A quick look North of Boston at the Harold Parker State Forest
As the middle of October arrives in my neck of the woods, my trips begin to get more relaxed because I don’t have to drive nearly as far to find beautiful color.
Just 10 miles away is the Harold Parker state forest (42°37’32″ N 71°4’11″ W) and for those who like to get out into the woods but don’t want to over exert themselves, then this is a place for you.
Overall they’ve got 3000 acres of ponds, swamps, rolling hills and rocky outcroppings. There is camping from May through September and visitors use the logging roads and trails for hiking, walking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.
Wildlife abounds in the state forest and people fish from non-motorized boats or the shore. Birders of all stripes will be happy with the numbers of feathered friends that they can find along the trails.
From the Harold Parker state forest you can travel a short distance into Middleton mass or Andover Massachusetts. A short drive further will take you into either New Hampshire or up into Cape Ann where you can explore the areas around Gloucester and Rockport. You can read about the hidden images of Gloucester in this article.
While I can stop in here anytime during the year, the autumn in the Harold Parker state forest is my favorite time. The marsh grasses turn a golden hue and the Maples and other deciduous trees give a wonderful show of autumn reflections on the surface of the ponds.
No matter what time of the year you come to visit Harold Parker state forest, you’ll find both relaxation and quiet contemplation to be the order of the day.
Jeff “Foliage” Folger
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