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Historic Trails!

These are the  WITCH TRAIL COMMITTEE Historic Hiking Trails around the Boston area.

Each of these trails can be hiked by both young and old. There are 3 that were designed in mind for the younger scouts, as they are shorter in length. At the conclusion of each hike there are awards that can be purchased. Each hike has a fully multicolored embroidered patch along with a hand poured pewter medal.

 

Blue Hills Trails #1 & #2 Sons of Liberty Trail
Pirate Legend & Trek Trails Spirit of '76 Trail
Leslies Retreat Trail Witch Trail Salem, Mass
Sky Line Trail  
   

Click on Images to Enlarge!

This Page last updated November 04, 2004
Copyright
© 2002; The Witch Trail Committee


 

 

 

 

 

Blue Hills #1 and Blue Hills #2  

   Blue Hills #1 and Blue Hills #2 are a 2-mile and an 8-mile hike through the Blue Hills in Milton, Massachusetts, just south of Boston.  The Blue Hills are an ancient landmark used by very early indigenous people of the area and it is suggested that the Native American words for Blue Hills (Masua Tuset) gave rise to the state’s name, Massachusetts.  It is known that the Blue Hills were a renowned meeting place for the local native peoples, and it is also known to be an area quite rich in flint, a stone used quite extensively by the local inhabitants of the time in making arrowheads and other simple tools.

   Both trails begin at the Trailside Museum.  The shorter #1 trail is a less difficult and shorter trail recommended for the younger youth.  It goes to the top of “Big Blue” and returns to the museum, while the longer and more difficult #2 trail goes a quarter of the way around the base of “Big Blue” and up the steeper, more rugged southwest face.  Both trails come to the top of “Big Blue” where hikers can climb an observation tower and see spectacular views of Boston and the Boston Harbor to the north, the towns of Dorchester and Quincy and the Atlantic Ocean to the east,  and Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island to the south.  On a clear day, visitors can see the White Mountains of New Hampshire as well as the northern tip of Long Island, New York.

    Along the trail, hikers can observe native vegetation and wild life.  This is an excellent area for a nature hike if familiar with the local flora and fauna.  During the summer months there are wonderful “high bush” blueberries ripening along the trail.  It is recommended that hikers bring drinking water as well as a snack.  In addition, it is recommended that hikers wear a good pair of supportive hiking boots as the terrain can be rugged and or slippery at times.

    The #2 hike continues down the east face of “Big Blue” and up and over Houghton’s Hill, around the north base of Houghton’s Hill and “Big Blue” and ends back at the museum where it began.
 

Blue Hills Trail #1:  

Witch Trail Committe- Blue Hills Trail #1
 

Item # WTCBH1
Price $2.50
   

Witch Trail Committee-Blue Hills Trail #1 Medal
 

Item #

WTCBHR1

Price

  $5.00

   
Blue Hills Trail #2:  

Witch Trail Committe-Blue Hills Patch #2
 

Item #

WTCBH2

Price

$2.50

Witch Trail Committee-Blue Hills Trail #2 Medal

 

Item # WTCBHS1
Price

$5.00

   

Blue Hills Trials 1 & 2:

 

The Blue Hills Trails Patches are Panoramic Patches; they can be placed together to create a scene on a Brag Vest or Jacket.

 

Witch Trail Committee-Blue Hills Patches 1 & 2

 

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Pirate Legend & Trek Trails:

   Pirate Legend Trail (10 mile hike recommended for older youth and adults) and Pirate Legend Trek ( 4 mile hike for all age groups) are both circular hikes in Lynn Woods in the town of Lynn, Massachusetts.  This area is rich in pirate history from the mid 1600’s.  A nearby bog iron works in Saugus, Massachusetts was a coastal location frequently visited by pirate ships in need of shackles, handcuffs, hatchets, chains and other iron articles.  The Iron Works is operated by the National Park Service today and is a very popular attraction.  Legend has it that four pirates made their home in Saugus near what is today called Pirate’s Glen, but were soon found out and pursued by the King’s men.  One man escaped to Lynn Woods and lived there in a cave for several years before taking up residence in the village of Lynn.  The cave is still a very popular site with visitors.  Local stories tell of a treasure that was taken into Lynn Woods by pirates and buried there.  Many people have searched for the treasure, digging in the bogs and swamps and even into solid rock, but no one has ever claimed finding the treasure.

 Along both the Trail and the Trek you will see: 

Breed’s Pond Burrill Hill Tomlin’s Swamp
Birch Pond  Dungeon Hill Ramsdell’s Swamp
Balanced Boulder Vinegar Hill Weetamo Cliff
Skull Rock Mount Gilead  

   If you plan to go into the cave, be sure to bring flashlights and a good rope.  There is room for up to twenty people at a time in the cave, but use caution for it is often very wet inside.  Along the paths you will come to many scenic views, and from atop the hills you will see the Saugus River, the towns of Saugus and Lynn, and the Atlantic Ocean.  The area has a good size parking lot and a picnic area.  There are no toilet facilities near by and there is no water supply.

witch Trail Committee-Pitate Legend Trail Patch
 

Item # wtcpltp1
Price $2.50
   

Witch Trail Committee-Pirate Trek Patch

 

Item # wtcptp1
Price $2.50
   

Witch Trail Committee-Pirate Legend Trak Medal #2
 

Item #

WTCPLTM1

Price

$5.00

Witch Trail Committee-Pirate Legend Trak Medal #1
 

Item #

WTCPTM1

Price

$5.00

Witch Trail Committee-Pirate Legend Trak Medal #3
 

Item #

WTCPTM2

Price

$5.00

 

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Leslies Retreat Trail:

   Leslie’s Retreat is a 6 or a 10 mile hike from Marblehead to Salem, Massachusetts.

   This trail traces the British march of February 26, 1775 in search of American cannons.  This march was the first expeditionary mission of the British in the colonies and hikers learn how the local residents reacted to the British, what led to the events of April 19th, and explains why the British troops were so tense at Lexington Green. 

   This trail can be hiked as either a one-way six-mile hike from Marblehead to Salem or as a ten-mile roundtrip. The trail can be hiked year round. Allow 3 to 4 hours for the one way and 5 to 6 hours for the round trip.

Sights along the trail include:
Fort Sewell, a revolutionary fort and gun emplacement built to safeguard Boston harbor from British invasion.
Marblehead Town Hall, where hikers can view the original painting of The Spirit of ‘76.
The South Bridge where residents removed planks to slow the progress of the advancing British troops.
Site of the old mill where the colonists had stored the cannons and munitions.
The north bridge across the North River where Minutemen had raised the drawbridge and a tense verbal encounter took place between them and the British commander, Colonel Leslie.
The Minuteman Statue marking the point at which the Minutemen had stood their ground and stalled for time while the cannons were hidden and other militia men could arrive to lend support.

   Seeing that it was useless to search for the cannons after so much time had elapsed, Col. Leslie agreed to a proposition to have the bridge lowered, to march only 500 feet on the other side of the bridge, to not search for the cannons, and to immediately return to the town of Marblehead.  He did so and the entire British company was verbally harassed and taunted as they “retreated” back to their ship for a short sail back to Boston.

Witch Trail Committee-Leslie's Retreat Patch

 

Item #

WTCLRP1

Price

$2.50

   

Witch Trail Committee-Leslie's Retreat Medal
 

Item #

WTCLRM1

Price

$5.00

   
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Sky Line Trail:

   The Skyline Trail is a 7-mile circle trail through Middlesex Fells woods near the towns of Stoneham, and Medford, Massachusetts.  The hike is through woods and requires hiking over several hills. Not recommended for younger youth who are not accustomed to long strenuous hiking.

   The hike is designed to introduce hikers to local Native American custom and culture and to afford scenic views of Boston and the North Shore area.  The trail is open year round.  Allow approximately 5 hours for this hike.

   The woods are rich in Massachusetts Indian history surrounding Nanepashemet, who was Sachem (one of authority) of all the Indians between Boston and Concord, NH and western Massachusetts, and his wife Squaw Sachem.  He was the last Sachem of these Indians. 

Sights along the trail include:  
Winthrop Hill Cheese Rock
Bear Hill Squaw Sachem Rock
Grinding Rock Hill “Turkey Swamp”
Pine Hill   Panther Cave, which can be entered by a group
The North Reservoir and the Middle Reservoir The remains of an old silver mine

   A side attraction is the nearby Stone Zoo in the town of Stoneham.

Witch Trail Committee-Sky Line Trail Patch

 

Item #  WTCSLTP1
Price $2.50

Witch Trail Committee-Sky Line Trail Medal
 

Item # 

WTCSLTM1

Price

$5.00

   
 

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Sons of Liberty Trail:

   The Sons of Liberty Trail is 10-mile hike from Lexington to Concord, Massachusetts following the “battle road”.  This trail traces the events of April 19, 1775, the beginning of military action between the British and the colonists in the American Revolution.

   This trail follows city streets and busy county and state roads and is not recommended for youth younger than 12 years of age; however, the sights in Lexington and Concord, as well as those along the way are certainly worth while for the younger set if the group is being followed or accompanied by vehicles.

   The trail begins at Lexington Green where about 40 Minutemen met the British who were marching to Concord to confiscate colonial cannons.  This is the sight of the “shot heard ‘round the world.”

 

Sights along the route include:
  Buckman Tavern, a Minuteman meeting place in Lexington.
  The Hancock-Clark House, home of John Hancock.
  The house of Jonathan Harrington, a Minuteman who was wounded at Lexington Green and who later that day died of his wounds.
  The Minuteman Boulder.
  The Old Burial Ground.
 

Hayward’s Well, who challenged a British soldier at his well…they shot and killed each other.

  Site where Paul Revere was captured.
  Bloody Angle, a bend in the road where many British were killed or wounded.
  Meriam’s Corner, site of another small skirmish.
 

The Old North Bridge, where the British were turned back, without a single shot being fired.

   

   There are two rather good museums along the route, both free when last visited.  Often in better weather, especially on summer weekends, members of reenactment groups can be be found at these sites.
 

Witch Trail Committee-Sons of Liberty Trail Patch
 

Item #

WTCSOL1

Price

$2.50

   

Witch Trail Committee-Sons of Liberty Trail Medal
 

Item #

WTCSOLM1

Price

$5.00

   

Witch Trail Committee-Sons of Liberty Medal #2
 

Item #

WTCSOLM2

Price

$5.00

   
 

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Spirit of '76 Trail:

The Spirit of ’76 Trail is a two mile hike through the historic town of Marblehead, Massachusetts on the North Shore of the Boston area.  This trail was designed with younger hikers in mind.

Sights along the trail include:
The original painting “The Spirit of ‘76” in the Town Hall
The homes of Col. Jeremiah Lee, King Hooper, Gen. John Glover
The 1680 Tavern
The Lafayette House
Lovis Cove
Ft. Sewell, a revolutionary fort and gun emplacement built to protect Boston Harbor
Old Burial Hill, final resting place of over 600 revolutionary soldiers
The Witch House
The home of Eldridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
Tory Headquarters, a meeting place for colonists loyal to the King
The Old Town House, where General Glover recruited the first US Marines during the Revolutionary War.

The area is rich in Revolutionary history as well as legends and stories of witches, ghosts, and pirates


Witch Trail Committee-Spirt of 76 Trail Patch

Item #

WTCSOL1

Price

$2.50

   
Witch Trail Committee-Spirt of 76 Trail Medal #1
 
Item # WTCS76M1
Price $5.00
   
Witch Trail Committee-Spirt of 76 Trail Medal #2
 
Item # WTCS76M2
Price $5.00
   

Witch Trail Committee-Spirt of 76 Trail Medal #3

Item # WTCS76M3
Price $5.00
   

 

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Witch Trail Salem, MA:

   The quaint little North Shore town of Danvers, Massachusetts, was formerly known as Old Salem Village.  We remember Old Salem Village as being the center of the historic colonial “1692 Witch Hysteria”.  The Witch Trail is a 10 mile hike from Danvers to Salem, open year round, and will require 4 to 5 hours to complete, depending on the amount of time spent viewing each of the 13 historic sites. 

   Hikers will see among other things, the Wadsworth House where once stood the original home of an accused witch, foundations of the Reverend Parris’ house where his West Indian servant first told island stories of voodoo and witchcraft to impressionable young girls, the Ingersoll House where several of the accused were first questioned, Watch House Hill where a new church was built after the hysteria to reunite the people under the Reverend Green, the Haines House whose owner testified against witches who were later hanged, the home of Sarah Holten who testified against the 71 year old Rebecca Nurse, the home and grave of Rebecca Nurse, a reconstruction of a house which was used to interrogate and examine several of the women after the initial accusations, and the Charter Street Burial Ground where several famous people of the witch hysteria were laid to rest.

   Several of the sites along the way are open for tours; prices may very from site to site.  Other sites can be toured by prearranged appointment.

Witch Trail Committee-Witch Trail Patch

 

Item # WTCSP1
Price $5.00
   

Witch Trail Committee-Witch Trail Medal #1
 

Item # WTCSW3D
Price $5.00
   

Witch Trail Committee-Witch Trail Medal #2
 

Item # WTCSWRD
Price $5.00
   
 

Copyright© 2002; The Witch Trail Committee

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