A Walk at October Farm – Concord
No autumn weekend is complete without a walk in the woods. If you’re looking for something a little farther afield from Weston, there are many trails that fit the bill, but none more appropriate perhaps than October Farm. You can combine your walk here with a stroll around Concord town, and lunch outside or inside at the Colonial Inn, book a tour of the Old Manse for more history exploration, or bring a picnic and visit the always beautiful North Bridge. Concord is one spectacular combination of history, natural beauty and good food.
I discovered October Farm a couple of years ago on a foggy evening while waiting for soccer practice to end at Fenn School, which is right down the street. Winding down a tiny lane (please drive slowly), a parking lot with only five spaces appears, now with a kiosk and brochures to find your way. Take a photo of the map or grab a brochure–or download one here…the history of the area is fascinating. By the way, your dog is welcome here but please keep him/her leashed until the little sign that reads “Unleash Dogs Here”–there are neighbors and they don’t need Fluffy chasing their kids or chickens.
There are a number of intertwining trails–I would recommend the yellow trails to get the best and longest overview of the property. The yellow loops add up to a little less than 2 miles, but if you walk every single trail, you’re over 3 miles. You’ll be along the Concord River at some points, listening to the laughter of some passing kayakers, and also along the inlets where on one visit in May 2019, the red-winged blackbirds were so loud I could not hear myself think. The blackbirds are quiet now (or gone, don’t ask me, I’m not a birder). In the spring, the bird life is incredible; in the fall, the tall trees and changing colors are magnificent.
If you’re up for the challenge, the red trails climb up and over Ball’s, Dakins and Holden Hills. You can glimpse the river through the trees, mostly as you are skidding down the steep trails on the loose leaves. Take some time to look at the canoe shelter and the old ruins of the cabin. You can read more about the fun history of the eccentric William Brewster on the brochure if you choose.
If you follow the trails in a counter-clockwise loop, you’ll end up at a last point where a simple bench begs a stop for contemplation. The bugs are mostly gone, so bring a book or an apple, whatever keeps you busy. Then you can wander back to your car, and feel good about escaping it all for an hour or two.
October Farm is located at the end of Ball’s Hill Road, Concord. The lands are open year-round, dawn to dusk. Please carry out trash and dog “presents.”