Walden Preserve

Saplings are reflected in the larger of the ponds along Sonny's Trail.
Saplings are reflected in the larger of the ponds along Sonny's Trail. Judy Benson/The Day

Walden Preserve

Town: Salem

Directions: Take I-95 to Exit 82. Follow Route 85 north to Salem Four Corners; go through the four corners intersection, staying on 85. After a half mile turn left onto Hagen Road; entrance to preserve is on the right.

Where to Park: There is a large parking area at the entrance.

Description: The preserve includes 400 acres of fields, young forest, wetlands and streams with marked trails. The main trail is relatively flat, wide and easy; side trails are moderately difficult and can be steep and narrow in spots.

Regulations: No dogs other than service dogs. No hunting. No motorized vehicles except for authorized handicapped and maintenance vehicles.

Amenities: There are benches at a couple of spots along the trails.

Natural Features: Portions of the East Branch of the Eightmile River and Harris Brook flow through the preserve. Beaver dams have created several ponds and wetlands.

Fees: Free.

Things to note: Parts of the trail are prone to flooding due to beaver activity.

Owned by: The Nature Conservancy, managed by the Salem Land Trust

More information: www.salemlandtrust.org

Located off Hagen Road, Walden Preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed by the Salem Land Trust.
Located off Hagen Road, Walden Preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed by the Salem Land Trust. Judy Benson/The Day
Sonny's Trail, the main trail through the 400-acre property, begins from a large meadow near the entrance.
Sonny's Trail, the main trail through the 400-acre property, begins from a large meadow near the entrance. Judy Benson/The Day
Fall leaves display their blaze of colors.
Fall leaves display their blaze of colors. Judy Benson/The Day
A bench beside the first of two ponds along Sonny's Trail memorializes a hiker who loved this spot.
A bench beside the first of two ponds along Sonny's Trail memorializes a hiker who loved this spot. Judy Benson/The Day
Why did the wild turkeys cross the trail?
Why did the wild turkeys cross the trail? Judy Benson/The Day
Both Harris Brook and the East Branch of the Eightmile River flow through Walden Preserve.
Both Harris Brook and the East Branch of the Eightmile River flow through Walden Preserve. Judy Benson/The Day
Mushrooms grow out of an old stump beside one of the ponds.
Mushrooms grow out of an old stump beside one of the ponds. Judy Benson/The Day
Beaver lodges, dams and gnawed trees give evidence of the beaver activity at the preserve that shaped its hydrology.
Beaver lodges, dams and gnawed trees give evidence of the beaver activity at the preserve that shaped its hydrology. Judy Benson/The Day
Among the habitats at the preserve are dozens of acres of grasslands and meadows.
Among the habitats at the preserve are dozens of acres of grasslands and meadows. Judy Benson/The Day

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