Explore the most popular trails near Chester with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Chester, Massachusetts Map
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hiking
7 days ago

I had heard about the arches for years but never got around to seeing what the whole deal was. Got out of work today and decided to head over and glad I did. The trail is nothing special, follows a dirt/stone road for a while then goes up into the woods and kinda follows the road as you see it at times just down the hill. Due to the live tracks in the area, it is necessary to use the trail but at points you can still use, what I'm guessing was an access or fire road at one time, not really sure. Stay on the path and you'll be fine getting there. It does have some interesting point like the steel girder walking bridge you have to go over. Eventually, you get back to the "road" and it ascends a bit. You reach a point where it's left or right and don't worry, there is one of those glass enclosures which has the history of the arches so you'll know you're where you want to be. To the left is one of the arches, hard to tell even as you're standing on top of it but be careful and look over and you'll see the thing, it is pretty cool. I went across the arch then climbed down the embankment a bit to take some shots and then went back up and back to the trail sign. I read the history and it has a map of what you might see near it. At this point, you can leave and go right back to the trailhead or continue on straight, which I did. Until you actually realize that you're on an old railroad trail, you're thinking you're just on a hike but while walking this way, you can see the stone retaining wall and up further, look at the sides, they blew out this area with black powder to swath a path for the train. It's really pretty cool what they did. Continue a little further and you've reached the second arch. Just be careful, no railings and steep, you slip you're gone. Anyway, just cross the bridge and on the left you'll see a dirt walkway down. It's a little steep but worth it to catch some of the awesomeness of the arch, just amazing. One arch is 65 feet, the other 70 I believe. The second one I think is the tallest but not positive. Take some pictures and remember when this was actually made and where it is!

The description of the trail is wrong. Just a minute or two after crossing the brook, turn left onto the "Memorial Trail," which has three viewpoints as it works its way clockwise. After the third vista, turn LEFT onto the Mica Mine Road connector, then just a short ways down the road bear right onto the Observation Hill Rd. You don't have to go to the end of that road, either, as 20min or so down there's a clearly marked Conservation Corps trail on the right that connects to the Falls Rd. through the woods...much more pleasant for hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

The majority of the trail is well-marked and fairly easy to navigate. If you want to see the waterfall, you need to take a side trail that is located about half a mile up the start of the main trail. Fairly far into our hike, we got to the view points, which were were stunning.

As others have noted, there are two bridges that make it easy for a dog to catch their paw in the holes. I carried my 60 lb dog over both. They're pretty short bridges, so that was doable.

Shortly after the view points, we unintentionally got off the trail (it didn't appear there was anywhere else for us to go that was marked). The forest was very steep with unsteady footing. Having my dog unleash was particularly difficult - - it was steep enough that we slid several times. We used our compass to point North toward the head of the trail, but it still felt disorienting to not see anything that looked like a trail for a long time. Thankfully, we ran into a couple and their pup who were also lost but had a better grip of how to get toward the trail head. (shout out to Alana, Troy and Ollie for helping us and keeping us calm). We even had to cross a stream to get back to the trail. Overall, it was a beautiful trail but the trail needs to be better marked at the end.

Great easy hike! Not much elevation change, which means you can save your energy for the swimming holes. The water is crystal clear and perfect to cool you down. Bring a backpack with a couple towels in it and you’ll be set. Gorgeous views if you’re willing to climb down the steep embankments off the main trail down to the water. The trail itself (which is more like a road most of the time) is clear and well maintained. It can get a little muddy here and there, but there’s always a way around. Follow the diamond KAB markers and you’ll stay right on track. I’ll definitely be going back to this one.

We camped out near the third/fourth bridge, on the abandoned line that can now be walked across. it was a good day to go swimming and even in the evening the water was still quite warm. If you are planning to hike so far away from the parking lot, I would recommend bringing the smallest tent you can find. I brought my 4-person Coleman tent, but it got pretty heavy and we had to stop several times to rest. will definitely be picking up a smaller 2-person pop-up tent before making the trek again.

If you've reached the place to hike, take a trail. If you're here to see the falls, do that but really, going to the falls up the road is not really a trail hike. This place gets a fair amount of visitors and I'd say the majority have come to visit the water, not hike. So, if you visit and looking to hike, don't let the amount of people you might see discourage you. Most aren't climbing up the mountain to see the views. I went up the H.Newman Marsh Memorial trail today and saw 3 people (father/mother/son), that's it. There were many others but most just visited to get wet. The description about this trail is fairly accurate but it's not all blue blazes. It is a combination of green and blue. This is on the upper level of a "moderate" hike, almost what would be considered a "hard" one. It starts out as a steep incline and stays that way till the Memorial Trail part. It's probably a half hour to 45 minute hike on average to the split. Though the directions say to follow the brook, I kept wondering where this brook was because it's almost dried out at this time. Following the directions, I did the cross over the "brook" part and continued on. What you read in the directions above, it says look for the vistas signs but what you see first is the sign for the Memorial Trail. Being that this is a loop, I went left and then saw signs for the vistas. The first one was spectacular, amazing. The next two were OK. I know some have mentioned about overgrowth but it appears that they (for lack of a better term), mowed down this growth. You can see the vegetation/trees on the middle vista had been pushed over and appear dead. The markings all along my hike were fine, don't see where some got confused. I did the Memorial Trail loop and then went back down the way I came up. Going down can be just as tough as going up as you need to watch your step. One of my toughest climbs as of late but that first vista was worth it.

nice place

hiking
3 months ago

Quiet, serene, mild hike to beautiful falls. My dog loved it and you'd probably will, too. Good for kids, too. I recommend bringing some bug spray if you don't want to be swarmed and eaten alive by the skeeters!

Today was our first time there! We went w our fur kid, Max!! He LOVED it there!! He was running down by the river and jumping on the rocks!’ It was puppy parkour!!! It was a nice walk/hike! The only issue was the bridges there, they were woven metal. Max was nervous walking on it, so he wouldn’t and we really didn’t want him too. The holes were pretty big, we were nervous his foot would fall through and he’d hurt himself so Jeff carried him over the bridges! Other than that it was a nice walk and we definitely like being by the water w Max so he can cool off if he needs to, or get a drink!! We will definitely be back. =)

3 hour easy hike- we went the opposite way around this loop. Weird logging at the top of the hike that threw me off, but still worth the drive. Make sure to check out the waterfall!

Trail was beautiful and easy to follow as it was well marked. Was slightly disappointed that the arches were mostly obscured from view but the waterfalls were stunning enough to make up for it! Parking area was pretty small, though, only about 3-5 cars depending on how close together people decide to park.

This was a great trail. The hike to the waterfall is super easy as you take an unpaved road to get there. After that, it is according the other hikers we met the harder way as it is an uphill battle. It was an easy way down but the trails were not well marked and several times we had to backtrack. Definitely keep your wits about you and don't be afraid to STOP. It was somewhere along Observation Hill Rd and the Mica Mine Rd. and we ended up loosing the trail. We backtracked to where we last saw a trail marker and managed to figure out that we had to cross the stream.

But despite that, it was fun and we did it in 3 hours. I am the slow poke as I love to stop and take lots of photos of everything.

Had the place all to myself yesterday! Didn’t see a single soul and it was great!!!

backpacking
6 months ago

One of my all time favorite places to hike in the Hilltowns!! Trail is very well kept and the scenery is absolutely beautiful!! The arches are visible all year long but are most visible in early spring or fall. Mostly flat with some moderate inclines.

hiking
6 months ago

A decent beginners trail. The first half is a gradual up hill walk, then to the fall. Fall are very relaxing, best seen march - may after rain.. the walk back is very easy and all downhill... 1.9 miles round trip.

Pleasant, tranquil, romantic

One of my favorite hikes this year. Beautiful views, well marked, and quiet trail. The trail head map when you first arrive has some points of interest, I really enjoyed learning about the history along the way.

beautiful hike along true history

hiking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

The hike to the waterfall is easy as you walk up an unpaved road to get there. If you take the other trails that veer off from the left of the unpaved road, it's a steep climb right from the beginning. Be sure to take the Memorial Trail as that has the great vistas. However, the other trail was not well marked at all and hard to follow.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

love the arches! trail is easy to follow except at the end there is a sign with a map at the beginning, middle and at the fork...if u go left it seemed like a dead end....other than that beautiful, decent parking, river view, woods

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beautiful walk. Great to take your dog.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

The trail is well maintained going up but the loop section coming back now it is not well-maintained. Really keep your wits about you to look for the trail markers and the blue blazes.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Newman Marsh trail portion closed for erosion control (6/29/17).. nice trail, beautiful vista on observation hill. A bit tough to follow at some points.

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trail was decent, albeit sometimes tough to follow. We walked clockwise. Markings on the first part alternated between green and blue. One nice vista and humorous signs pointing the direction to "Vistas" and "Additional Vistas". After a bit the blazes took us away from the mapped trail so I began relying on the app more than I would like. Trail (at this point marked with green blazes) ended at the cul-de-sac of a maintenance road. Bear right at the first intersection. This leads to the ski trail which is marked with blazes. After that trail dumps you into a clearing, the trail continues between two big rocks. Just after you climb the small hill, you should see the remains of an old chimney to your right. The trail is now unmarked; follow beside the river until you look down on the pretty waterfall. About face. The walk down to the river is steep and, if it is wet, very slick. Enjoy the waterfall, maybe take a swim, and then continue along the path. Very quickly you will find yourself on the service road again and headed down to the parking lot.

Enjoyable hike and not very crowded. I'd do it again.

Beautiful water fall. Easy trail/ road to walk up for the first 1.5 miles. Trails well marked

hiking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I took my little nephew and niece and they both did an awesome on the hike. It a beautiful place and it great for kids they had a blast.

Monday, November 14, 2016

3 stars because the trails are misleadingly marked well in places and not at all in others. Apparently, there's a loop at the beginning which covers 2 outlooks. If you follow the blue marks, you'll completely bypass the views like us! Thankfully, we followed the AllTrails map closer towards the end, away from the road and followed the falls instead of the road. You'll know you're on the correct path when you see the chimney and will be in for a treat overlooking the falls right before the large seesaw. Be careful on that way down, though! Very steep!

walking
Monday, November 14, 2016

This was an easy trail if you follow the road. Defiantly family friendly. The water fall was relaxing and worth hiking down to see closer. With the lack of rain we have had the falls were not the strongest but still enjoyable to take in.

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