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Hiking the Trails at Fruitlands
210 Acres of Land Filled with History
There are 3 miles of trails at Fruitlands that traverse our 210 acres of forest, wetlands and meadows.
Download the educational Trail Map for a complete guide to the Fruitlands Trail system. This map including detailed educational material about the habitats and historic sites along the trails .
Five Trail Loops
Five trail loops pass through a number of environments, including woodlands, a pine barren, marshes and meadows. Animal and plant life abound.
* The Yellow Loop trail leads to the Willard Farm Site, which has a self-guided tour of a Yankee farm (c.1750-1852) based on historical research and several archeological digs. The Alcott family lived here briefly in 1844 after leaving Fruitlands.
* The White Loop climbs along the edge of the old meadow and leads to the site of the Pergolas ruins. The Pergolas was the name of the mansion built by museum founder, Clara Endicott Sears, who lived here during the summer months from 1912 to 1960. Traces of the grand gardens and carved stone fountainheads are all that remain of this once grand estate house.
* The Blue Trail follows the path of the old Union Turnpike, which was a toll road that connected Harvard to Leominster between 1805-1818. The trail decends to the west into the valley whichis now the Oxbow Wildlife Refuge.
* The Orange Loop offers several areas for wildlife observation and follows part of the historic road which once traversed this property and connected the Willard Farm and Fruitlands Farmhouse to Prospect Hill Road. Our very popular Native American Hunting/Gathering Ground site is along this trail.
* The Red Loop moves through Fruitlands' New Meadow which is a 12 acre habitat for ground nesting birds. The trail also passes along the Glacial Beach and the ruins of an old Brick Factory area which was active here in the late 19th century.
Preparing for your Visit
Visitors to our trails should wear appropriate footwear and be able to negotiate uneven surfaces typical of woodland trails. Bug repellant for ticks is highly recommended.
Leashed dogs are allowed on the trails. Please pick up after your dog so everyone can enjoy the trails. Thank you!
See the Trail Map for information on approximate walking times for each trail.