Harold Parker Road

Essex County, Massachusetts 01864

Distance1.3mi
Elevation Gain196ft
Trailhead Elevation119ft
Top140ft
Elevation Min/Max111/140ft
Elevation Start/End119/119ft

Harold Parker Road

Harold Parker Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is 1.3 miles long and begins at 119 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 196 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. The Harold Parker State Forest Headquarters information can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Acorn Trail, Yellow Diamond Trail and Bradford Pond Road.

Harold Parker Road Professional Reviews and Guides

"Harold Parker State Forest, 20 miles north of Boston, is just more than 3, 000 acres of central hardwood-hemlock-white pine forest. A popular site for a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, swimming, camping, and picnicking, the state forest makes for a great start to this relaxing bike route. The Harold Parker Cruise will take you through the quiet, wooded, winding roads of Boxford, Georgetown, Topsfield, and Middleton.

Departing from the Harold Parker State Forest, you’ll head north through the peaceful, winding back roads of Boxford on your way to Georgetown center. Georgetown, though incorporated in 1838, was actually settled some 200 years earlier. In 1638 a small group of families from Rowley, England, sailed across the ocean to settle in the area now known as Georgetown."

"This ride takes you through thick stands of oak, maple, and birch trees and down wide horse paths where the views of the foliage are fantastic. The peak season for viewing the changing of the leaves is generally between the middle of October and early November.

Most of the ride, because of the number of trees in the forest, is well protected from the wind; so winter rides are feasible as long as there's no snow on the ground. Terrain: Mainly singletrack with some doubletrack fire roads and a section of paved road."

"Only 25 miles north of Boston, this 3000-acre state forest is virtually unknown to those outside the area. Even in the height of summertime, campsites (in the western section of the park) can often be had at the last minute, on sultry August weekends (try doing that anyplace else in the state!). Why is this? The Harold Parker State Forest is certainly pretty enough. Park lands spread to Andover, North Andover, North Reading, and Middleton, and include forests of hardwood, hemlock, and white pine, circling eleven ponds (nine of them man-made).

The property offers 35 miles of trails and logging roads to ramble, shown on the state forest map (available at forest headquarters and online). For snowshoe hikers looking for a nice, woodsy walk, it can’t be beat, since unpaved roads (closed to vehicles in winter) make an easygoing ramble, and you can head off trail and roam around the frozen ponds and pristine forests. It won’t be too difficult to find your way back to one of the main roads that crisscross the property."

"Towns of Andover and North Andover, about 25 miles north of Boston. The terrain is relatively flat, with some rolling sections and short climbs. Watch out for hikers and horseback riders, especially around the ponds and trailheads. Also, the terrain sometimes changes abruptly, from wide, flat woods roads to narrow, winding trails, which sometimes cross paved roads."

Harold Parker Road Reviews

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3/19/2018
We had to park at the main office or Jenkins Road parking lot for snowshoeing. We snowshoed from the main office to the Jinkins Road parking lot. And really slow pace it took us 40 minutes one way.
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10/27/2008
I've been hiking in HPF since 2002 and have parked on the side of the road many times for up to 6 hours and have never had a problem.
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7/6/2007
listen to Ray!! rangers are nasty and love to ruin your day
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4/22/2000
Beware of parking in the clearings that are off the road! For several years these provided safe, nearby parking. But now the Rangers ticket or Tow anything not parked at one of the few (normally full) parking lots!
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Trail Information

Essex County
Nearby City
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Harold Parker State Forest, 978-686-3391
Local Contacts