Horn Pond Reservation Hiking & More

I have been coming to Horn Pond Reservation since the late 70’s. My major activities include sailing lessons, trying kayaks, and hiking alone or with groups year around. The hiking varies from flat and easy to steep and strenuous. The ledge part of the mountain may have parts that need rock climbing gear. The other parts of the ledge side of the mountain is a challenge although for only a short distance. A condensed sample of many of the types of trails encountered in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There is variety in the wet areas to include a bog, marsh, lagoon, stream, and a lake with island and dam.
Horn Pond Reservation is changing both by people and nature. Some of the man-made changes include added protection to prevent accidents, memorials. As usage, increases minor trails appear, and some minor trails go back to nature takes the trail back with growth.
Horn Pond Reservation consists of 633 acres of which 133 acres of it is Horn Pond. Mount Towanda overlooks this reservation and is 287 feet above sea level. Some of the key features of the reservation include bird watching, use of non-motorized boats, fishing, walking and hiking trails. Some glacier rocks, a place where Native Americans ground grains. Swimming is not allowed.
Located in the Woburn Massachusetts. The approximate boundaries of Horn Pond Reservation are Pleasant Street on the northern side, Arlington Road on the eastern side, Lake Avenue on the southern side, and the Woburn Country club on the western side.

Horn Pond

The Native Americans called this pond Innitou, translated means “Mirror of the Spirit.”The pond covers 133 acres. The pond has the greatest depth of 40 feet and an average of 10 feet. The pond receives its water from a stream. The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game stocks Horn Pond with trout in spring and fall. A survey from 1982 recorded 13 species of fish.
Mt Towanda

The name Towanda was the name used by the Native Americans. The mountain has a height of 287 feet above sea level and covers an area of 40 acres. The top of the mountain has a lot of flatness, a few trees and excellent views of the surrounding areas including Boston. Other points of interest include an
abandoned reservoir, Indian bowl, ski jump, lunch rock, and the Nolan trail.

Community Gardens

The Community Garden plots are 28 feet by 28 feet ( 784 square feet)and leasing available on a yearly basis. One does not have to be a Woburn resident. Organic plots are also available. This is something I would find desirable if it were close to where I live.

The Interactive Map of Horn Pond Reservation

This interactive map provides the best resource for quick access to information about the Horn Pond Reservation. A few places are still under construction.

The major parts of the Horn Pond Reservation

    • Horn Pond
    • The lagoon or North of the Causeway
    • Cattail marsh and community gardens
    • The area between the lake and the Woburn Country Club
    • Mount Towanda
    • The Main Entrance

The Main Entrance

Although there are many ways to walk into Horn Pond Reservation most people arrive in cars and park in the main parking lot off Lake Avenue. From the parking lot, there is easy access to the restrooms. The electric substation is visible behind the restrooms. To the west, the water works pump station is visible. Looking north is Horn Pond and the one of two boat launches. Walking east out of the parking lot we pass by Scalley Dam. Our tour will start by heading east toward Scalley Dam.

Scalley Dam

Scalley Dam controls the water level in Horn Pond and the overflow goes into the Horn Pond Brook which flows to Winchester center. Now heading to Old Foley Beach. At one time it was possible to walk over the dam, now one can look at it through a high chain link fence. The fence completely surrounds the dam including adjacentoverflow area.

William J Scalley Dam memorial

Old Foley Beach

The next point of interest is Old Foley Beach. About all that remains of a former public beach from are a few stone and concrete steps. We now continue to Lynch Park.

Lynch Park

Lynch Park has added some memorials since my last visit. The water level has increased and vegetation is taking over the once sandy beach used for swimming. It is now a good place for fishing.

Thousand Yard Interplanetary Walk

We now head toward Thousand Yard Interplanetary Walk. I have a couple pictures of the stone markers on this walk. I either missed the others or they are no longer there. Our next point of interest is Hudson Grove.

Hudson Grove

The path goes through the Hudson Grove area with large trees between the path and the shoreline, the other side of the path is a large flat field surrounded by some trees. I have often seen young children with their parents in this area.   Our next area is the smaller boat launch to a small parking lot.

Smaller Boat Launch

This launch is at the junction of Beacon and Sturgis Street. A small parking lot is next to the boat launch. This parking lot when full has about 10 cars. There is also parking along Sturgis Street. Our path now leads to Ice House Park

Ice House Park was once the home of an ice producing plant, storage facility, and home heating oil depot. It is now a field of grass with a few scattered trees. The trees and grass have completely overgrown the history of the past. This is a favorite place for the geese when not in the water.  They tend to leave scat also in this area. As we continue our walk following the shoreline there is a Kiosk and a pet waste station. The path splits, we take the left and walk over the causeway. The causeway is a man-made road that separates Horn Pond from the lagoon. At the end of the causeway the path branches. This is a favorite for bird watchers to view the many varieties of birds. We take the left branch to Lions Park.

Lions Park

Lions Park was a former paved parking lot named for and maintained by the Woburn Lions club. There is a bronze statue of a lion in this area along with a gazebo and a few memorials. As we continue we take a left and head toward the Winitihooloo statue. I did not see the statue on this visit

As we progress, along the walkway the path branches left to Strawberry Point at the tip of the peninsula. Strawberry Point is a good spot to view the tiny island. We continue on the main path till there is a junction and take a left at the electric substation and head back into the main parking lot.

Returning to the point where we walked over the causeway, we will now go north of the causeway on the trail to the right of the lagoon. This area is less frequented and we are more likely to see birds which are the predominant wildlife of the reservation. The trail is narrower than the previous trail. There is a bridge at the northern end of the lagoon. There is where something that resembles a stream feeds water into the lagoon. As we head north there are several wooden bridges for crossing wet areas. These are good places to view wildlife like fish, turtles, and birds. Walking north there is Cattail Marsh on the right, a sand pit, and marsh on left. Going right after the bridge at the northern end of the lagoon leads to the other side of Cattail Marsh and the Community Gardens.