The trail system at Hale Reservation consists of primarily four independent loops: Storrow Pond Trail
(blue blaze), Page & Sadie Trail
(red blaze), Strawberry Hill Trail (yellow blaze), and Oak Hill Trail
(green blaze). Blazing follows the common vertical rectangle paint marks on trees, with offset rectangles indicating turns in the trail. However, blazing is sporadic and is not done at every trail crossing or within sight of a crossing. Know the system before you go, unless you are a wanderer.
This lollipop trail starts and ends at the Hale Day Camp Office parking lot near the bank of Noanet Pond. Follow the yellow blazes through the mostly flat first quarter mile, which you'll return on. You'll pass a green sign labeled "5" which is used by the park to indicate major trail intersections and are also labeled on the park map. Intersection "6", which is just a bit further up the trail from "5", marks the beginning/end of the lollipop loop for this trail.
Running counterclockwise, the trail does a long, sweeping loop over rocky terrain. The trail eventually arrives at an intersection, merging almost without notice, with 31-25 Connector
and 24-31 Connector (Switchback Trail)
. Strawberry Hill Trail offers the only connection to Noanet Woodlands Reservation, which offers an additional ~10 miles of trail.
It is very possible to meander off the Strawberry Hill Trail because the yellow blazes are not present in this section (a common problem in Hale Reservation). Keep a lookout for intersection "24" at a 4-way intersection; turn left. You'll re-enter the woods and see a trail (Strawberry Hill Alternate Trail
) on the left that winds up behind a large rock which is immediately off the trail; these are indicators that you are on the correct trail.
From here, the trail connects with a fire road and makes it way back to intersection "6". Note that runners will pass intersections "8" and "9" before finishing the lollipop loop.
Deer. There are wildflowers throughout the trails, including a variety of orchid.