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Mount Washington

 
The Acorn Trail
 
 

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 2/5
  Time from Boston: 45 minutes
  Duration: A few hours
  Cost:

$2

  Main activity:

Hiking

 
 

What to Bring

Hiking shoes   Backpack
Sunglasses   Windproof/
waterproof jacket
Insect repellent   Water
Snacks   Food
Hat (in summer)    
 

Specs

  Directions
 
From Boston, take Route 2 West
Near Concord, go straight at the lights
where Route 2 sharply turns left; follow
sign for Concord Center
At the next stop, turn left for Concord
In Concord, go straight through the first
rotary, then turn left in front of the Concord Inn and bear immediately right to follow sign for Carlisle
In Carlisle, turn left at rotary on Lowell
Street (sign for Chelmsford and sign for the State Park)
1.5 mi. after the rotary, look for large sign for Ice Cream and sign for Great Brook
Farm State Park; the parking lot is 100 yards after the signs, on the right on top of the hill.
  Good to know in advance
 
Trail map available at the parking lot

Open year-round dawn to dusk

Restrooms at the parking lot
  Etiquette
 
Pets on leash at all times - pick up after your dog
Never scare farm and wild animals
Great Brook is an active farm with
cultivated fields - stay on designated trails and roads
   
 
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Yes, at less than 2 hours, the Acorn Trail is a relatively short hike. Yet it offers a surprising feel of being quite far from the big city, and although not a difficult hike, it will be a nice workout for seasoned hikers.

This loop takes you through cultivated fields and woodlands, following a narrow and windy trail through the forest and up a small hill. There is one main climb into the forest, and the trail can be rocky in places.

From the parking lot, cross Lowell Road and follow the sign for Acorn trail on the other side (be careful when crossing: visibility is limited)
At the next intersection, go straight and follow sign for Acorn North to enter the woods
After crossing a short wooden bridge over a small pond, take right when reaching a sign for Acorn Trail facing the other way
Stay right at the next intersection to walk through the field and towards the trees
When reaching the trees at the far end of the field, turn right and follow the two blue signs
When reaching a clearing in the trees on the left, turn left and climb into the woods (blue mark)
After a relatively long section in the woods, take right at the next intersection and follow sign for Acorn South
Follow the blue blazes and ignore the several smaller trails branching out
Take right at the next intersection to walk back down towards the fields; continue straight when you pass the two successive Acorn North signs you saw on your way in
You soon reach Lowell Street and the parking lot
If you want to add a bit more than half a mile to the hike, or enjoy an ice cream, you can visit nearby Great Brook Farm. From the parking lot, walk opposite the service building and take the trail down the edge of the field
When you reach the second parking lot down at the farm, turn left towards the pond and the main trail head
Take left through the woods and continue straight on the main trail (do not follow sign for Acorn Trail); you will see a gate at the far end of the trail
When you reach the gate, turn left and follow the trail at the meadow’s edge
Take right on the large trail when you reach the end of the meadow, and walk back up to the parking lot.