Posted on June 25, 2021 and last updated on June 25, 2021

Grotto Hill, Otis

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: N/A
  • Trail Mileage: 1.1 mile one way
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: views, wetland, talus caves

I found Grotto Hill on All Trails, and on this helpful blog, and am so glad to have checked it out.

The 1.1-mile trail to the summit and overlook over Beech Hill Pond and Graham Lake is unmarked, so can be tricky to find. Also, scrambling down from these open ledges to the grotto, or talus caves, is a slightly uncomfortable busk whack. I’m more interested in views than cliffs, so could have skipped that part.

The best place to park near the trailhead is at the public boat launch on Beech Hill Pond. The private road to the launch is called both West Shore Road and Camp No. 1 Road on Google maps.

From the boat launch, continue by foot along the road for 200 feet or so, and you’ll reach a little lane on your left. Walk past the a shed (it has a no trespassing sign on it), and continue straight past a second shed-like building. The path continues another 0.25 or so to a beaver pond. The trail was completely flooded when I visited in June 2021; you could just barely walk along a the edge to keep your shoes reasonably dry. There are other ways to reach the summit via ATV trails according to the All Trails map—this might be necessary in the future!

Continue straight up the trail. You’ll pass a jeep track on your right. Ay 0.6 miles, you’ll arrive at an open clearing with wide tracks leading straight and left. You’ll find the ATV trail to the summit on your right; it heads up and into the woods. Follow this about half a mile to a ledgy, open area with great views over the dramatic cliffs (which contain the grotto). You can continue another 0.1-mile along the ATV track to an open area with a fire pit that is marked as the summit on online maps. No views here, but a nice open spot.

Directions: From Rt. 180, turn onto Moore Road, and in a quarter mile, turn right onto West Shore Road/Camp No. 1 Road. Go 1.5 miles, past the public beach (go for a swim later if you have a town permit!) to the public boat launch. Park along the edge of the lot, and continue by foot 200 feet or so to the trail on your left. There will be a shed to the right of the trail.

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Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!