Date: February 21, 2013
Distance: .54 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 65 feet
Our Hiking Time: 40 minutes roundtrip
Trail Blaze: A.V.I.S. Triangles
Kendra’s mom, Jane, came to visit us last week. While Kendra was running a poetry camp, we decided to take advantage of a sunny morning to explore the Amy Gordon Taft Reservation in Andover, MA. Addie was excited to go hiking with her mama and grandma.
We parked on the road next to one of the reservations five trailheads. As we climbed through the opening in the stone wall that borders the reservation, we immediately found deer tracks in the snow! We followed them downhill along the trail until we came across our first trail marker – an A.V.I.S. triangle. Addie is VERY into finding the trail markers these days, which makes for fun hiking. She runs ahead on the trail to find each one.
Though the snow was still deep in many places along the trail, the top layer was frozen, which kept us from sinking. When we reached the bottom of the hill, we found snowshoe tracks that had packed down the snow, making it even easier for us to hike along the trail.
After a short walk, we crossed a small wooden bridge. The rushing water beneath the frozen surface made a beautiful sound. Addie and I crouched on the bridge, watching and listening to the flowing water.
We walked a little further and turned left to loop back to the trailhead, rather than right across the earthen dam, which leads to two longer loop, each crossing over wetlands and stone walls. Jane and I would have happily gone further, but Addie’s little legs took us at a slower pace.
We continued to walk on the packed trail, coming upon a second wooden bridge, this one crossing over the same brook as it flowed from a small pond.
Meandering back to the trail head, Addison became fascinated with the bunches of pine needles strewn across the snow. Though I had convinced her to leave her small collection of pine cones on the side of the trail, she insisted I put her pine needles in my pocket.
Though it was a short hike, even by Addison’s standards, we were impressed with the beauty of the reservation. I want to go back and explore more in the spring when the snow won’t hinder our speed, and the wildflowers are in full bloom.
You can download a copy of the trail map here. However, even better, buy a copy of the Andover Trails Guide. It has great information and maps for local trails, reservations, and conservation lands in and around Andover, MA.
Available in local stores (I bought mine at ACE Hardware), copies of the guidebook can also be purchased by mail. Send a check for $14.95 plus $0.50 shipping & handling to:
Andover Trails Committee
c/o David Bunting
3 Wagon Wheel Road
Andover, MA 01810
Directions to the trailhead:
Though there are several entrances to the reservation, we used the trailhead located at the intersection of Wildwood Road and Sagamore Drive.
From I-93: Exit 41, take Rt. 125 North 3.8 mi. and turn right onto Wildwood Road. Trailhead is on the left across from the intersection with Sagamore Drive.
From I-495: Exit 42A, take Rt. 114 East 1.9 mi. Turn right onto Rt. 125 South and follow for 2.8 miles and turn left onto Wildwood Road. Trailhead is on the left across from the intersection with Sagamore Drive.