[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Location: Osgood Hill, North Andover, MA Date: April 27, 2013 Distance: 2.3 miles roundtrip Elevation Gain: 72 feet Our Hiking Time: 2 hours roundtrip Trail Blaze: Blue Circle (Stevens Trail) & Green Circle (Osgood Hill Trail) Difficulty: Easy Trail Map[/box]
Addie fell down while playing in the yard this weekend and busted her lip. After we wiped away the blood and tears, her upper lip started to swell. Since we couldn’t get her to hold ice on it, we decided the next best thing would be to get her ice cream! She agreed, so we headed to Mad Maggie’s, a local ice cream stand. Our friends Kate and Sara were with us, and we all decided what better way to enjoy ice cream on a sunny afternoon than to do it while hiking.
We went to Osgood Hill, just down the street from Mad Maggie’s. I have been wanting to take Addie hiking here, but hadn’t had the chance. There are two trail heads, and we chose to start at the one on Osgood Street, and follow the Osgood Hill Trail. We parked along the road next to the trail kiosk, as there is no parking lot.
Osgood Hill Trail Head Kiosk on Osgood Street in North Andover, MA
We walked on foot boards a the start of the hike. There were more intermittently on the trail, though not quite enough to get us over the muddy sections. As we carefully walked along the trail we spied fiddleheads poking through fallen oak and birch leaves, and skunk cabbage covering the ground.
Kate letting Addie smell some skunk cabbage – she did not like it at all!
Addie spotted the trail markers, and insisted on being lifted up to touch them. The sunlight streaming through the trees cast beautiful, intense shadows across the trail, especially the sections covered in pine needles.
We came to a fork in and opted to turn left onto the Stevens trail, which led us along the shore of Lake Cochichewich. As we came to the end of the trail, it rejoined the Osgood Hill Trail, which we followed to large wooden bench. It was the perfect spot to look over the lake, rest, and refuel.
As we climbed the remainder of the Osgood Hill Trail, we got an incredible view of the undersides of small planes taking off from the Lawrence Municipal Airport. At the end of the trail, we arrived at the Stevens Estate, an old Victorian estate built in 1886 by mill owner Moses T. Stevens. The family donated the property to Boston University in the 1950’s, and it was subsequently bought by the Town of North Andover in 1995 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nowadays, it’s used as a special events and conference center. We wandered the grounds, eventually resting on a grassy hillside along the driveway.
Sara taught Addie how to roll down the hill. I made the mistake of joining them, rolling too fast, and ending up dizzy. Addie had a blast, and spent a good twenty minutes running up the hill, rolling down, and running back up again.
We skipped the trail for the walk back to the car, instead following the winding driveway back to the trailhead. We came across some gigantic trees on our way down! Addie climbed up on the massive roots of one tree so I could take a picture.
From I-93N: Exit 41, take Rt. 125 for 10 mi. then turn right onto Osgood Street.The trail head is on your left.
From I-93S: Take exit 48 for Rt. 213E. In 5.2 mi, take exit 5A for 495S, and follow the directions below.
From I-495N: Exit 43 for Mass. Avenue. After 1.2 mi. turn left onto Rt.125 N/Rt. 133 E/Chickering Rd. In 1.3 mi turn right onto Osgood Street. The trail head is on your left.
From I-495S: Exit 44 for Merrimack Street. Turn left onto Merrimack Street and then continue onto Sutton St. after 410 feet. In 1.2 miles, turn right onto Osgood Street/Rt. 125S/Rt. 133W. After .4 mi., stay left at the fork onto Osgood Street. The trail head is on your left.