Date: February 20, 2014
Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 184 feet
Our Hiking Time: 1 hour, 3 minutes round trip
Trail Blaze: None!
With temps close to 50 degrees on Thursday, I couldn’t resist taking the twins for their first snowshoeing adventure! Luckily, I had some great company – our friends Jenn and Pat, and their daughter Abby, were not only willing to join us, but Jenn carried one of the twins for me, which made it possible for me to take both of them.
In search of a new local place to hike, we headed to the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsborough State Forest. Sprawling 1,140 acres over what was once a Native American village, six miles of trails wind through swamplands and ponds. We opted to park at one of the entrances in Dracut, with access to a trail that leads up Whortle-Berry Hill, the highest point in the forest.
Unlike the Lowell section of the forest, we found no trail markers on the Dracut side. Luckily, the trail was somewhat obvious, but there were definitely points that we needed the map for guidance. The hike up the hill was easy, and the view through the trees at the top was neat. You could see the surrounding city (Lowell) and towns (Dracut & Tynsgborough).
Unfortunately, this section of the forest has no loops, so we trekked back the way we came. Most of the trail ran along the edge of the forest, practically in the back yards of the locals – not the most secluded hike. Though it was nice to explore a new area, I think next time we’ll head to the Lowell side where there are loops, wetlands, and trail markers!
Directions to the trailhead:
There are two parking spots in front of the gate leading into the state forest, at the intersection of Fellows Lane and Greenlawn Ave. in Dracut, MA. Because there are several ways to get there, it’s easiest to plug in the GPS coordinates (42.675215, -71.366693).