Thursday, April 2, 2009

Prouty Woods Community Forest: Littleton, MA

Directions to Entrance #1 (Two Brother's Trail): Click here for Google map
Directions to Entrance #2 (Main Entrance): Click here for Google map

Prouty Woods is a beautiful piece of property that includes over 107 acres of open fields and easy hiking trails, a protected forest of the New England Forestry Foundation. The area is named after Don and Roger Prouty, who made it possible.

Two Brother's Trail is a lovely walking path that leads to Prouty Woods. Upon entry, you will immediately feel soothed by the nearby babbling brook and horse stable. The trail will quickly lead you to two huge fields - great for some doggie exercise! Walk a bit further and you will see markings for the "Loop" trail, an easy hiking trail that leads to beautiful Long Lake and then back around to the fields again. The total distance of this Loop walk is approximately 2 miles, and there are several other trails in the area as well. Parking is available at the church across the street.

You can also enter Prouty Woods by parking at the end of Wilderness Road (there is a marked lot available). Walk down the main path and you will be immediately immersed in the forest! You can turn down the trails and explore the forest (the 'downhill' trail will lead you to the lake), or you can continue walking straight for about 15 minutes up a gradual hill. This walk will take you to a lovely summit, where you will get the best views of the area. There are also picnic tables and an education center there. This is a fantastic spot to watch the sun set (but get back down the path quickly before it gets too dark!).

You can find more info and a map here.

Information source: Littleton Conservation Trust

Here are the positive features:

  • Lots of open space for your dog to run and play
  • Clearly marked hiking trails that are short and easy
  • Access to beautiful Long Lake for your dog to drink or swim
  • Close to downtown Littleton and I-495
  • Very shady trails, to escape the summer sun
  • Great for all seasons, from winter snow shoeing to summer hiking
  • Very peaceful with pretty views of the Monadnock Mountains and Mount Wachusett
  • Free parking
Negative features:
  • Some parts of the trails can be muddy (especially in spring)
  • The large open fields at Two Brother's Trail get overgrown in the summer, but they are flat and open during other seasons
  • Ticks abound, especially in spring & fall, so plan on checking yourself and your dog for them
  • Bring your bug spray in the summer!
  • There are no facilities (restrooms, water, etc.) so plan ahead if you want to hike around for a while

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