Ten miles of trails crisscrossing 1,000 acres of forest, some climbing hills with wonderful views of the Millers River and of mountains near and far; some leading down to the river itself; some, like those that parallel stone walls and traverse a cut through rock ledge, revealing human history - all of this and more await visitors to the premier conservation area of the town of Athol.
A strenuous climb takes visitors to Round Top, at 1,278 feet Athol’s second highest hill, and to Warren’s Vista, each with panoramic views of the valleys around. Other trails lead to the Newton Reservoir, no longer a water supply but still a lovely pond; to Duck Pond, a haven for waterfowl; to the Ox Bow, a curve in the river and a popular picnic spot; and to a magnificent wetland known as Thousand-Acre Swamp. Visitors can listen to the songs of myriad birds and find evidence of other wildlife that frequents Bearsden.
A map board at the parking area outlines the many possibilities for exploration, and a log cabin, built of local hemlock, is available for overnight use. Visit http://www.athol-ma.gov/parks-trails/pages/conservation-areas to reserve the cabin; limited camping is also permitted with prior arrangement.Directions:
From downtown Athol, go east on Main St. (Rte. 2A) approx. 1.5 mi. Take left onto Bearsden Rd. Go 1 mi., bear right to stay on Bearsden Rd and continue 0.5 mi. to entrance.
Athol Conservation Commission
Athol Town Hall
584 Main Street