left and returns you to the field. This is an especially wonderful place for cross-country skiing.