FreshAir
Homepage
  New England
Search by outdoor activity
  Hiking/
Snowshoeing
  Alpine Skiing
  Cross-Country Skiing
  Mountaineering
  Paddling
  Walking
  Relaxing
  Camping
  Biking
  For Families
Search by Destination
  Mountains
  By the Sea
  Countryside
-In & Around Boston Search by duration
  A Few Hours
  Half Day
  Full Day
  Weekend/Overnight

 
  Hale Reservation
 
Hale Reservation
 

What to Bring

Hiking shoes   Windproof jacket
Water   Sunglasses and
insect repellent
(summer)
Snacks   Plastic bag for
trash
 

Specs

  Directions
 
From Boston, take I-90 West, then Route
128 South
Take exit 16B for 109 West (Westwood)
About 0.8 mi. after the exit, turn right on
Dover Road
After 0.3 mi., turn right on Carby Street; the Reservation entrance is at the end of the
street
Park you car at the Cat Rock lot, about 0.3 mi. on the left after the entrance
  Good to know in advance
 
Map available at the information board right after the Reservation gate

Office located in the house overlooking the entrance; open daily 9-5

Restrooms at the Powissett Lodge (open in summer only) and at the shelters along the trail
The Reservation closes at 5 pm in winter – you should leave the Reservation by then to avoid being locked in
Mountain biking allowed with a $15 annual permit fee (common to nearby Noanet
Reservation) – applications available at the office
For more information: Hale Reservation, 80 Carby Street, Westwood MA 02090, Tel:
781.326.1770
  Etiquette
 
Pets should be kept strictly on leash and
should not wade in the ponds
Pick up after your dog
 
   

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 3/5
  Time from Boston: 30 minutes
  Duration: A few hours
  Cost:

Free

  Main activity:

Hiking

 
Bring Along Friends?
  E-mail this page to a   friend
Send
Bring Along Friends?
  Have a question about   this destination?
Review
 
This is another one of Boston's lesser known outdoors areas and a perfect spot for hiking. Located in Westwood, about 10 miles southwest of Boston, and easily reachable from Route 128, crisscrossed by a good trail network, Hale is the place to go if you have a few hours on your hands and want to get some fresh air and a good workout outside.

Hale Reservation offers a varied landscape, including two large lakes, Noanet Pond and Powissett Pond, and a small hill named Powissett Peak. Good weather brings a sizeable number of visitors here in the summer, but as usual the crowds dwindle as you walk a few hundreds feet away from the parking lots. The landscape is surprisingly hilly and the loop described here will take you through several short climbs and descents – nothing challenging but enough to feel your muscles when back at your car. Several shelters and tables along the trails near the ponds make Hale an ideal spot for a summer picnic or party with friends and kids. Just remember to take a map at the Reservation entrance as the trails can be confusing and all of them are not marked.

The loop described here follow part of the Strawberry Hill Trail (as identified on the map) and can be covered in about 1.5 to 2 hours, but taking other trails elsewhere in the park can help you double its length.

The detailed hiking directions are as follows:
From the parking lot, take the trail starting behind the information board
At the next fork, stay on right to reach the dike overlooking Noanet Pond
Turn right on the dike trail until you reach the road
Turn left on the road for a few yards and take a trail on the other side (small metal triangle on a nearby tree); you walk past some shelters
At the next fork ("HR6" sign), turn right, then left at the following fork; continue straight at a fork to take a narrow trail that continues down (the trail blazes continue on the right)
At the next intersection marked by a "HR7" sign, continue straight ahead; you soon reach a small clearing, with the modest Strawberry Hill on your left
Turn left after the clearing at a "HR8" sign; the trail becomes rockier and soon descends towards to Powissett Pond; turn left at the intersection when you see the Pond and walk past a small green shack at the beach
Turn right on the dike and continue straight on the road up the hill; you will pass a parking lot and several shelters
At the next intersection, take the paved road that descends towards Noanet Pond; leave the road to follow the waterline on the right as the road turns left; a narrow trail will bring you back up as if you were retracing your steps along the power line
A stone cairn on the left shows you the way down to the waterline and to a small bridge (this section can be muddy in spring and fall) to cross the marshes and climb on the other side, going first to the left and following white blazes
Follow the trail on the right to walk past a small shelter and continue until you reach another parking lot; turn left to cross the parking lot and take the trail on its opposite side - you will find the white blazes again
Continue for about a third of a mile; you will walk past a wooden building on the left, and after another third of a mile you will reach the parking lot and your car.
Please note the pond beaches are accessible via an annual membership from Labor Day to Memorial Day. The rate for the 2004 summer is $690 per family. Membership is limited to 500 families each year but as of June 2004, several membership cards were still available for the year. Contact the Hale Reservation office for more information at 781-326-1770.
Paddling Biking Mountaineering
=