Rail Tree Hill

Trails from Abby Road to the Carlisle Pines State Forest

The trail-head at the end of Abby Road is near the Westford-Carlisle town line, and the trail leads into Carlisle. Starting from Abby Road, there is an attractive woodland trail that crosses the town line and connects to the Carlisle Pines State Forest. The pine and hemlock trees in the State Forest are impressively tall. Being there is an invigorating experience. The accompanying map shows the trails on both sides of the town line.

Starting from Abby Road, the trail begins along the edge of 11 Abby Road along a row of trees (walking to the left of the trees). Going into the woods, the downhill footing is uneven for a short distance, but soon you enter a pleasant woodland after crossing a gas pipeline strip. The trail and the woods are both interesting. Following the trail you will soon cross through an opening in an old stone wall. At this point you are about half way to the tall pines. Just before you reach the State Forest land, you will cross a small stream where good boots or good balance will be handy.

When you reach the State Forest, you will soon come to a wide trail called the Carlisle Pines Trail where you could turn right or left. There are many tall trees to see either way. If you turn left you will eventually come out of the woods to a trail-head at the end of a small road called Barnes Place. We often go that way, and continue in a large loop, walking on that little road, then turning left twice before coming to the circular end of Kimball Road. A good trail called the MacAfee Trail begins at the far side of this circle, and that trail goes back to the starting point on Abby Road. The loop would take about an hour to an hour and a half.

Instead of returning directly to Abby Road, you could take a side trail to the right. It’s called the Holmes-Avery Trail, named for Joe Holmes and his wife, Susan Avery. They were Westford residents living on Sleigh Road who donated the Holmes-Avery land, which is nearby. When living there, Joe was very active in trail projects especially the trails at Shannon Circle and Jarvis Way.

The other trail shown on this map between Abby Road and Jennifer Drive currently has no trail markings. But the trails to and from the Carlisle Pines are pretty easy to follow. If you haven’t been over the town line before, you will be very pleased to see the tall pines and the other interesting sights in Carlisle.

Parking: Ample

Trail Map

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  • Hiking