I live just behind the woods and run it at least twice a week. If you stick to the outer loop it could be as long as about 3.5 miles. Good enough to keep me fit. Trails are well maintained, fallen trees are removed fairly in time. In my active hours which is late afternoon, normally there are not a lot of people, sometime I even feel I am alone.
I live in Stow and this is my favorite mountain biking trail. It's relatively flat and wide, but there are several single tracks throughout. I typically start on the Blue trail and explore. Gardner Hill is a pretty difficult climb and there are a few sections with some tight turns on the south side near the Assabet River. I've been there about a dozen times and I don't think I've seen all the connecting trails yet. This is a fun one to explore. I've seen some great wildlife out here as well. Snakes, foxes, owls and deer. I've also hiked this with my 2 older daughters and it was really enjoyable...pretty kid friendly, but bring bug spray in the summer.
I live nearby. Be cautioned that trail markers (like many in Mass) seem to be made for those who know their way, not those who don't. The skiing is wonderful with the right snow...but know where you're going before you head out. It's a great bike trail in the summer.. But dogs are NOT allowed on the trail. It's an Audubon sanctuary, and they try to keep it safe for the migrating wildlife (versus dogs).
Great spot if you are in the Stow area and want to get outside without having to travel. The trail system is well maintained and the main trails are well marked. Side trails dead end to marked private property but off a way to extend your day. some os the ones off the blue trail look like favorites os mountain bikers.
I went on a sunny, warm Sunday from late morning until early afternoon and it wasn't crowded. Most walkers did have dogs, some leashed and some not. This is a good place for running as the footing is generally pretty good and there are some places for hill sprints. As the previous poster said, the main trails are wide and level, which is good for children and those who prefer a walk to a hike. The trail along the river is especially nice, and this network would be very enjoyable when the leaves have turned a little later in the fall. I plan to try cross country skiing here and will post this winter. For trail maps see the link and look under Gardner Hill. Have fun :)
Most of the area is level terrain unless you want to go up the hill in the middle. I'd say that if you do a loop to the river and back to the trailhead it's about 3 or 4 miles. It's not 10 unless you try hitting every trail in the area or do the outside loop twice.
Well marked trails. Nice area to go for a walk.
Stow Town Forest is also referred to as Gardner Hill Conservation Area. I would also put birding as a secondary activity. It would have been primary had this been from Spring through Autumn that I had visited this locale. Stow Town. It being the "dead" of winter, birds were far and few between. But it does some like a worthy area for owls, nuthatches, creepers, various woodpeckers and a variety of woodland passerines once the Spring migration is under way. Anyhow, the trails are quite easy. I stuck to the 'Blue Loop' that covers most of the conservation area. The trails are wide, well-marked and at critical junctures there is a small kiosk with a trail map to help orient yourself, as there are several private trails that veer off as well. Dogs are allowed here, and if there are leash laws, they are not enforced nor well-marked. There are a few low-lying areas that could see flooding near the wetlands, and there is some access to the Assabet River as well on the south side of the Town Forest.