Noanet Woodlands, Dover, MA – 8/21/16

Another Trustees of Reservations site – Noanet Woodlands‘ name was so familiar we thought we’d already been there. But no, this was our first, and well worth it.


We parked at Caryl Park on Dedham Street for easier access to the Noanet Peak Trail – check out the map.

The trails are well marked, with bright blazes. Lots of trail intersections, but not all, are numbered both on the map and the trees.And there are plenty of warnings:

yellow trail

yellow trail

The trail beds have a nice variety – gravel, pine needles, dirt, rocks. In normal weather there are probably babbling streams, but every stream bed and water course was bone dry:

Passed this glacial erratic boulder, marked on the map:


And this dead tree:


The ground is so dry that the sassafras is wilting. But of course the poison ivy thrives.

Up to Noanet Peak, 387′ elevation, with views way off in the distance to Boston:

It makes a nice picnic spot.


We followed the trail down around and found a great old stone cellar hole, with 2 walls still standing:

IMG_8364 IMG_8365

and a classic old stone wall along the way, what Robert Thorson in Stone by Stone calls “linear landfills:”


On down to the old Dover Union Iron Mill and dam site, where they made barrel hoops and other implements in the early 1800s. The dam creates some mill ponds with lily pads, even in this drought:




The shoreline is fragile, but the dogs can’t read:

In the upper pond, a great blue heron:


The dam and channel for the long-gone water wheel are impressive – all stone and built pretty much by hand. Stone walls that we see in the woods are usually only thigh-high because of the effort required to lift the stones higher. Imagine hauling and placing these stones!


Continued on down the trail, and came across these equestrian oxers and jumps – never saw any horses but did see evidence that they’d been there:

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Old stone wall with a log fallen across the top:


We spent about 2 hours on these sections of the red and yellow trails, and got the main Ws (woods, walls, water, wildlife, and wow – for the view).  Interested to try some trails from the Powissett St entrance, maybe in the Spring.

And back home, the goose parade:



1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Beautiful! I must visit!

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