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Hiking

14.85 miles of trails

The trails pass through old growth forest, overlook the gorge, and meander through various habitats.

Border Trail

2 miles, most difficult hiking, blue blazes

Because of its elevation changes, this is the second hardest trail to hike. From the north it is accessed from the West Meadow. Together with Silver Creek Trail it runs parallel to a ridge while overlooking Silver Creek.

It splits from Silver Creek Trail, proceeds up a steep climb through the most western part of the park, and crosses Buckley Road before ending at Wetlands Trail.

Bunny Trail

1.5 miles, more difficult hiking, orange blazes

This loop is best accessed from a small parking lot on Buckley Road, east of where Fall Brook crosses the road. The trail ascends gently along Fall Brook to a small clearing which was once a log landing.

It then climbs steeply for a short distance through hardwood forest before intersecting and paralleling Cliff Trail through forest and old fields with some excellent views. It leaves Cliff Trail, passes a delightful spring, and then descends through a forest back to the parking lot.

Cliff Trail

1.6 miles, more difficult hiking, blue blazes

This trail can be reached from either Bunny Trail or from the Friends Parking Lot. After a short climb, Cliff Trail follows the contours of the land, gently climbing to the southwest corner of the property where there is an interesting spring area and Frog Pond. All along this section are boulders and cliffs worth exploring for ferns and wildflowers.

From the pond, the trail follows an old logging road and then descends to where it intersects Bunny Trail and then back to the main parking lot.

Fall Brook Trail

1 mile, most difficult hiking, red blazes

Access this trail across the bridge from the Wheaton House. It follows Fall Brook and climbs steeply along the three waterfalls. Use extreme caution on slippery rocks and near the edge of the falls.

After the third waterfall, the trail flattens out and follows the brook past Buckley Road until it ends at the intersection with Bunny Trail.

Friends Trail

1.9 miles, more difficult hiking, white blazes

This trail starts at Hardwood Trail and heads south out of the forest and through a meadow to Buckley Road. From there it meanders south through another meadow before reentering the forest.

The trail eventually heads west to join Summit Trail near the highest point in the park. It can also be accessed from the Friends Parking Lot on Buckley Road.

Gorge Trail

0.4 mile, more difficult hiking, blue blazes

This trail runs south from the Wheaton House. After a sharp but short ascent, it levels out and follows the gorge rim. It goes through remnants of an old flagstone quarry and along a meadow's edge before returning to the woods and connecting with Buckley Road.

Hardwood Trail

0.5 mile, more difficult hiking, yellow blazes

Access this trail at the northeast end of the picnic area, past the salt spring. After ascending the moderate slope along the edge of the hill, the trail swings south and climbs gently through mixed hardwoods before leveling out and turning west to where it intersects Woodland Trail.

Hemlock Trail

0.4 mile, more difficult hiking, white blazes

Access this trail at the northeast end of the picnic area, past the salt spring. Follow right and climb steeply up the hill into the old growth hemlock forest. Just past the intersection with Woodland Trail, Hemlock Trail becomes a raised boardwalk. It follows the east rim of the gorge past Penny Rock to where a right spur leads to an observation platform overlooking the falls. Use extreme caution near cliffs and steep drop-offs.

The trail continues to where it eventually intersects Fall Brook and Overlook trails.

Meadow Trail

0.8 mile, easiest hiking, yellow blazes

Accessed from either Buckley Road or Silver Creek Trail, this largely flat trail loops through meadows and by old foundations, stone walls, and an interesting shale outcropping.

North Creek Trail

0.5 mile, easiest hiking, red blazes

This trail begins behind the Williams Pavilion, crosses Silver Creek (no bridge), and runs west through meadows and wild apple trees along the meandering creek, which creates scenic views. After re-crossing Silver Creek (no bridge), it joins Silver Creek Trail.

Overlook Trail

0.2 mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

Designed specifically for accessibility, this short, wide trail begins at the parking lot on the north side of Buckley Road. The trail winds through light and dense forest on level land and connects to Fall Brook Trail near the overlook to the falls.

This activity or structure is ADA accessible.

Silver Creek Trail

1.2 miles, more difficult hiking, red blazes

This trail is accessed from behind the dairy barn and parallels Silver Creek through hemlocks and carpets of ferns. It follows the creek, climbing gradually through mixed hardwoods, and then up a steep climb to where it connects with Meadow Trail. An old stone wall can be an interesting rest stop.

Spruce Trail

0.5 mile, easiest hiking, white blazes

This trail begins at the far western edge of the park, where Border Trail crosses Buckley Road. The trail follows an easy grade through a magnificent grove of towering spruce trees planted during a reforestation project. It ends near the beginning of Wetlands Trail at Salt Springs Road.

Summit Trail

1 mile, more difficult hiking, red blazes

This loop consists of a short climb of about 0.3 mile from Frog Pond to the highest point on the Friends’ property, returning to Frog Pond via an old logging road. The summit is a relatively flat area, with large, widely spaced trees.

Upland Trail

0.5 mile, more difficult hiking, red blazes

This trail extends the loop of Hardwood Trail, climbing steadily up the mountain through mixed hardwoods, before circling back to rejoin it.

Wetland Trail

0.6 mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

This trail starts at the Buckley Road bridge and traverses the wetlands north of Fall Brook. Signs of beaver activity and wetland plants and shrubs can be seen along this trail. The trail ends just after crossing Fall Brook (no bridge).

Woodland Trail

0.25 mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

Reached from Hemlock Trail, this trail circles around the east side of the old growth stand. Explore a hemlock almost 300 years old that has fallen across the path. The trail ends at Hardwood Trail.