Sunday, May 13, 2012

Acton Arboretum: Acton, MA

Directions: Click here for Google map

Ahhhh, this is what New England is all about!  The Acton Arboretum is a 64-acre piece of conservation land, chock full of beautiful gardens, trees, flowers, ferns, and butterflies.  As soon as you walk into the arboretum, I guarantee you will feel worlds away from the everyday hustle and bustle of nearby Rt. 2.  Oh, and your dog is sure to love it, too!

The land boasts a lovely trail system that weaves its way through gardens, woods, ponds, a bog, a glacial esker, and open fields.  Different sections of the interconnecting trails are made up of pavement, crushed stone, dirt, and boardwalks.  I went running on the yellow trail, which takes you around the perimeter of the property in 1.5 miles (I ran it twice and then walked it again to take pictures).  I actually didn't take Cooper on this excursion because he's not so great with off-leash dogs and this park has many off-leash dogs.  So that is something to keep in mind, depending on the nature of your dog.

This piece of land has quite an interesting history and I highly recommend that you visit the arboretum's website to learn more about it.  You can also view trail maps there, too.

Information source: Friends of the Acton Arboretum

Here are the positive features:
  • Wow, what a beautiful place!
  • Dogs may explore off leash, as long as they are under voice control
  • Lots of private spots for you to sit on a blanket and relax (quite romantic, actually)
  • A wonderful place for a picnic, as the large field offers several picnic tables
  • Not a huge parking lot, but there was ample free parking on a beautiful day
  • Some trails are handicapped accessible; also great for strollers
  • There are signs identifying different plants as you walk along the trails
  • Free bags provided so you can clean up after your pup
  • An outhouse is provided in the parking lot
Negative features:
  • There were many, many off-leash dogs who were not under voice control (ok for some people and dogs, but not all)
  • You'll need bug spray for black flies, mosquitoes, and ticks, especially if you venture into the damp, woodsy area

1 comment:

  1. There is simply not enough enforcement of dogs off leash here. A particular group in the morning is so large that it has 'pack mentality' and can be unsettling for other dogs and people who are forced off trail until they 'pass'. This should never be allowed. It has ruined the enjoyment of the park for me and my dog. The Arboretum used to be a beautiful place 20 years ago. It is now littered with dog waste, muddied wetlands and ruined wildflower plantings due to irresponsible dog owners. I also, after sending a sizeable donation this year, did not receive my receipt for 3 months. Unprofessional. The wrong folks are in charge here.