My daughters and I have enjoyed a summer of trail exploration. On days of brilliant sun they skip in and out of the shadows created by arching tree limbs and compete as to who will spot the next chipmunk burrowing between stone hideaways.
Clear, beautiful trails are so bountiful in both Concord and Carlisle, that they are one of the best ways I know to soak in the natural surroundings. For the most part, they reside on Colonial period farmlands long since over grown by a lush forest of trees and undergrowth. But here in New England, even amidst the layers of green one can see how carefully the multitude of stone walls were constructed that once served as boundaries for centuries-old farmlands.
Some locations throughout the Minuteman National Historical Park have preserved farmlands in a state close to their original layout and the trails often run parallel to the fields themselves. One of the single most valuable treasure of Massachusetts, particularly in areas of highly concentrated populations near Boston, are these numerous trail networks that are under the protection of local, state and federal guidelines.