SCAVENGER HIKE with Your Tyke to Wilson Mill , by Sharon McDonald, Bedford Town Historian, and Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

Have you ever heard of the Wilson Mill? The corn it ground was vital to the town three hundred years ago… Alas, it is long gone! But the millpond remains, and the little stream still rushes over the rocks down a shallow gorge. Come and stand beside the water and listen for a few minutes. This “Scavenger Hike with Your Tyke” is aimed at expanding recreational activities in Bedford for families, parents and grandparents.

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Carlisle’s Greenough Land around Greenough Pond, by Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

The Greenough Land trails provide the walker with beautiful forest, water and field vistas–

“The Greenough Land – at 242 acres – is the largest conservation parcel owned by the Town of Carlisle. Purchased in 1973 from the estate of Henry Vose Greenough, it contains a wonderful combination of upland and wetland woods, a large pond and wetlands (part of the Page’s Brook watershed), agricultural fields, and a barn. Native Americans certainly used this land first. European settlers came to this property in 1757 and started a long history of agricultural use of the land. The flat fertile meadows on the property were once a training ground for the Revolutionary soldiers.”

SCAVENGER HIKE with Your Tyke to Harvard Pond, by Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

We’re introducing a new activity in our “Take Your Own Trail Walk” series–a Scavenger Hunt combined with a 1-mile hike. This “Scavenger Hike with Your Tyke” is aimed at expanding recreational activities in Bedford for families. Our activity combines a Scavenger Hunt with an approximately 1-mile hike:

Tykes (with parents and/or grandparents) start at the trailhead near 100 Old Causeway Rd. (see attached Scavenger Hike sheet, map and description), then follow the map to Harvard Pond
Tykes check off what they find on their Scavenger Hike
Please printout the map and the “Scavenger Hike” in advance (in color at high resolution), and bring markers or crayons for Tykes. See if you can find 15, 18, or all 20!

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Washington St. Bridge to the Elm Brook Conservation Area, by Ralph Hammond & Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

Completed in December 2018, the Washington Street Pedestrian Bridge is a key link from the surrounding neighborhoods to the Town center, especially for students. The 42-foot long fully engineered pre-fabricated steel pedestrian bridge goes over the Elm Brook at the westerly end of Washington Street. The Elm Brook Conservation Area contains a continuous loop trail through the Conservation Area and along the Elm and Mongo Brooks. This is a peaceful, wooded area, home to various wildlife including duck, deer, and woodpeckers. Raccoon tracks may be found in the muddy bed of Mongo Brook.

This Week’s Take-Your-Own Trail Walk: Historic Old Reservoir and Valente Land from Page Road, by Mark Levine, Bedford Trails Committee

Known as “The Old Rez,” the Old Reservoir land is one of the Town’s most interesting and popular municipal open space areas. This trail walk has original 1908 water supply features including a pump house, dam, reservoir, and a vernal pool, streams, and open and dense woods. It offers a network of trails with diverse terrain surrounding the picturesque Old Reservoir. The dam and well house, with its historical renovations completed in 2013, add to the appeal of this serene wilderness area. 

Bedford Hiking Trails Are Now on Google Maps

If a trail is not on Google maps, does it still exist?  After a year-long effort by the Bedford Trails Committee and Bedford DPW, all Bedford Trails are now on Google Maps! 

This means you can now get walking directions through your favorite Conservation Areas in Bedford through Google.

This Week’s Take-Your-Own Trail Walk: Davis Road Boardwalk through Nine Carlisle Road Conservation Areas, by Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

This walk starts near the Davis Road Boardwalk, and then traverses nine contiguous Conservation Areas (CAs)—White Cedar Swamp, Pine Grove Farm, Bedford Meadows, Langone, Carlson, Brown, Page, Peppergrass Brook and Redmond-Anderson CAs. These conservation areas comprise 75 acres of protected natural resources. This landscape features vibrant upland and wetland habitats bordering Peppergrass Brook. Please see attached

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Governor Thomas Dudley Park and Great Meadows Trails in Billerica, by Jerry Harris

This walk meanders along and has excellent views of the Concord River. “Great Meadows’ History. Many relics of early people found in the vicinity date back to 5500 B.C. River meadows and plains were burned over by natives to provide cropland and pasture for game while the waters provided fish in great quantity. The river provided transportation for the Native American’s annual summer movement to the sea, where the greater portion of their winter food was gathered and dried. Settlers named the grasslands the “Great River Meadows.”     (from U.S. Fish & Wildlife brochure)
Please see attached.

This Week’s Take-Your-Own Trail Walk: Historic Old Reservoir and Valente Land from the Shawsheen Cemetery, by Mark Levine, Bedford Trails Committee

Known as “The Old Rez,” the Old Reservoir land is one of the Town’s most interesting and popular municipal open space areas. It offers a network of trails with diverse terrain surrounding the picturesque Old Reservoir. This trail walk has original 1908 water supply features including a pump house, dam, reservoir, and a vernal pool, streams, and open and dense woods. The dam and well house, with its historical renovations completed in 2013, add to the appeal of this serene wilderness area. Please see attached. Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Elm Brook Conservation Area from Railroad Ave, by Ralph Hammond, Bedford Trails Committee

This walk starts at the Minuteman Bikeway Extension (MBE) parking area on Railroad Ave, and goes west on the MBE to the Elm Brook CA. The Elm Brook CA contains a continuous loop trail through the Conservation Area and along the Elm and Mongo Brooks. This is a peaceful, wooded area, home to various wildlife including duck, deer, and woodpeckers. Raccoon tracks may be found in the muddy bed of Mongo Brook. The trail is shaded by white pine and red maple and is very colorful as the seasons change.

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Hartwell Town Forest in Winter by Dan Hurwitz

Hartwell Town Forest is wooded town land crisscrossed by trails.  The front half of the Forest is dry and easily navigated.  We typically only explore the back half in winter when frozen, or covered with deep snow (necessitating snowshoes). Bedford’s first and largest conservation area supports diverse wildlife, has a history of use for its natural resources, and contains a network of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. The upland forest is dominated by mature eastern white pine and an understory of buckthorn, beech, alder, and white pine seedlings and saplings. Great horned owls, pileated woodpeckers, and many other birds nest here. At dusk, visitors may see deer, raccoon, gray fox, and coyote.

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Russell Mill Pond and Town Forest, Chelmsford, by Mark Levine, Bedford Trails Committee

“The Town of Chelmsford acquired the Russell Mill Pond & Forest in 1971. The Forest contains 132 acres (7 acres of which are under water), including 3000 feet of frontage on the east bank of Russell Mill Pond. The Russell Mill Pond Forest has an extensive trail network ideal for [walkers and] mountain bike enthusiasts. . .

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Springs Brook Conservation Area (CA) Trail Walk, by Michael Barbehenn, Bedford Trails Committee

The Springs Brook Conservation Area provides opportunities for exploring trails leading to Springs Brook Park – the Town’s outdoor swimming area. The main Blue trail offers a relatively short and level hike that passes through a predominantly wetland area, with a short side trail providing access to a beautiful view of the Spring Brook corridor. Most of the southern half of Springs Brook Park (SBP) and all of the Springs Brook CA are designated as Priority and Estimated Habitats of Rare Species by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program–see attached.  
Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Old Res to Wright Farm, by the Bedford Trails Committee and Citizens for Lexington Conservation

This trail walk (see attached) starts at Old Res, and leads to Lexington’s Wright Farm. Known as “The Old Rez,” the Old Reservoir land is one of Bedford’s most interesting and popular municipal open space areas. It offers a network of trails with diverse terrain surrounding the picturesque Old Reservoir. The dam and well house, with its historical renovations completed in 2013, add to the appeal of this serene wilderness area. The Wright Farm is the northernmost property in the Town of Lexington.

This Week’s Take Your Own Trail Walk: Carlisle’s Foss Farm to Greenough Pond, by Jerry Harris (Nov 3-Nov 9)

You’ll walk the full circuit of Foss Farm, part of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and the Greenough Land along the Concord River to a pond which once was used to fill an extensive array of irrigation ditches. You’ll return through an open field which was once the site of an airfield, past an old overgrown beaver pond and beaver dam, then through an upland hemlock forest to our starting point at the Foss Farm Parking Area. This walk gets flooded easily, so it’s best to walk during the dry season. Please see attached description and map. Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee

This Week’s Take-Your-Own Trail Walk: Harvard Pond and Two Brothers Rocks, by Mark Weinstein

The Bedford Historical Society (see: https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2012/12/the-two-brothers-rocks/) says:  “Bedford is the site of one of the oldest inland landmarks in the United States. Governor John Winthrop and Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley . . chose these two boulders on the east band as the boundary and named them the “Two Brothers” after themselves because they considered themselves brothers by the marriage of Dudley’s son to Winthrop’s daughter. In 1894, the newly founded Bedford Historical Society had the words “Winthrop 1638” and “Dudley 1638” carved on the Rocks.

This Week’s Take Your Own Adventurous Trail Hike: Dellovo Conservation Area and MassPort, by Bruce Wisentaner

Suggested Hike: October 13 through October 20
If you like an adventurous trail with hills, uneven terrain, tree roots and (depending on weather) muddy trenches to challenge yourself, this is your hike/run! The Dellovo and Concord Road Conservation Areas, and the municipal parcel at 350 Concord Road purchased in 2010, comprise 84 acres of contiguous open space, along the Minuteman Bikeway Extension between Concord Road and Hartwell Road, north of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) lands at L.G. Hanscom Field. Please see attached.  
Clem Larson, Bedford Trails Committee