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What to Bring

Hiking Shoes   Backpack
Windproof jacket   Water
Sunglasses   Snacks or food
for picnic
First aid kit   Plastic bag
for trash
 

Specs

  Directions
 
From Boston, take I-90 West, then Route
128 South
Take exit 17 for Route 135; at stop sign,
turn left on 135 W direction Natick/Needham
Turn left at next light on South Street
(beware a fork 0.5 mi. down the road
where South Street bears on left)
After 1 mile, turn left on Dedham Street
Drive 2.2 miles to reach the entrance on the left – sign for Caryl Park/Noanet Woodlands is barely visible
  Good to know in advance
 
Reservation map available at the Ranger
station on weekends and holidays

No restrooms

  Etiquette
 
No dogs in Caryl Park, which virtually
prohibits pets on this hike, since Noanet is accessible through Caryl Park only
Carry out your trash
No fire
No camping
 
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Noanet Peak
 
 

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 2/5
  Time from Boston: 45 minutes
  Duration: Full day
  Cost:

Free

  Main activity:

Hiking

 
 
 
 
This is Boston's best kept secret for hiking. Less than an hour away from the city, Noanet Woodlands delivers nearly the same excitement as larger reservations like Blue Hills, but with a more diverse environment of woodlands, pine forests, meadows and ponds and a quieter setting away from major highways.

Noanet Woodlands features three color-coded trails (yellow, blue and red). This hike combines stretches of the three trails to take you to the far end of the reservation and through its most remarkable features - in particular, you will climb up 387 ft-high Noanet peak. We believe this hike is well suited for a full day out in the sun, with a picnic break, but very fit hikers may cover the distance in just 2.5 to 3 hours. Trails are well identified and key intersections are signaled with numbered signs.

Trails are generally flat and wide, so hikers with younger children may take a three-wheeled stroller - there is only a short rocky section on the red trail that will require extra work.

From the parking lot, walk past the ranger station - if you have not been able to get a map at the station, check the one on the information board to get a feel for the reservation layout. When you reach the gravel road a short distance from the station, turn right and follow the yellow blazes - there are also signs for Noanet Woodlands. Walk past intersection #3 (large Trustees of Reservation sign) and continue of yellow trail. At intersection #6 (the sign is not visible from this side), the yellow trail turns right, but you will climb up straight to Noanet Peak. Turn left at the wooden fence to reach the rocky platform that overlooks the forest. If the weather is fair you will have a great view of the Boston skyline to the Northeast.

To continue, turn back and take the narrow trail right after the wooden fence (there is a small white sign barring the entrance; it used to prohibit the trail to mountain bikes). This section is narrower, rockier and steeper - if you have a stroller, you may want to descent back to intersection #6 and follow the yellow trail. The rocky section ends at a cairn with a wood pole, where you find the yellow blazes again. Turn left and stay on the yellow trail to navigate the several intersections of that stretch.

At intersection #18, continue straight; from that point you will follow blue blazes. You soon reach several ponds; the largest is at intersection #36, where you turn right and cross the small dike, where a mill used to stand. Follow the trail on the right and turn left at the next intersection. After a few yards, you turn left again at intersection #27 to follow the red blazes. At #33, you will follow the "To Parking Lot" sign to quickly reach the intersections #4 (take right) and #3, which signals the way back to your car on the right. From that point you are retracing your steps on the yellow trail.

Noanet woodlands is managed by the Trustees of Reservations.