Appleton Farms Grass Rides

Hamilton, Massachusetts 01936

Appleton Farms Grass Rides

Appleton Farms Grass Rides Professional Review and Guide

"The reservation offers a nice combination of fields, wetlands, and wooded areas comprised of pine, oak, maple, cedar, and my personal favorite, the dark-green majestic hemlock. I have seen a number of ruffed grouse here and many signs of deer. One animal I see almost every time I go is a fat woodchuck. They are fun to watch as long as they are not near my garden—after hibernating all winter, woodchucks have a voracious appetite and will eat almost every kind of flower and vegetable, preferring the cold-weather crops, such as peas, to dine on first.

When threatened they seek the safety of their burrows, which can extend underground for many yards and usually have two entrances. Appleton Farms is believed to be the oldest farm in continuous operation in the United States. Its plantings date back to 1638, when the town of Ipswich granted the land to Thomas Appleton. Highlights: Fields and woodland paths."

More Appleton Farms Grass Rides Professional Reviews and Guides

"Explore the Northwestern acres of Appleton Farms, following an old steeplechase course and trails through forested wetlands. Starting at the parking area, cross the field, following the avenue of maples over a wide, firm, and flat carriage road to an entrance to the Grass Rides located beyond the bog at the edge of the woods.

Managed by The Trustees of Reservations, Appleton Farms is still a working farm, producing high-quality hay, milk, meat, and produce."

"The name “Grass Rides” stems from this property’s original function hosting carriage roads. The word “ride” comes from Europe to designate a path made for horseback riding. Horse-drawn carriages raced here in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which is why the main trails are remarkably level and wide, looping through thick forest.

Appleton is considered to be the oldest farm in continuous operation in the United States; some plantings within these vast farmlands date back to 1638, when the town of Ipswich granted the land to Thomas Appleton. However, it was only relatively recently, in 1998, that Appleton Farms was opened to the public with an additional 4 miles of trails and community-supported agriculture."

"Renowned for its miles of “grass avenues” bordered by woods, Appleton Farms Grass Rides has welcomed dogs and their owners for more than thirty years.

Due to its increasing popularity, The Trustees of Reservations has implemented a Green Dogs Program that requires a free (to members) dog-walking permit in exchange for agreeing to follow the Grass Rides dog etiquette. The pilot program allows responsible owners to walk their dogs leash free."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 2.5 hours
Best spring thru fall
Trustees of Reservations
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018