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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Eastern Region
Harold Parker State Forest
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1951 Turnpike Street Rte. 114 N.
Andover, Massachusetts

Phone: 978-475-7972
Reservations: 978-475-7972
Harold Parker State Forest, which lies in Andover, North Andover, North Reading and Middleton, comprises just over 3,000 acres of Central Hardwood-Hemlock-White Pine type of forest. The forest is twenty miles north of Boston and within one hour's drive of three million people. Recreational opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, swimming, camping and picnicking. The forest has over 35 miles of logging roads and trails and offers quiet seclusion to off-road hikers and bikers. Non-motorized boating is allowed on any of the 11 ponds. No horse, boat or bike rentals are available at the facility.

Lorraine Park Campground, located about 2 miles from the Headquarters on Jenkins Rd., contains 91 sizeable campsites that are spread out sufficiently to provide a real "forest" camping experience. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a grill, and although no electric or water hookups are available, the bathrooms do have hot water showers. Camping is offered mid-April to mid-October; office hours are from 9am-9pm.

Berry Pond is the area's day use facility, and is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. The pond has a sand beach and new washhouse with flush toilets and changing stalls set against a beautiful backdrop of trees reflected in the surface of the pond. Lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Grills and picnic tables are available for anyone wishing to picnic at Berry Pond.
History of the Area
The forest consists of rolling hills, low lying swampy areas, rock outcrops and several ponds. The landform was created by glacial movement, and evidence of glaciers exists today in the form of glacial erratics. The area was inhabited by Pentacook Indians until it was settled by English farmers around 1650. By the mid-nineteenth century agriculture was abandoned, and a new forest grew up. The sites of an 18th century sawmill and homesteads can be found. Tradition has it that many of the homes surrounding the forest were used as Underground Railroad hideouts in the 1850s. Secret doors and chambers can still be seen in local homes. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison were frequent visitors to families in the area.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Bike Trailsyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bridle Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
1. Harold Parker Campground: This is the main campground within the state forest, offering 89 campsites that can accommodate tents and RVs up to 34 feet long.

2. Berry Pond Pavilion Camping Area: Located near one of four ponds inside this vast park, it provides campers with easy access to fishing spots and hiking trails.

3. Group Day-Use Areas: These areas offer picnic tables, grills, restrooms facilities as well as swimming opportunities at Salem pond beach area which makes them perfect for day trips or family gatherings.

4. Yurt Camping: For an alternative experience try yurt camping - these round tent-like structures provide more comfort than traditional tents but still allow you feel close nature.

5. Friends' Weekend Wilderness Site: A primitive site located on Andover Road across from Field Pond suitable only for small groups (up-to six people) who wish have wilderness type experience.

6. Cabin Rentals: The Lorraine Park Campground also has five cabins that sleep between three-six persons each . They come equipped electricity, fireplaces & bunk beds making them ideal choice families wanting little bit luxury their trip.
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1. Berry Pond Circuit Trail: This is a 4-mile loop trail that takes hikers around the scenic Berry Pond, offering beautiful views of the water and surrounding forest.

2. Salem Pond Loop: A relatively easy hike at just under two miles long, this trail loops around Salem pond with opportunities for bird watching and fishing along its path.

3. Jenkins Road to Harold Parker State Forest Trail: An approximately five mile out-and-back route which features wildflowers during springtime as well as wildlife sightings throughout all seasons.

4. Lorraine Park Campground Trails: These trails are perfect for families camping in the park's campground area; they offer short walks through wooded areas near campsites while also connecting to longer hikes within the state forest if desired.

5. Bay Circuit from Andover Dog Park Route: At nearly eight miles round trip, it offers more challenging terrain including some steep inclines but rewards hikers with panoramic vistas over rolling hillsides covered by dense forests.

6. Skug River Reservation Loop via Boston Hill Tract: It's an almost three-mile moderate level hiking track featuring river view points where one can enjoy nature's serenity amidst lush greenery.

7. Three Ponds Circular Walk: As name suggests, it circles three ponds namely Field, Pond & Frye making it about four-miles walk suitable even for beginners due to flat terrains.

8. BCT (Bay circuit) Yellow Diamond-Blue Triangle Connector Hike: Approximately six mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trial located near North Reading known primarily used for walking,trail running,birding etc.

9. Sudden Pond Day Use Area: Shortest among others being only half-a-mile long mostly paved pathway leading towards picnic spot beside sudden pond ideal place family outing or quick stroll.

10. Bear Hill Nature Trial: About 0ne-Mile Long circular walkway passing through diverse habitats like wetlands, mixed hardwood forests, rocky outcrops etc. offering educational experience about local flora and fauna.

11. Harold Parker Multi-Use Trail: This trail is a 20-mile loop that covers the entire park; it's perfect for hikers looking to spend an entire day exploring all corners of this beautiful forest.

12. Jenkins Road Loop: A moderate level hiking track covering approximately three miles featuring wildflowers during springtime as well as wildlife sightings throughout all seasons.

13. BCT (Bay circuit) Yellow Diamond: Green Triangle Connector Hike: Approximately four mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trial located near North Reading known primarily used for walking, trail running, birding etc.

14. Salem Pond via Berry Pond Circuit: It's almost five-miles long intermediate difficulty hike which takes you through dense woods with occasional water views making it ideal spot bird watching or nature photography.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 27 Camping A+ by Donna from mass
park review stars; one to five 5 day for only $60-plus &20 for 6 bundles of wood ,swimming,hiking,basketball,hiking,tennis or volley ,play park for children,water at all camp site,and oh my god the bathroom were so clean. They clean in morning then at night and they seem to check it often.believe me when i say i will be back next year with my family,you need to try it,the day fly by too fast.Oh yea they have rental canoes, And so much more. I forgot to add the host that was taking care of or site area was very friendly and helpful to us. THANK YOU
November 9 The biggest site by Lulu,Canada nov.9,2009
park review stars; one to five Huge site,not far from Boston and not expensive.All the family will be back next year.And we can see if the alive turkey is always at the police headquarter!!!!
July 19 Great for a Boston Home Base by Canadian Camper
park review stars; one to five We visited the park for 7 days with two kids in a pop-up trailer. The park was VERY clean and bathroom facilities excellent. Free showers and bathrooms were cleaned daily. We left the trailer at the park and drove 20 minutes to the subway and then took it into the city each day. Kids ride the subway free in Boston and a week pass is $15. The price of the park could not be beat and the park was safe, well kept and security was on hand.
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Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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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.
33 miles from park*

Harold Parker State Forest is located in north-eastern Massachusetts.

From Boston: Take 93 north to exit 41, follow 125 north (toward Andover), for about 4 miles to the State Police Barracks (on right). Turn right on Harold Parker Rd. to Jenkins Rd. Turn left on Jenkins, right on Middleton, Headquarters is 1-1z12 miles on the left

From Lawrence: From I-495 take exit 42, east on Rte. 114 for 6 miles, right at brown State Forest sign to end of road, left to Headquarters.

From Salem, Peabody, Danvers: West on Rte. 114, left at Harold Parker State Forest sign, left to Headquarters.

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Massachusetts State Parks