Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

September‎ 24‎, ‎2023 – Medford, Massachusetts

Problem: Straightforward

Size: Roughly 1.8 miles

Max elevation: 231 ft.– whole elevation acquire roughly 203 ft.

Route kind: Determine-8 Loop

Map: Middlesex Fells Reservation

Trailhead parking: South Border Road, Medford, MA 02155

The present working hours are dawn to sundown.


Overview:

Middlesex Fells Reservation, typically referred to easily as “The Fells,” is a public recreation space protecting greater than 2,575 acres in Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester, Massachusetts. The reservation has over 100 miles of trails for climbing, mountain biking, cross-country snowboarding, and horseback driving. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and is a part of the Metropolitan Park System of Higher Boston.

Middlesex Fells Reservation

Middlesex Fells Reservation

The Middlesex Fells Reservation is a particularly in style vacation spot which experiences excessive ranges of leisure use, notably path use. As an “city oasis,” the Middlesex Fells path system is used always of the day and in all seasons, nevertheless it sees particularly heavy use after work and on weekends throughout the Spring, Summer season and Fall.


Historical past:

The realm was first explored by Governor John Winthrop and his males within the winter of 1632. The land was favored for its timber, granite quarrying, ice business, and water energy for a lot of mills. By the 1890’s preserving open house for public use was gaining curiosity, the Middlesex Fells Reservation grew to become one of many first preserved public parks and a prototype for city park methods throughout the nation. As we speak it’s legacy stays as a inexperienced respite six miles north of Boston and among the many most mature woodlands in jap Massachusetts.

Wright’s Tower was constructed in 1937 below the course of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The stone tower was named in honor of Elizur Wright (1804-1885), one of many first to advocate for the safety of this land again within the 1800’s. Wright, a member of the Forestry Affiliation, was instrumental in acquiring the Massachusetts Forestry Act of 1882. He initiated and promoted plans for making Middlesex Fells right into a public park. Though he didn’t succeed throughout his lifetime, the plan was carried out in 1894 and the realm grew to become the Middlesex Fells Reservation.

The 1930’s introduced the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration to the Fells, and with them, the planting of over a million timber, and the continued upkeep and improvement of roads and trails throughout the Reservation.


Trails Overview:

Path junctions are marked with indicators throughout the park that correspond with these on the Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) path map.

The paths on the Middlesex Fells Reservation embrace each vast hearth roads and narrower single observe trails. Many single observe trails have steep, tough and rocky sections and could also be slippery or muddy at any time of the 12 months. Hikers ought to use warning and put on applicable footwear.

This hike incorporates a mix of woods roads and footpaths to the summit of Pine Hill, the positioning of Wright’s Tower. There are two small parking heaps alongside South Border Highway. The primary, positioned by Bellevue Pond, makes for a shorter hike to the tower. That car parking zone was full after we visited. There’s one other small car parking zone about 0.3-mile west, on the intersection of South Border Highway and Jeremiah Circle. That’s the parking space that we used.

Middlesex Fells Reservation

Middlesex Fells Reservation


Hike Overview:

On a highway journey to Bar Harbor, Maine, this is without doubt one of the stops that I wished to make to interrupt up the lengthy experience. A brief hike in the midst of the day was good to assist stretch the legs a little bit. For the reason that first car parking zone was full, we drove about 1/3 of a mile to a different lot on the identical aspect of the highway.

I didn’t know a lot about this park, apart from the tower. Upon doing analysis for this writing, I discovered that Middlesex Fells Reservation has quite a bit to supply and with ample time, needs to be explored correctly.

There’s an intensive community of trails that would get complicated for these which can be unfamiliar with the realm. I used the Gaia GPS app on my telephone which helped to maintain me on observe.

The one barely difficult portion of the hike is the Skyline Path which is rocky and a little bit steep because it nears the tower. This path could be bypassed by utilizing a few of the wider woods roads if one wishes.

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

The elevation acquire is minimal, and totally on the Skyline Path.

elevation profile - Wright's Tower

elevation profile – Wright’s Tower


The Hike:

Since we parked down the highway from the place I initially supposed, we adopted the unmarked path alongside the car parking zone east. This quick connector path runs parallel with South Border Highway. In about 210 yards, the path reaches a woods highway, marked “Center Highway” on the map. There’s a gate on the precise that leads out to South Border Highway. Flip left on Center Highway and observe it north for about 350 yards,

Unmarked connector trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unmarked connector path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Middle Road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Center Highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

At a serious junction, you will note a big rock formation straight forward. That is marked as Panther Cave on the map.

Panther Cave - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Panther Cave – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Panther Cave isn’t actually a cave, however fairly massive boulders piled on high of one another. The boulders have been deposited right here by the southward motion of glacial ice over the last glaciation.

Panther Cave - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Panther Cave – Middlesex Fells Reservation

I took a brief detour to the highest of Panther Cave.

Climbing to the top of Panther Cave

Climbing to the highest of Panther Cave

The Skyline Path crosses excessive of Panther Cave and proceeds east. Flip proper at this junction and observe the white blazes over extraordinarily rocky terrain.

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

The path descends steeply for a brief distance, then ranges off. A brief distance later, it reaches junction D6-2 (see map), and crosses Quarry Highway. Proceed forward, nonetheless following the white-blazed Skyline Path.

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail as it crosses Quarry Road

Skyline Path because it crosses Quarry Highway

Skyline Trail as it crosses Mud Road

Skyline Path because it crosses Mud Highway

The Skyline Path now begins a steep ascent because it climbs Pine Hill.

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

After roughly 260 yards, the Skyline Path reaches the summit of Pine Hill and Wright’s Tower.

Skyline Trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Skyline Path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

The metal door to the tower was locked on our go to, however from what I learn, it’s open occassionally.

Wright’s Tower - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower supplies expansive views to the east, south and west in direction of metropolitan Boston. This stone construction contains a pyramidal slate roof, slim slit window openings and an statement platform with openings on all 4 sides. The tower was constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1937.

Wright’s Tower - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Adjoining to the tower is a rock outcrop with views southeast, and on a transparent day, one can see the Boston Skyline within the distance.

Southeastern Viewpoint from Pine Hill

Southeastern Viewpoint from Pine Hill

If you find yourself able to proceed, proceed downhill on the gravel highway that leads from the tower. This highway is unnamed on the map, however for this information, I’ll consult with it as “Tower Highway.”

"Tower Road"

“Tower Highway”

On the base of the descent, flip left onto Quarry Highway and observe it in a southerly course.

Turn left at the fork

Flip left on the fork

Quarry Road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Quarry Highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Quarry Road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Quarry Highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Quarry Road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Quarry Highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

After one other 260 yards or so, you’ll come to a stone wall with a stone and concrete picnic desk in entrance of it. Flip proper simply earlier than the wall (junction D6-3 on map), and observe the woods highway because it passes alongside the western aspect of Bellevue Pond. Bellevue Pond is a seasonal pond and didn’t appear to have any water in it on the day of our go to.

Turn right by the stone wall

Flip proper by the stone wall

Quarry Road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Quarry Highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unnamed woods road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unnamed woods highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unnamed woods road - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unnamed woods highway – Middlesex Fells Reservation

If you attain a fork, flip proper and proceed west (junction C6-9 on map). The left fork will take you to the car parking zone in entrance of Bellevue Pond.

Turn right at the fork

Flip proper on the fork

Comply with this unmarked footpath, which parallels South Border Highway, for about 250 yards, again to the parking space, the place the hike started.

Unmarked connector trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unmarked connector path – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unmarked connector trail - Middlesex Fells Reservation

Unmarked connector path – Middlesex Fells Reservation


Evaluation:

A very nice hike by means of a scenic space. Sadly the tower was not open after we visited, however value trying out nonetheless. Since I used to be highway tripping, this made for a pleasant break from driving and the quick hike was simply good.

Execs:

Wright’s Tower, picturesque panorama, scenic view from close to the bottom of the tower. Good signage at critcal junctions, Many connecting trails to discover.

Cons:

Parking could be a difficulty, relying on the time of day.


Take a hike!

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation

Wright’s Tower – Middlesex Fells Reservation


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