QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: ~1,500 acres
- Trail Mileage: >12 miles
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: Marshall Pond, bogs, old orchard
Red trails are bike/snowshoe trails. Blue trails are wide Nordic trails.
The private school’s 1,500-acres campus is threaded with miles of ski, bike, and snowshoe trails. Most of the forested land is rolling, making for fun, albeit somewhat challenging, skiing. The school grooms the trails for classic and skate skiing in the winter. And there is no fee—it’s an incredible resource.
No matter what trail you use, you should anticipate some significant ups and downs, although the main route—the Old County Road that brings you to pretty Marshall Pond—is relatively level.
The school invites the public to use the trail system (though no motorized vehicles are allowed), as long as one follows trail etiquette and school property rules. According to the school, it has 25 km of cross-country ski trails and 10 km of single-track bike trails (my map of the system above shows about 8.3 miles of ski trails and 3.5 miles of single-track). The highlight is the dock on Marshall Pond, about 1.5 miles from the parking area and kiosk. The day I visited, a few students had ridden their bikes down to the pond and were hanging out listening to music in the pond-side lean-to. The school also has a locked cabin getaway, “Barrows Barn,” in a grassy open area.
The ski trails are all wide and smooth one-lane gravel roads. I might even recommend Old County Road for wheelchairs and strollers. The mountain bike/snowshoe trails also tend to be fairly smooth, although you can expect some roots and rocks. These are marked with orange triangles, which help you find the way when the leaves cover the paths.
Overall, the trail system is fabulous—it would make me want to go to this school if I was in high school!
Directions: Turn off Paris Road at the eastern edge of campus onto Old County Road. The trailhead and kiosk is a few hundred feet ahead, where the road dead ends and the trails begin. There isn’t much room for parking here. On the weekends, at least, there is plenty of room to park in the adjacent lot near the Williams Center.