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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Eastern Region
Foxborough State Forest
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Foxborough State Forest, situated in the heart of Massachusetts, is a natural oasis that seamlessly blends dense woodlands, serene ponds, and picturesque landscapes into a captivating tapestry of tranquility. This captivating forest invites nature enthusiasts of all kinds, offering enchanting hiking trails that wind through lush foliage, granting glimpses of vibrant wildflowers and towering hardwood trees. The forest's abundant wildlife lends an air of magic to the surroundings, with deer, rabbits, and songbirds often seen and heard amidst the peaceful ambiance. Whether one seeks solace in the comforting embrace of nature or craves adventure on its intricate pathways, Foxborough State Forest promises a haven of natural beauty that captivates and reconnects visitors with the innate splendor of the outdoors.
History of the Area
Foxborough State Forest, also known as the Harold L. Doherty State Forest, is a 922-acre forest located in southeastern Massachusetts, specifically in the town of Foxborough. The forest has a rich history that dates back many centuries.

Before European settlement, the area where Foxborough State Forest is now located was inhabited by various Native American tribes, primarily the Massachusett and Wampanoag people. These tribes lived off the land, relying on hunting, fishing, and gathering resources from the forest.

During the colonial period, the land in the area was divided among settlers through land grants. The forest was primarily used for timber, and clear-cutting of the trees was a common practice. As the population grew, the land was also used for agriculture and pastures.

In the late 19th century, the industrial revolution brought significant changes to Foxborough and its surrounding areas. The forest was an essential resource for supplying timber to the growing industries. With the advent of the railroad, transporting lumber became easier, leading to increased exploitation of the forest.

The construction of the nearby Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, in the late 20th century highlighted the importance of preserving green spaces in the region. To protect the natural resources and maintain public access to open space, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) purchased the land in the 1970s and established the Harold L. Doherty State Forest.

Foxborough State Forest offers various recreational activities for visitors, including hiking, fishing, picnicking, and wildlife observation. The forest features several trails and ponds, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The forest management practices aim to balance conservation and recreation while protecting the natural beauty and historical significance of the area.

Foxborough State Forest's history reflects the changing land use patterns in Massachusetts, from indigenous land use to industrial development and ultimately to conservation efforts aimed at preserving the natural environment for future generations.
Nearby Accommodations
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Located on over 100 wooded lakefront acres, overlooking Ashland State Park. Right out our front door you get to truly enjoy the great outdoors. Easy access to trails for hiking, and an area for swimming. Come and enjoy all that Ashland State Park has to offer, and stay at the Warren Center right next door.
15.5 miles from park*
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1. Warner Trail: This 30-mile trail stretches from Sharon, Massachusetts to Diamond Hill State Park in Rhode Island, passing through Foxborough State Forest along the way. It offers a moderate hike with varied terrain including forests and wetlands.

2. Acorn Trail: A short but scenic loop of about one mile that winds its way around F Gilbert Hills forest area offering views of diverse vegetation like pine and oak trees as well as wildlife sightings such as deer or foxes.

3. Doe Run Loop: Approximately two miles long, this moderately difficult trail features dense woodland scenery interspersed with small streams making it an excellent choice for bird watching enthusiasts.

4. High Rock/Picnic Area Trails: These interconnected trails offer stunning panoramic views over the surrounding landscape from atop High Rock hilltop which is also equipped with picnic tables providing opportunities for outdoor dining amidst nature's beauty.

5. Turkey Foot Gorge Overlook Pathway: An easy half-a-mile walk leading hikers towards a beautiful overlook point where they can enjoy breathtaking vistas of Turkey Foot Gorge below.

6. Neponset Reservoir Shoreline Walkway: Ideal for leisurely strolls,this pathway follows closely alongside Neponset reservoir allowing visitors to appreciate tranquil water scenes while walking under shady tree canopy coverings.

7. Foxboro Rail Bed Greenbelt Route: Former railway line converted into hiking path stretching approximately three miles across various landscapes within state forest territory.

8. Bear Hole Pond Circuit: Roughly four:miles round trip,this circuit takes you around Bear Hole pond featuring serene waterside settings coupled by lush greenery surroundings.

9. Sunset Point Lookout Track: Short uphill climb culminating at Sunset Point lookout presenting magnificent sunset view spectacles especially during late afternoons/evening hours.

10. Coyote Caves Exploration Course: Adventurous route guiding explorers towards hidden caves inhabited previously by coyotes; not recommended for novice hikers due to its challenging nature..

11. Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary Trail: A peaceful trail that winds through a variety of habitats, including wetlands and forests; perfect for birdwatchers or those seeking solitude in the wilderness.

12. Rocky Narrows Loop: This 2:mile loop offers stunning views over Charles River as it meanders between steep, rocky banks known locally as Rocky Narrows.

13. Sandwich Boardwalk Pathway: Easy walking path with wooden boardwalk sections passing across marshland areas providing unique hiking experience within Foxborough State Forest boundaries.

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Area Campgrounds
Normandy Farms Campground
72 West Street
Foxborough, MA
Circle C.G. Farm Adult Family Campground & RV Pa
131 North Main Street
Bellingham, MA
Canoe River Campground
137 Mill Street
East Mansfield, MA
Normandy Farms Family Campground
72 West Street
Foxboro, MA

1. Start by heading south on I:95 S.
2. Take exit 7A for MA:140 toward Mansfield/Foxboro.
3. Merge onto US:1 N/MA-27 N and continue straight.
4. After about 0.6 miles, turn left onto Elm St (signs for Foxboro).
5. Continue on Elm St until you reach the entrance of the state forest.

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Massachusetts State Parks