Appleton Farms Grass Rides

South Hamilton

259 acres

Almost 10 miles of wide, family-friendly carriage paths provide a captivating environment for walking, exploring, and nature watching.


Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • Facilities & Accessibility
  • Venue Rental
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories


Appleton Farms Grass Rides was originally designed for horseback riding. Like a wagon wheel, five “rides”—an English term for carriage path—meet in a central clearing called the “Roundpoint,” where a large granite pinnacle salvaged from the demolition of the former Harvard College Library (and one of four pinnacles on the property) stands as a silent sentry.

The landscape here is comprised of forest, open fields, and wetlands. On the uplands, you’ll find secondary growth forest, interspersed with small fields.

Ideas for Your Visit

From the Pigeon Hill overlook, take in a panoramic view of the entire pasture and the site of another pinnacle salvaged from Harvard.

Wetlands found on the Grass Rides are part of the watershed for the Miles and Ipswich Rivers. Look for the stone culverts and bridges that still work to maintain the existing wetland habitat.

Admission & Hours

Members park for free. Nonmembers: $6 parking fee.

Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.

Directions & Contact Info

Highland Street
South Hamilton, MA 01982
Telephone: 978.356.5728

Get directions from Google Maps.

Facilities & Accessibility

Bathroom facilities are not available at the Grass Rides but are available in the Carriage Barn at Appleton Farms.

Accessible parking spots, designated with signs, are available at the Grass Rides.

Venue Rental

Appleton Farms, a one thousand-acre property located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, is known for its preserved New England charm. Spring events will be backdropped by blooming wildflowers, song birds and the deep greens of the working farm. In the fall, the venue will offer cascades of oranges and yellows when the Maple trees that line many of the fields change for the new season. Our pastoral vistas, historic farmhouse, hours of walking trails, and wide variety of programming provide an idyllic setting and immersive experience to celebrate any occasion.

Learn More


Property Map

Paper trail maps are available at the kiosk in the Grass Rides parking lot. You can also download a trail map here.

Regulations & Advisories

We want everyone to experience and enjoy the Appleton Farms Grass Rides. To protect the Grass Rides for years to come, we ask everyone to follow a few guidelines and regulations while visiting the property:

  • Due to the softness of trails and sensitive wetland vegetation, horseback riding is NOT permitted in Appleton Farms Grass Rides.
  • Mountain biking is permitted only on designated trails. Trails are closed to mountain bikes March 1 – April 30 to preserve trails during mud season.
  • Dogs are allowed off-leash (but under voice control) except in Lamson Field, where dogs must be leashed.
  • Please observe all posted signs.
  • Authorized seasonal bow hunting is allowed on this reservation with written permission for a limited number of hunters through a deer management program administered by The Trustees. Per MassWildlife regulations, hunting is permitted from the first Monday in October through December each year, from ½ hour before sunrise all day until ½ hour after sunset, Monday through Saturday. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions and requirements. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties. Any questions may be directed to The Trustees at
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: We ask that photographers or their clients become Contributing Level Members before conducting portrait sessions at this property.  Click here for more information, and to request permission for any portrait sessions. The Trustees of Reservations reserves the right, and may give permission to its designated photographers and videographers, or to outside media, to photograph or video visitors and program participants at all its facilities and properties.
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The Grass Rides, part of the larger Appleton Farms estate dating to the mid-17th century, was created by the Appleton family, originally for horseback riding and carriage driving. The original acreage was a gift of Col. and Mrs. Francis R. Appleton, Jr., in 1970, with additional land given by Mrs. Appleton between 1970 and 1998.

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