The second hike that we did was at Great Book Farm, which borders on Great Brook State Forest (and the trails cross through both areas). Parking is at 165 North Rd, Carlisle and is $3 from April through November.
There are a large number of trails that criss-cross this property. We started with the Pine Point Loop. This 2-mile trail has several spin-off loops if you want to add some additional distance. It’s a very easy walk. In mid-February, there were still some sections that were very icy, very muddy, or both. Some sections were still snow-covered as well. It was a nice, relaxing walk and let us get most of the zoomies out of Maizey in a section of fields and forest which are pretty open, especially at this time of year.
Being in Carlisle, the area allows off-leash. Please be proactive and be a good dog owner though. If you dog is off-leash, make sure you have good voice control. When approaching other dogs (or people who may be afraid of dogs), keep your dog(s) close to you and don’t let them rush the approaching group. When an off-leash dog rushes an on-leash dog – regardless of how friendly both dogs might be, normally – there is a power-differential and one, or both, of the dogs may be reactive, leading to growls, snarls, and bites.
We finished the Pine Point Loop fairly quickly and decided to continue on the Chicken and Indian Hill Loops. This section is NOT an easy hike. Per the trail markings (which we apparently missed), the Chicken and Indian Hill trails are some of the more strenuous hikes, and stretch a little more than 5 miles. The climb up Indian Hill was icy and muddy – and once we reached the gas-line clearing about a mile in, we actually turned around and took the less “hiking” Woodchuck trail back to the trailhead. Be aware that some side trails do lead into Thanksgiving Forest in Chelmsford (which is on-leash).
The Acorn and Fern Loop is also a bit over 5 miles on the other side of Concord Road. We didn’t do this trail today – but I have done it with dogs in the past. This trail is a medium-effort trail which includes woodlands, light slopes, fields and a small amount of swamp-land.
There are also several other trails, which we have not done yet.