Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lincoln Conservation Land: Pine Hill and DeCordova Area

Lincoln, along with neighboring Weston, is a mostly rural town northwest of Boston that is crisscrossed with trails. Indeed, the trail network is such that you can hike for miles without seeing the same area twice. And while the areas near Walden Pond, Minuteman National Historic Park, and Mount Misery seem to be the most popular spots for hikers, the lands just north and west of Lincoln Center are well worth checking out.

photo from Pine Hill, Lincoln, MAWe did such a trip recently, starting at the Lincoln Public Schools just off Lincoln Road near the center of town. From the parking lot near the tennis courts (hikers are allowed to park here), we walked north past the school fields and into a beautiful meadow area, eventually reaching a wooded trail that kept close to Sandy (Flint's) Pond. After awhile, we turned left, crossing Sandy Pond Road and working our way up to the top of Pine Hill, where we were awarded with limited, though pleasant views to the west (see photo).

photo from near DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA From Pine Hill, we wound our way down to the bottom near Walden Pond, then walked around the hill and back over to Sandy Pond. We walked around most of the rest of the pond, stopping for lunch at a scenic overlook above the pond and just below the DeCordova Museum. After our break, we continued up the fairly steep trail, skirting the museum, and heading east a few hundred yards, where we were treated to a remarkable view of fields, meadows, and rolling hills that felt more like Vermont than the Greater Boston area (see photo). From here, we headed south down a trail that was steep in a couple of spots, ending up back at the meadow just north of the school. From here, it was a short walk back to the parking lot.

This part of Lincoln isn't all that popular with hikers, but it is certainly worth going to, as it is mostly remote and quiet (except for the parts near Route 2), and the views of the pond and open areas are particularly nice.

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