Douglas State Forest Trail

Webster, Massachusetts

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2 Reviews
2 out of 5
This gently lovely area of forests, kettle ponds, and wetlands is proof that one doesn’t need to conquer a summit to enjoy great scenery. In wintertime, the American chestnut trees that flank the park are nicely turned out in a sparkling cloak of white, and the kettle ponds (formed by retreating glaciers) are visions of shimmering, crackly beauty. This 4640-acre park, bordering Rhode Island and Connecticut on the southern border of central Massachusetts, is also known for its Atlantic white cedar swampland and its collection of glacial boulders. In addition to all this is Wallis Pond’s old stone dam with small waterfalls. Historically, the site has been used for ice harvesting (from Wallum Lake) and as a granite quarry. It was cleared as parkland by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934. This northerly trek, the Whitin Reservoir Loop Trail, is a pleasant, woodsy walk with great views of Whitin Reservoir. The trail is lollipop-shaped; you’ll start at the stick of the lollipop and follow it counterclockwise. Be careful at the end of the loop, when you venture onto the stick again; it’s easy to miss it and you can get lost (like we did) and add an extra 6 miles to your hike. Otherwise, the hike is well marked but not heavily used—always a great combination!
Snowshoe Routes: New England

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Snowshoe Routes: New England

by Diane Bair & Pamela Wright (The Mountaineers Books)

This gently lovely area of forests, kettle ponds, and wetlands is proof that one doesn’t need to conquer a summit to enjoy great scenery. In wintertime, the American chestnut trees that flank the park are nicely turned out in a sparkling cloak of white, and the kettle ponds (formed by retreating glaciers) are visions of shimmering, crackly beauty. This 4640-acre park, bordering Rhode Island and Connecticut on the southern border of central Massachusetts, is also known for its Atlantic white cedar swampland and its collection of glacial boulders. In addition to all this is Wallis Pond’s old stone dam with small waterfalls.

Historically, the site has been used for ice harvesting (from Wallum Lake) and as a granite quarry. It was cleared as parkland by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934. This northerly trek, the Whitin Reservoir Loop Trail, is a pleasant, woodsy walk with great views of Whitin Reservoir. The trail is lollipop-shaped; you’ll start at the stick of the lollipop and follow it counterclockwise. Be careful at the end of the loop, when you venture onto the stick again; it’s easy to miss it and you can get lost (like we did) and add an extra 6 miles to your hike. Otherwise, the hike is well marked but not heavily used—always a great combination!

©  Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Snowshoeing
Nearby City: Webster
Distance: 4.5
Elevation Gain: 110 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Winter
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Douglas State Forest
Local Maps: USGS Webster, MA
Driving Directions: Directions to Douglas State Forest Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

1/9/2011
0

Unable to see map on my iPad because it is dependent on Flash. Very unfortunate.


8/10/2009
0

Hot and humid day so we cut short the hike. Series of trails that have much potential, very quiet with very little traffic. Would make for very interesting snow shoe trails



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Apr 2018