Charles W. Ward Reservation


704 acres

Photo credit: boston_photograp...

Explore this sprawling landscape along almost 15 miles of trails and climb a hill for great views from the Merrimack Valley toward the Boston skyline.


Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • What You'll Find
  • Facilities & Accessibility
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories


Ward Reservation is an emerald quilt of fields, forests, and uplands, stitched together from more than 40 distinct parcels across three hills—Shrub, Boston, and Holt. Looking out from their summits, you can see how the property melds with the surrounding landscape. On top of Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County, you’ll find the “Solstice Stones,” a compass-like arrangement of stones set up to mark the sunset on the longest and shortest days of the year.

Ideas for Your Visit

At the base of Holt Hill, along the nearly 10-mile trail network that connects the landscape, a boardwalk trail traverses a quaking bog comprising of concentric rings of floating vegetation, each with unique growing conditions. The bog is home to a number of interesting plant species, including orchids and insect-eating pitcher plants. Stop at the numbered stations along the way, each of which signals an interesting botanical or geologic feature.

Admission & Hours

Year-round, daily, 8AM to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours.

Free for Trustees members

$5 per car for nonmembers

Get more information about parking for members and nonmembers.

Directions & Contact Info

65 Prospect Road
Andover, MA 01810

Get directions on Google Maps.

From I-93 Exit 41, take Rt. 125 North 5 mi. Turn right onto Prospect Rd. and follow for 0.3 mi. to entrance and parking (15 cars) on right.

From Rt. I-495 Exit 42, take Rt. 114 East 1.7 mi. Turn right onto Rt. 125 South and follow for 1.6 mi. Turn left onto Prospect Rd. Continue as above.

What You'll Find

Almost 10 miles of trails, easy-to-moderate hiking, strenuous in places. Some of the trails here are part of the Bay Circuit Trail, a regional greenway linking the North Shore and South Shore.

Facilities & Accessibility

Accessibility Features:

Wheelchair accessible trail is approximately ¼ mile long (out and back). Begins at parking lot with aggregate/stone dust tread, then transfers to wood decking. Terminates at a floating dock/viewing platform at the open water of Pine Hole Bog.

Property Map

Free trail map distributed from bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out.

We recommend that you take a photo of the map on your phone so you can refer to it during your visit, or download a trail map before you head out.

Regulations & Advisories

  • 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
  • Always check for ticks: on yourself, your family members, and pets.
  • 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.
Before Setting Out
More to Explore
Upcoming Events

Holt Hill

The focal point of the Ward Reservation is 420-foot Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County. The hill is named for the mid-17th-century settlement of Nicholas Holt. On June 17, 1775, townspeople climbed to the top of hill to watch the burning of Charlestown during the Revolutionary War.

Mrs. Charles W. Ward donated the property and endowment in 1940 in memory of her husband. The acreage has increased due to the generosity of donors throughout the 20th century.

The View From Here
See What People Say

Our "go to" place on the weekend for a short hike.

Phal S., Tripadvisor

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