Hiking: Harold Parker State Forest, Andover, MA

Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MALocation: Harold Parker State Forest, Andover, MA
Date: April 6, 2014
Distance: 1.55 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 168 feet
Our Hiking Time: 1 hour 16 minutes roundtrip
Trail Blaze: None!
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Map

Spring is here! Finally! Not that we minded the winter, or all the opportunities we had to go snowshoeing – but one of the best things about living in New England are the seasons. Just when you’ve had enough of one, another pops up and refreshes your spirit. With temps in the mid-50′s, and clear sunny skies, today was a perfect day for a hike in one of our favorite places – Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA.

Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MAWe tried a new route today. From the parking lot, we followed the trail to Brackett Pond, and then veered left at marker A19 and explored a narrow trail that wound through a patch of tall pines and old rock walls left over from the days the land belonged to English farmers. It was a gorgeous hike that ended at Delano Pond. As we hiked along the edge of the pond, we spied a beaver dam.

Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA

Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA

Delano Pond

Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MAAddie had a blast jumping from rocks, touching and exploring everything from moss and pine needles, to vernal pools and tree bark.

Evan and Kate both slept through most of the hike. I carried Kate in our Deuter Kid Comfort III, while Kendra held Evan in one of our Ergo carriers.

Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA Hiking at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA

After exploring Delano Pond, we looped back onto the main trail, and followed Brackett Pond back to the trailhead. Once again, we were not disappointed with Harold Parker State Forest – it’s such a great place to hike with kids. The main trails are old logging roads, which make for wonderfully wide and even surfaces for little hiking legs. Even though the hiking is easy, there are so many trails you can explore a new place each time you hike! With over 3,000 acres of land spread over three towns, each trek is a new adventure.

Click here to download a copy of the trail map!

Directions to the trailhead:

Though there are several entrances to Harold Parker State Forest, we used the entrance off of Rt. 125 in Andover, MA.

From I-93: Take exit 41, follow 125 north (toward Andover), for about 4 miles to the State Police Barracks (on right). Turn right on Harold Parker Rd. The trailhead parking is the first lot on your left (approximately .5 miles).

From 495N: Take exit 42A, travel east on Rt. 114 for 2 miles.  Take a right onto Rt. 125. Drive 3.8 miles to the State Police Barracks (on left). Turn left on Harold Parker Rd. The trailhead parking is the first lot on your left (approximately .5 miles).

About Jen

Just started our latest adventure with the birth of our twins! Latte addict. Writer. Photographer. Digital media & English teacher. Outdoor adventurer.

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One Response to Hiking: Harold Parker State Forest, Andover, MA

  1. Janeiack April 7, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    How fortunate you are to be so close to so many great hikes. I would love to do this one in winter. Super to see your whole family on the trail.

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