"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." Read more
"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." Read more