Ward Trail is a hiking trail in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is 0.7 miles long and begins at 235 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 175 feet.
Ward Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Beginning through rolling meadows and farmland, you’ll quickly climb up to Holt Hill, where you’ll be treated to expansive views of the Boston skyline on the horizon as you stand amidst a ring of solstice stones. Soon you will be hiking deep into the forest fringing a large marsh with some spectacular birding opportunities. After walking briefly (about 200 feet) along Prospect Road through a residential area, you’ll begin climbing a hill toward a stand of large pines up ahead to your left. You’ll quickly turn right at a green metal gate up through the pines onto a footpath toward Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County, and the solstice stones. This path soon opens up onto a grass-covered wagon road within a hilly apple orchard mostly to your left up on a ridge."
--Steve Mirsky, Best Hikes Near Boston (Falcon Guides).
"The reservation is split evenly by the Andover and North Andover town line, with
drumlins on either side: Holt Hill in Andover and Boston and Shrub Hills in North
Andover. The Cat Swamp lies between them, ensuring that your loop will feature a
contrast of low and high ground."
--Benjamin B. Ames, Hiking Massachusetts (Falcon Guides).
"A short nature trail leads to close-up views of a quaking bog, a fascinating natural place to see rare and unusual plant life. Then explore the Solstice Stones and enjoy the abundant wildlife and long scenic views on Holt Hill."
--Michael Tougias, AMC's Best Day Hikes Near Boston (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"With amazing views of the city, miles of shaded trails, and a quaking bog, Ward Reservation is a great place to visit with your dog. A conglomerate of more than forty separate parcels of former farm and pasture land have been combined to make this 695-acre reservation with over 13 miles of trails, 17 miles of stone walls, and three hills (Shrub Hill, Boston Hill, and Holt Hill). The focal point of the Ward Reservation is 420-foot Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County."
--Jenna Ringelheim, Best Hikes With Dogs Boston & Beyond (The Mountaineers Books).
"Touring a 700-acre parcel of former farmland and forest, this hike begins with a hike up Holt Hill for a view of Boston then rounds Cat Swamp switching from footpaths to cart roads and back again to ascend Boston Hill then arc back to the Ward family's farmstead.
For those with children or limited time, an interpretive trail along a 700-foot boardwalk through a fascinating quaking bog provides a satisfying shorter hike."
--Helen Weatherall, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Boston (Menasha Ridge Press).
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