Hildreth Meadow

This 2.95 acre parcel was purchased by the Trust in 2015. Since then, the meadow has been restored to its former state, and a maintenance lot constructed to allow perhaps a half dozen cars to park.

A half-mile trail was constructed from here in the spring of 2022, mostly along a trail easement granted in 2019 by Beverly Collins who owns the nearby Salt Box Farm. It connects Hildreth Street at the Trust’s Hildreth Meadow parcel to the Burns Hill Loop trail. It crosses a substantial stone wall where a stile was considered. Fortunately, local residents Tom Provost and Bob Peterson volunteered their equipment and labor to clear openings for the trail. The rest of the trail was cleared and blazed by WA Capstone student Michael Greene, mentored by Trust directors Rich Strazdas and Gerry DiBello.

Please note that parts of the trail are impassable during spring. Amenities are planned, but these areas can be under water in April and May:
entering the woods from Hildreth Meadow, two thirty-foot sections may be under a few inches of water
the Vine Brook crossing may require crossing a 35-foot wetland

The Trust mows the meadow once per year. At other times, the trailhead can be found from the parking lot by following the tire tracks leading to the Hildreth Hills property, then turning left to the trailhead post diagonally across from the parking lot. The first potentially wet section runs from here to a low stone wall which marks the end of the Trust property. The second wet section continues to the opening in the large stone wall. The trail follows a wall close to the large Hildreth Hills field. You will find a few artifacts from bygone farms; feel free to inspect them and leave them for others to enjoy.

In about 100 yards, you will pass an old cellar hole on the left. Imagine the root crops that might have been stored here. From here to the power line clearing, there are many Shagbark Hickory trees. You don’t need to look it up. Examine the bark of all the trees, and you will know when you find a shagbark. In early August, many hickory nuts will be scattered on the trail. About 40 yards before the trail (and the stone wall) bends right, a very large Sycamore tree stands next to the trail. The circumference at chest height is about twelve feet! This was likely a pasture tree, left as shade for livestock. Today we enjoy it as one of the oldest trees in its neighborhood, and a specimen near the northern limit of its species.

Two trail posts mark the entrance and exit to the power line clearing. Getting between them is a challenge. If you cross a stone wall, you’ve left the trail. At a low boulder, turn left to stay in the grassy clearing. The herd path may not be obvious. If Vine Brook is dry, you may be surprised to step into the streambed. Otherwise, it is easy to step across. Hug the stone wall on the right, cross the power line access road, and continue past a power pole to a large blazed boulder where you turn right toward the next trail post. In the opposite direction, head to the large blazed boulder, turn left, cross the road and find the wall, keeping it to your left.

Entering the woods, the trail is again easy to follow. It shortly joins the Burns Hill Loop trail at a large boulder suitable for resting.

Parking: Ample


Topographic Map

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