Prospect Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Near Westford Common is a relatively new conservation area, which rises from Hildreth Street up to the top of Prospect Hill. This hill is the highest point in Northern Middlesex County. The Prospect Hill Wildlife Sanctuary was donated by Priscilla Elliott in 1999. It consists of 8 acres of woodland and an adjoining cornfield. Many wildflowers bloom here in the spring, along with numerous ferns. There are deep-forest birds, including Wood Thrush and Bluewinged Warbler. This interesting land is described by John Hanson Mitchell in his book Walking to Walden.

A huge Shagbark Hickory stands off the trail to your left. Continuing on the cart path, the trail rises and curves to the right. Because of the steepness, this trail would not be appropriate for a stroller. As the trail rises, it parallels an old stone wall on the left of the trail. This marks the boundary with town owned land administered by the Water Department.

After reaching the uppermost point on the cart path, there is a smaller trail leading more directly down the hill by a different route, which is very steep. Eagle Scout Barrett Bilotta organized a trail improvement project in this area recently. Thanks to him and his helpers, the trail leading down the steep slope is much easier to walk.

Reaching the bottom, you will be near the cornfield, and walking among some interesting old stone structures. The trail returns to the green gate. The entire loop can be hiked in less than a half hour, but some people like to relax and focus on the beautiful surroundings, remarkably located so near the center of Town.

Location

If you drive to it, you can park off Hildreth Street, on Wright Lane. Park near the small traffic island so others can pass. A green gate indicates the trail entrance. Walking through the gate and going to the left, you will be following an old cart path marked with yellow blazes. The path crosses a small brook on an earthen bridge. This part of the forest is darkly shaded by Norway Spruce, all the same age. These trees were planted soon after the 1938 hurricane.

Parking: Ample

Trail Map


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Parking, trailheads and trails for Prospect Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Topographic Map


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Difficulty

Easy


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