Fork Factory Brook
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Hartford Street and MA 109, Medfield, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Adults, $4; children under age 12 and Trustees of Reservations members, free (fees collected by rangers on weekends and holidays; honor system other times)
Contact:; 508-785-0339

Bathrooms: Portable toilet near the pavilion
Water/Snacks: None

Look for signs of a former nineteenth-century pitchfork mill as you hike through wetlands, around hay fields, and down wooded hillsides.

Hike around hay fields at Fork Factory Brook.
Photo by: Jerry and Marcy Monkman

The former Long Acre Farm offers 1.5 miles of trails to explore, through wetlands to hay fields to wooded hillsides. The area has a long history of agriculture, dating back 300 years. Throughout the eighteenth century, workers on this quintessential New England farm kept livestock, grew crops, and harvested hay. They also made butter, cheese, rope, candles, and boots, and processed flax and wool.

Hiking around, you’ll see remnants of a nineteenth-century pitchfork mill, which is how the property got its name. In the late 1700s and into the 1800s, there were both a gristmill along the Mill Brook and a cut-nail mill. These were eventually combined to create a factory that made pitchforks, shovels, spades, and hoes for area farmers. In 1927, the town of Medfield widened Main Street (MA 109) and demolished the mill. All that’s left to see is the earthen dam and stone raceway at the southern end of the property. This is most clear when you cross over a small bridge over the brook. The trails through the woods are quite twisty and feature lots of hills and switchbacks. The route is also a bit overgrown in parts, so long pants are recommended.

Remember: You can bring a dog if you have registered for the Trustees of Reservations’ Green Dogs program, which is free for members. At Rocky Woods next door, dogs can run free in some sections.

Plan B:

For some easier hiking, with clearer paths, a playground, and picnic tables around a pond, explore Rocky Woods next door (Trip 52).

Where to Eat Nearby:

If you head west on MA 109, you will find a number of caf├ęs and stores.


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