Noanet Woodlands
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Dedham Street, Dover, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 508-785-0339

Bathrooms: Portable toilet next to parking lot
Water/Snacks: Near the playground to the right of the parking lot

This hike leads to a former mill site with a waterfall and ponds that will enchant kids.

New parents enjoy a shaded hike through Noanet Woodlands with their baby.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Noanet Woodlands is a Trustees of Reservations property adjacent to Caryl Park, which is run by the town of Dover. If you have younger kids who spot the large playground to the right of the parking lot, your walk might end right there. However, you should direct them to the trails on Noanet, where they’ll be rewarded with a waterfall and ponds to check out.

The property encompasses a former mill site, a great goal to reach on your hike. From the left side of the parking lot, pick up a map at the trailhead of the 1.6-mile red-blazed Caryl Loop Trail (Note: Map supplies periodically run out). This trail leads to the old mill site, which has a waterfall and the Upper and Lower Mill Ponds. The first interesting landmark you come to on the trail is the Boulder, which is named as such on the map. Kids love to stop here for a short climb. When you get to the mill site, make sure you take a short detour around the Lower Mill Pond to look over the waterfall and to see Upper Mill Pond. You can have a snack or eat lunch at the picnic table here.

If your kids are feeling energetic, push on to Noanet Peak Trail (marked by yellow blazes), which takes you to the top of the 387-foot-hill called Noanet Peak for views of the Boston skyline. You can pick this trail up at the Lower Mill Pond. It will add at least 1 mile to your hike. For a longer trek, choose from more than 17 miles of trails and other ponds. The extensive trail network makes for great cross-country skiing in winter.

Remember: Parking is restricted in April and May when athletic games are being played at Caryl Park between 3 P.M. and 8 P.M., Monday through Friday. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

Powisset Farm (Trip 50) offers a pastoral scene and farm animals to visit.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Head north to Needham Center for a variety of dining options near the intersection of Highland and Great Plain avenues.


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