Hiking Info

Choose from an option below to learn more about the hiking trails at Adams Farm.

Discover the Blue/White Trail

Fall is a fabulous time for hiking, so why not come out the Farm and explore the Blue/White Trail?  Starting from the kiosk in the parking lot, follow the main Blue Trail for about 10 minutes, entering the woods and passing the bench marking the turn-off for the Blue Trail and the trailhead for the Yellow/White Trail, both on your right.  The next trailhead on the right marks the start of the Blue/White Trail.

The entrance to the Blue/White Trail

The entrance to the Blue/White Trail

Turn right onto the trail, which quickly brings you to a clearing that was recently transformed into an outdoor labyrinth.  Take a moment to walk the labyrinth, or continue on the trail, bearing right at the split after the clearing and keeping an eye out for trail markers on nearby trees.  The path becomes gradually steeper and rockier as it heads downhill.  Continue straight downhill, then follow the trail as it curves to the left.  Deep in the woods now, you’re surrounded by white pines, oaks and maples.

The Blue/White Trail passes itself - stay to the right!

The Blue/White Trail passes itself – stay to the right!

 

 

Soon you’ll come to a point where the trail meets itself as it loops through the woods.  Stay to the right here and  follow the trail as it winds uphill and to the left, looping back on itself until you can see the part of the trail you were on earlier.  Now bear right and follow the trail uphill.

 

 

Trail blazes on the trees mark the intersection of the Blue/ White Trail and the Red/White Trail.

Trail blazes on the trees mark the intersection of the Blue/White Trail and the Red/White Trail.

 

The trail levels out before going downhill again where it meets the Red/White Trail.  Turn left to stay on the Blue/White Trail and bear to the left, following the trail downhill until it meets the main Blue Trail again.  Turn left and follow the Blue Trail back to the parking lot, about a 15-minute walk.

 

 

 

 

Total hiking time:  50-60 minutes

Distance:  1.5 miles

Difficulty:  Easy

Upper Orange Trail Boasts Scenic Vistas

If you’ve got an hour to spare, check out the upper half of the Orange Trail at Adams Farm.  Follow the main path (Blue Trail) from the gate near the barn to the woods.  The orange dot that marks the Orange Trail trailhead isn’t that easy to spot, so keep an eye out for a wide trail on the left side of the main path just after it enters the woods.  Don’t take the wide trail; instead, look to the left for an orange trail marker on a tree where a narrower path angles into the woods – that’s the start of the Orange Trail.

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As you start down the Orange Trail, you’ll soon find yourself just behind the wooden bench that sits in the field behind the volleyball court.

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orangetrail2The trail continues on, twisting and turning as it winds its way through the woods, and in a few minutes you’ll spot a large boulder off to the left, after which the trail passes through a gap in an old stone wall that cuts across the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

orangetrail4When you come to a fork in the trail, follow the orange trail marker and take the right fork which heads uphill.  For a while you’ll feel as though you’re miles from civilization, trekking up- and downhill and crossing another old stone wall.

 

Then suddenly you’ll spot a road in the distance as the trail skirts the backyards of houses on the end of Homeward Lane.  The trail continues past more homes on Frontier Drive, before turning back into the woods again.

 

orangetrail6The Orange Trail then joins the White Trail briefly.  When you spot the orange and white markers on the tree shown in the photo below, be sure to take a left at the next fork in the trail to stay on the Orange Trail as the White Trail veers off to the right.  You’ll see an orange trail marker on a tree to the left of the trail shortly after this fork.

 

In a few more minutes the Orange Trail crosses the White Trail at a 90° angle.  If you’ve only got an hour to hike, this is where you should head back, turning right onto the White Trail.  A short walk will take you to the main path (Blue Trail) where another right turn will bring you back to the barn in about 20 minutes.

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Total hiking time = 1 hour
Distance = 2 miles
Difficulty = moderate

A Walk along the Blue Trail at Adams Farm

A wonderful hike at Adams Farm for newcomers and seasoned hikers alike is the Blue Trail.  Requiring about an hour, the trail begins at the metal gate next to the information kiosk and takes you on a circular loop through the back field.  The humming of cicadas fills the air as you follow the gravel road away from the barn.  You may see sparrows, robins, blue jays, and red-winged blackbirds winging by, and spot butterflies and chipmunks as well.  Many birds are nesting in the birdhouses which flank the gravel road.  Further down, two benches are located on either side of the road, inviting you to stop for a moment to take in the beautiful view.

hiking1Continuing down the road to enter the wooded section of the trail, you will pass a third bench with a trail going off to the right.  This marks the spot where the Blue Trail loop begins, and you may either continue straight ahead or turn right onto the trail by the bench.  If you choose to go straight on, the road will take you past orange-and-white trail markers (a hike for another day!) to the back field which feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of civilization.

Following the trail along the right edge of the back field, you may notice a little black snake slither into hiding, chipmunks running for cover, and many, many birds soaring overhead.  Re-entering the woods at the back right corner of the field, the Blue Trail meets up with New England Forestry land.  At this point the trail joins an old cart path, formerly used to travel between Dedham and Medfield, which is deeply worn with many tree roots and rocks sporadically protruding from it.  Keep a close eye on the ground on this section of the trail to avoid tripping!

Passing an old stone wall on the left, you will come upon two areas where sections cut from fallen trees form stepping stones over wet areas in the trail that have since dried up in the summer heat.  At this point, you will have been hiking for about 30 minutes.  Further along you will come upon a path that leads to a beautiful white gate.  Bear to the right here, as this is private property, and continue to bear right at the next fork in the trail, watching for blue paint marks on trees or blue metal wedges approximately 2” x 5” nailed to trees that mark the Blue Trail.  The path narrows and eventually comes out of the woods near the bench mentioned earlier, the perfect spot for a rest.

To finish up your hike, turn left onto the gravel road, and a short walk will bring you back within sight of the barn.  Minutes later you will be at the metal gate once again, ready to plan your next hike at Adams Farm!

Trail maps of the Farm are available here and at the kiosk next to the barn for those who would like to go hiking at the Farm.

Total hiking time = 1 hour
Distance = 2 miles
Difficulty = easy

Got Half an Hour? Take a Hike!

Looking for a shorter hike than the hour-long Blue Loop Trail featured in an earlier issue of this newsletter?  Try combining the Yellow/White and Blue/White Trails, which make a smaller loop inside the Blue Loop Trail.  This shorter circuit takes only 30 to 40 minutes, starting and ending at the kiosk next to the barn.

To begin, go through the gate and follow the cart path into the woods past the wooden bench that marks the entrance to the Blue Loop Trail.  A few minutes later, a small semicircular trail will appear on your left, and on one of the trees to your right you’ll see the trailhead markers of the Yellow/White Trail.  The path heads downhill, leading to a rocky area reminiscent of a dry streambed, the roughest spot on the trail.

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The trail then winds uphill, bordered by blueberry bushes.  Soon you’ll see two more yellow and white trail markers, this time bent at an angle to indicate a turn in the trail.

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Take a left between two tall trees and follow the trail uphill once again as it twists and turns through a mixture of blueberry bushes and white pines.  The Yellow/White Trail then comes to an end, and another left turn will put you on the mossy path of the Blue/White Trail.  This soon opens into a small clearing of ferns and milkweed.

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A side trail goes off to the right here, so stay to the left to remain on the Blue/White Trail.  Soon you’ll reach the cart path, where another left turn will to take you back to the barn.

Total hiking time:  30-40 minutes 
Distance:  1 mile
Difficulty:  easy

Our Best-Kept Secret!

If you’d like to escape to a quiet spot with a great view, we’ve got just the place.  There are two strategically-placed benches at Adams Farm, donated by Dr. Gordon Goodband in memory of his wife Margaret, that offer an escape from life’s everyday hustle and bustle.

Many of you have probably already noticed one of the benches, which is located under a large pine tree at the back of the field behind the barn.  To get to this bench, follow the cart path until you reach the woods, turn right through the fence at the Dogipot dispenser, and head for the large pine tree.  If you enjoy water features, take a quick detour by turning right as you enter the field, and follow the trail down to the vernal pool.  During the warmer months, the pool is teeming with iridescent dragonflies and elusive little green frogs.

If shorter hikes are more your speed, the other bench is located just off the other side of the cart path.  Turn left before entering the woods, and the bench will be just a few steps in front of you, hidden behind some tall plants.  Take a short (or long!) break here and you’ll be rewarded with a view of rolling fields stretching all the way back to North Street.  The remains of a stone wall and wooden fence border the far edge of the fields and tall trees almost completely block the cart path, providing a wonderful feeling of solitude.

For a special treat, come in the early morning when the mist is rising off the fields!

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Introducing the Monarch Trail

With the help of the Trails Committee and an Eagle Scout project, a new trail has been created in the field behind the barn.  We’ve named it the Monarch Trail after all the Monarch butterfly activity going on in that field and in the adjacent Butterfly Garden.  It’s a short trail, perfect for those who have limited time to spend at the Farm or who prefer a shorter hike.

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Gary Riggott, the head of the Trails Committee, designed the trail which makes a loop around the field behind the barn and then rejoins the main path to the back meadow near the tree line of the woods.  It was initially a grassy, mown trail until John Gillespie, a Boy Scout from Troop 44, took on the task of spreading a layer of wood chips on the trail for his Eagle Project.  Gary supervised John, along with several other scouts and parents from his troop, as they covered the entire length of the trail with wood chips donated by Chris Galasso, a local arborist.  Dan Barrett, a member of the Town Forest Committee, donated his time and a Bobcat to haul the wood chips from the parking lot to various points along the trail.

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To hike the Monarch Trail, start at the kiosk by the barn and pass through the gate onto the main path.  Turn right onto the trail which runs parallel to the fence line in the field behind the barn, adjacent to the Butterfly Garden.  Follow the trail to the far edge of the field where it heads downhill and over a newly-installed footbridge spanning a wet area on the trail.  Continue uphill and turn left when you reach the woods, following the trail to the large pine tree with a bench beneath it, the perfect place to relax and enjoy a stunning view of the barn.

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Continuing on, a short trail will appear on the left that leads down to a vernal pool.  This pool comes and goes depending on the season, so you might find it full of water or reduced to a mere puddle.  Take a moment to explore it and see if you can spot any turtles or frogs in the pool!

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Returning to the Monarch Trail, it soon reaches a stone wall bordering the main path.  Turn left onto the main path and follow it back up to the barn.  With its wood-chip surface, the Monarch Trail makes a short, comfortable hike of about half a mile for those who have limited time or who prefer not to venture further out on the Farm.

Total hiking time:  Under 20 minutes
Distance:  .4 miles
Difficulty:  easy

A Note of Thanks … The Friends of Adams Farm board of directors would like to say a special thank you to Gary Riggott and the Trails Committee for creating this new trail at the Farm, as well as the many new bridges on this trail and the Blue Loop Trail that allow hikers and cross country skiers to enjoy the trails year round.  The Trails Committee is responsible for maintaining hiking trails throughout the town of Walpole, but has a limited budget.  We encourage area residents to consider making a donation to the Trails Committee Gift Fund to support the work of the Trails Committee.  Checks should be made out to the Town of Walpole Trails Committee and sent to Walpole Trails Committee, 135 School Street, Walpole, MA 02081.  Please include a note indicating that the donation should be used for trail upkeep.

Hiking the Lower Orange Trail

To reach the Lower Orange Trail, take the main path (Blue Trail) from the parking lot into the woods.  Follow the main path for about 10 minutes, passing the entrances to the White Trail on the left and the Yellow/White Trail on right respectively.  Shortly after passing the entrance to the Blue/White Trail on the right, you’ll see another entrance to the White Trail on the left.  Follow the White Trail to the first trail on the right, which is the Lower Orange Trail.  (The Upper Orange Trail goes off to the left at this intersection.)

The entrance to the Lower Orange Trail

The entrance to the Lower Orange Trail

The first section of the Lower Orange Trail winds through pine forests that later give way to blueberry bushes.  Bear right at the first split in the trail, looking for the orange trail marker on the trees beyond.

Orange marker on a tree after the first split in the trail

Orange marker on a tree after the first split in the trail

The trail then follows an old stone wall, and after crossing it, you’ll come to another fork in the trail.  Go right again and soon you’ll come upon a fallen tree next to two tall pines flanking the trail.  Immediately after that there’s another split in the trail.   Bear right again and look back to see the orange trail marker on the tree behind you.

Two tall pines flanking the trail with a fallen tree in the foreground

Two tall pines flanking the trail with a fallen tree in the foreground

The trail next leads downhill, past a small sinkhole on the right and a triple-trunked tree on the left.  Follow the trail around to the right and underneath a fallen tree that’s suspended above the trail.  At the next split in the trail, bear left onto the Orange/White Trail and head downhill and to the right.  A large pile of rocks and a glade of ferns appear on the right, just before some imposing boulders that mark the end of the Orange/White Trail.

Orange and white trail markers on a tree at the intersection with the Orange/White Trail

Orange and white trail markers on a tree at the intersection with the Orange/White Trail

The back meadow will be in front of you as you come out of the Orange/White Trail.  Turn right onto the main path (Blue Trail) and follow it back to the parking lot, about a 20-minute hike.

Total hiking time:  45-55 minutes

Distance:  1.5 miles

Difficulty:  Easy

(Note:  The Upper Orange Trail and the Lower Orange Trail can be combined to make a circuit which will take you from the parking lot through the woods to the back meadow and back to the parking lot, a hike of about an hour and a half.)