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10 days ago

Nice walk around the pond. Easy wide trail suitable for all seasons

Trail is clearly marked and I saw tons of wildlife! Great quick hike

Update to my review from 6 days ago. I finally did the whole thing, my tracker said 7.5 miles and it took 2:49 hiking at a good pace.

I had never been to the east coast of the lake before, and boy is it wretched. Many of the markings are faded and difficult to spot, if they exist at all. There are a few streams without bridges, and tons of downed trees and brush blocking the paths. Lots of muddy paths with brambles all around. Not fun, but if you get through that part with dry shoes the south/west/north of the lake is a nice trek.

I've only hiked about 3 miles of the north and western sides, but it's very nice around this time of year. Getting a bit lost I came upon an adorable cove with a grey heron flying not more than 100 yards away. A few days later I found another spot with 2 swans swimming together. The air is crisp and the colors are out. There are lots of downed trees and brush blocking the path from the winds, but it's easy enough to kick aside or step over. It rained heavily a few days ago and due to the leaves falling off the trees and the cool weather it hasn't dried well, be careful of slipping in mud or stepping in puddles.

If there isn't much wind then you will hear highway traffic noise while you are on the north part of the trail. Once you get towards the southern half of the lake it gets nice and quiet and aside from walking by people's backyards occasionally you feel like you are out in the woods.

There are spots where the path is confusing, I would not recommend trying to do the whole thing in one go without at the very least a good map. Or you can do what I'm doing and just explore it one bit at a time, walking down every path, discovering cool shortcuts and spending time enjoying the wonderful out of the way hills, outcroppings, coves and capes.

Note to Bob Simek - the granite thing on the west side is an artifact left from 'Hopkinton Springs' of which no photos exist. Next time you are by that stone bridge look around, you should be able to spot the placards which explain it all. It includes a map of which artifacts are where, although some are covered in leaves this time of year.

Trail was beautiful, wide enough. I truly enjoyed the area only complaint would be you could hear the 495 traffic throughout except at the lake. I like total, to the extent it can be, peacefulness when I hike/walk in the woods.

trail running
1 month ago

A quick note to Liz Tosti - Liz, weren't you using your AllTrails app? It can be quite confusing hiking around the reservoir although it looks easy on a map. That's why you have the app on your phone and a download of the trails so you can navigate. I know what you're saying though, last time I was here I had a map only and did a 7 or 8 mile loop where this time I was looking to streamline things and got it down to 6.6 miles. Bring the app with you, use it to navigate, it's fun that way and you don't get lost and you get to see the stuff you like. My trail run this day was great, enjoyed every minute of it BUT did have to reference the AT map frequently to stay on course. I need to figure out what that granite thing is over on the west side of the lake. Maybe I'll call the historical society and ask.

nice to walk with your dog on leash. not crowded and scenic pond views.

hiking
1 month ago

This maybe nice when there aren’t any mosquitoes but on a warm day in October it was awful. We made it three miles before giving up due to the swarms that were relentless. I wish there was a map at the Trailhead. Lots of signs but no map to show you where they go. Well traveled trails though.

I parked on Mill Road instead of the address provided. There was ample room for parking and finding the trailhead was easy. Hike was very quiet, alot of solitude. Didn't see anyone for the first hour I was out there. Kind of lost where the trail loops and gets you the turned around. Views along the water where beautiful, especially with the leafs starting to change. Enjoyed this trail.

hiking
2 months ago

In all fairness I was warned with all the reviews mentioning the lack of markings! I guess I didn’t expect it to be sooo poorly marked. The hike was beautiful. I’ve never seen so many colorful mushrooms. However it was truly unbelievable how poorly marked the trail was. It started out with yellow trail markings that at time became completely blue markings only to return to yellow. Many times at mentioned (we ended up in the field too) as a matter of fact we ended up going on a neighborhood street and met a gentleman who said he always meets people at the same point who are also lost. We definitely bushwhacked several times. All in all we hike 8 miles.

trail running
2 months ago

First time out, it was well marked for the most part but I’ll admit I did do some loops twice figuring it all out, 2yellow types of trail markers plus apple ones and a few backtracks since what I thought was part of the loop was just another entry/exit and ended up on main road. Trail is well marked, slow run to save my ankles lots of roots and uneven terrain, but pretty and I’ll do it again.

great local trail

walking
2 months ago

Clean and well maintained. Easy to navigate as well.

hiking
2 months ago

They do a really good job of hiding the parking for the trail head. I used the Bolton Trails Committee map (http://www.boltontrailscommittee.org/2-vaughn-hills.html). Most of the parking they refer to is clearly private property when you get there. There's a note buried in there about setting your GPS to 245 Vaughn Hill Rd. There's a beat up sign pointing you to the parking lot that's kind of difficult to see.

The positives are that the trail is pretty vacant, or at least it was when I was there. And the marsh is really cool. It's also a really easy hike with lots of tree cover.

The negatives are that the trails are all really poorly marked. There are blazes for a "Bolton Loop Trail" that isn't documented anywhere and it seemed like they kind of just gave up on the other trails after a few miles. Alltrails has this listed as 6.5 miles and there's no way I got to all of it because it was such a mess to navigate.

2 months ago

Good place to walk the dogs. Nice rolling hills on one side of the pond.

I was excited upon reading about this Trail around the reservoir. we started off in the parking lot where the boats put into the water at the boat ramp there was a trail marked with a yellow marker painted yellow so we file that for maybe a mile or two then all the sudden the trail went blank so I went back over the trail that I just gone on to find a part that I may have missed or turn I may have missed and there were none no markers of any kind no indication of where I was going except I could see the reservoir to my left side so I just kept walking on a trail that was between the water and the many houses that were lining the reservoir. Reservoir is not 6 miles around 8 miles plus and even more if you get off of the trail and have to walk on the road.

So we hooked up back to the trail again and went through a portion of the trail that was elevations going up and down and up and down all good footing but definitely not an easy climb. then we came out into an open field no markers whatsoever no idea where to go except the GPS on my phone so I walked in that direction and ran into the path in somebody's backyard continued walking and got about three-quarters of the way around the reservoir and lost the path again no markings know anything so I was walking through the woods just trees everywhere no path just bushwhacking it through the woods to get near the water where the trail look like on the GPS. never found it so went out on the road follow the road cat making left's which filed Reservoir back to the parking lot.

I enjoyed the hike very much great scenery of the reservoir and all the inlets even encountered a 7 ft long garter snake with a frog in its mouth it jumped out at me while I was walking on the path but relax they are non poisonous. I think the comment by someone earlier that said that people mark this Trail who would never hiked before is very true it would be a great place if it was well marked. a great Trail great scenery get the trail marked

Love this trail

This was marked by someone who has never hiked. I don’t have any other explanation. The first time I went around I got off trail about 4 times I had to backtrack and by the end lost the trail completely, ended up on someone’s driveway and took that out. I thought I could go the opposite way to see where I went wrong and instead ended up taking a big circle back to the parking lot.
I have been hiking for over 30 years and never had a more frustrating experience than this loop. The blue seems what you follow when you start and then the yellow comes out of nowhere. There are probably 50-100 trails that branch off for access from peoples homes.
I wanted to love this because it’s so close to home but it’s awful and I’ll only ever go back for kayaking.

Awesome

4 months ago

walked this trail many times, easy to get to, easy to walk, great place to talk your dog.

trail running
4 months ago

Now that the park is open I noticed they want $6 or $8 at the gate, a day-use fee. Nobody was manning the station so I just parked (there is a self-service pay station but I was only planning on being there an hour or so). Maybe next time I'll just pay it, they keep the place in pretty good shape. I did a little bushwack on this trek and also noticed they mended the fence so it's more difficult to get into the quarry area. That is private property so suppose I should stay out. A nice loop for sure and the Doggy Memorial, absolutely precious.

4 months ago

Far too many dogs off leash. Rules need to be followed whether you agree or not. I shouldn't be deprived of walking a beautiful trail because people can't follow a very simple rule.

The trail is scenic and its around 8 miles. Follow the yellow markings on trees as the trails are not marked well. Shoutout to the app the map and gps tracking helped us. There are too many mosquitoes, carry insect repellant and hiking gear.

4.25/5 is my review and we only saw a fraction of the park. The staff at the gates were very helpful and the park itself is pristine with clear water and and easy terrain. Living minutes away, this place is a gem.

Me and my bestfriend did this hike today!!! Loved every second of it. Peaceful, and relaxing! A lot of activities too. People bring their dogs, they jog, there’s people swimming! Very clean, very nice! Would definitely recommend to everyone who you like to walk peacefully.

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty nice area. When I was there with my family we were the only ones there. Definitely bring bug spray it was pretty buggy when we were there. The trail is easy and family friendly.

hiking
5 months ago

Poorly advertised as dog friendly. The access trail to this trail is not dog friendly and therefore should not be considered or advertised to be as such.

hiking
5 months ago

Took this loop but explored off the trail in several places. Lovely light hike - saw very few people -3 runners, surprising for a beautiful Saturday. The Concord River is lovely- can swim at the bay about midway through the loop.

5 months ago

Upon arriving to Gates pond for the first time with my wife, our 4 year old, and our 1 year old, as we were setting up for the walk in the parking lot, a couple with a dog passed us heading towards the entrance. Once they reached the gate they stopped to take off the dogs leash. The dog immediately ran towards us and tackled my 4 year old daughter. I had to pull the dog off my daughter not knowing if the dog bit my daughter on the face or not. Very scary moment for me, my daughter didn’t know how to react other than tears because she didn’t know what just happened. The owners of the dog seemed more insulted that I touched their dog than anything else and did not take responsibility to why they even took the dogs leash off in the first place. After collecting ourselves together, no one was injured, my daughter was now afraid of dogs for the moment, we decided to continue on so that we don’t get hung up on some one else’s mistake. Not a good way to start a relaxing walk around a pond but whatever.

On the walk we couldn’t help but take notice that half the walkers on the path had dogs. More than half of the dogs were not leashed. Some unleashed dogs were small and posed no threat to anything, however there were 4 dogs that were large without leashes and posed a threat to even a full grown man like myself. Owners without leashes were sometimes close by (within feet from there dogs) while others were to so far we didn’t see the owners on the path only the dog.

There is a sign posted at the front gate to leash your dogs. Some owners did use leashes and were polite and respectful, while others (more than half of what we noticed this Sunday June 10 2018) treat the path as their own private property ignoring the posted rules of the trail.

I want to add that there were owners that were very respectful and friendly. One man let my daughter pet his dog, which we liked because she experienced what dog ownership with obedience and respect looked like.

Sadly we will not be returning any time soon even though the pond is beautiful and close by to our home. To many unleashed dogs.

Jeremy
Bolton, Ma

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