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


The wide diversity of ecological habitats at Ward make it a special place. With deep tracts of oak-pine woodlands, grasslands & orchards, fire influenced oak barrens, a quaking bog, and large beaver wetlands; there is truly something for every nature lover to see.

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.

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

A short walk from the parking lot brings you to Pine Hole Pond. A boardwalk trail there traverses this 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

Open daily, 8:00 AM to sunset.

Parking via pay station near trail head at parking lot. Parking is free for Trustees members, $6.00 per vehicle 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 35, take Route 125 N for 5 miles. Turn right onto Prospect Road and follow for 0.3 miles to entrance and parking lot on right.

From I-495 Exit 100 A, take Route 114 E 1.7 miles. Continue right onto Route 125 S and follow for 1.6 miles. Turn left onto Prospect Road and follow for 0.3 miles to entrance and parking lot on right.

What You'll Find

Almost 15 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

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. The trail terminates at a floating dock and viewing platform at the open water of Pine Hole Bog.

A series of 4 accessible benches spaced evenly along the trail & boardwalk allow for convenient rest stops along the way.

Property Map

The entry kiosk includes a map of the property. We recommend that you take a photo of the map on your phone so you can refer to it during your visit. Additionally, map stations are located at intersections throughout the park for reference and wayfinding.

Use this link to download a trail map before you head out.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Property is carry in, carry out related to litter and personal items.
  • Dog walking is allowed on-leash.
  • ATVs/UTVs, motor bikes, and other motorized vehicles are not permitted.
  • Use of metal detectors and associated digging and removal of items from the property is not permitted.
  • 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.
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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