Hapgood Wright Town Forest, Concord, MA

A Day in a Concord Life

Having just come back from Miami Florida, as much as I love New England I knew the palm trees and warm skies were going to be hard to part with. Fortunately, our second day back greeted us with a brilliant sky and a fresh blanket of snow. Now there are days admittedly, that are more gray than white, but one is hard pressed to stay indoors after a new snow such as this.

Today I traveled into the Hapgood Wright Town Forest a 135 acre parcel of conservation land, the Town of Concord’s largest. The landscape is unusual and varied and upon entering there are clearly marked paths into the wood. In winter it’s a beautiful and tranquil place to hike or ski. Walking in I was struck by the basin effect that is created by a glacial formation of steep hills on all sides of the trails. The slopes form a perfect frame for the pond known as Fairyland pond. This pond is man-made, however it was created more than two centuries ago. Story has it that it was christened Fairyland by the children of Bronson Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s easy to see how they may have interpreted the magic of the place. There is a hidden, intimate quality to this place that contradicts how expansive it really is.

If you do intend to explore come in by Route 2/2A East from Boston and at the intersection of Route 126 instead of bearing left to go toward Walden Pond take a right and less than one quarter of a mile down on your right will be a parking lot and the entrance to Hapgood Wright Town Forest. One caveat, this in Concord Conservation not a State Reservation as Walden Pond is. As such, some parking itself appears to be reserved for Concord Residents just take care in finding a place where you can park for a period of time or enjoy a 2-3 mile walk out from Concord Center down Walden Street toward the Town Forest.