Franklin State Forest, Franklin, MA

by Warren Reynolds on December 19, 2008

This 880+ acre woodland is located in the western and southern parts of Franklin, MA.  There are many trails and dirt roads that wind and loop through the Franklin State Forest.

state-forest

Some trails are reserved solely for hiking while other trails are designated for non-motorized multi-use.  So mountain bikers will find a lot of challenging runs on those paths.

Dirt bikes and off-highway vehicles are also allowed in certain areas of the Franklin State Forest in Franklin, MA.  The north section of the forest is crossed by a large power line right of way which many bikers use to get further into the forest.

In 2008, it was announced that dirt biker group is upgrading a 7 mile trail in the Franklin State Forest using a small grant from the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.

broad-trail

The hikers-only portion of the Franklin State Forest is in the north portion of the forest between Grove Street in Franklin, MA and the power line right of way.

stone-walls

This offers very pleasant walks, past old stone walls and the occasional deer and fox. Trails are clearly marked and well maintained.  There are some uphill stretches, but nothing too taxing.  So young families and the occasional walker can use this area with confidence (just wear common sense shoes and you might want some insect repellant in your pocket just in case).

Access to the Franklin State Forest in Franklin, MA could be better delineated and parking areas improved.

There is a small informal car parking area on the shoulder of Grove Street at the welcome sign for the Forest (near Grove Street’s intersection with Beaver Street in Franklin, MA).  

There’s also a larger stretch of car parking at the end of Forge Hill Road in Franklin, MA, near the YMCA property.

I have also gotten to trails in the west portion of the Franklin State Forest by parking at the end of Lorraine Metcalf Road and also Spring Street in Franklin, MA.  (But there are no defined parking areas at those two sites.)  This region of the forest appears less used and the trails cross some large muddy areas during wet times of the year; for me, walks in this section of the Forest were less agreeable than in the north portion of the Franklin State Forest.

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