MYLES STANDISH STATE FOREST LETTERBOXES:

SOUTH CARVER, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Planted:              East Head Reservoir Letterbox; August 22, 2003

                             College Pond Letterbox; August 23, 2003

Length:               Forest Headquarters to Cranberry Bog parking lot; 4 miles              

                      Forest Headquarters to East Head Reservoir Letterbox; ½ mile

                             Forest Headquarters to East Entrance; 5 ¾ miles

                             Forest Headquarters to College Pond Letterbox; 2.6 miles

                            Charge & Fearing Pond Loop; Unknown miles

Difficulty:           Moderate. Paved, hilly trails. Rough pavement. Steepness of hills, not recommended for kids on bikes.

Directions:

From I-495, take exit 2 to Route 58 north and follow for 2.4 miles. Here, Route 58 takes a left turn, continue straight on Tremont St. Just over a ½ mile, turn right onto Cranberry Rd. This will take you past the West Entrance. At the intersection of Fearing Pond Rd turn left into the Forest Headquarters parking lot.

From Route 3, take exit 5 and follow Long Pond Rd south for 3 ½ miles to the East Entrance. Enter the park on Alden Rd. Follow Alden Rd to Lower College Pond Rd. Stay straight on E Head Rd and turn left into the Forest Headquarters parking lot. 

To reach the Charge Pond parking lot; From the Forest Headquarters travel east on Fearing Pond Rd. Turn right on Charge Pond Rd. Just before Charge Pond will be the Charge Pond parking lot along your right.

Myles Standish State Forest is comprised of about 14,000 acres and contains about 15 miles of paved trails interconnected throughout the forest. This is a popular camping destination and campsites are located around several ponds in the forest; Fearing, Charge, Curlew, and Bartlett Ponds. This forest is New England 's largest remaining Pine Barren ecosystem, a sandy environment where only low growing Pitch Pines, Scrub Oaks, low bush blueberry and other hardy plants can survive. This State Forest was established in 1916 and is named for the military leader of Plymouth Colony. The bike trails go around the camping areas and so are very quiet and isolated as they meander up and down through the forest. At every road crossing is a numbered metal gate. These help you to keep track of your location and I use them in my directions. Print out the attached map or pick one up at the Headquarters. For more information visit; MYLES STANDISH .

Forest Headquarters to Cranberry Bog parking lot:

From the Forest Headquarters parking lot, go past Gate 88, to the right of the Interpretive Center. Follow the drive around past the RV stations to Gate 86. Turn right and pass through Gate 87 to the start of the paved trail. The northern section of this trail is probably the toughest in the State Forest because of some steep hills and curves. The trail climbs a slope of White Pines and then weaves through the forest along the western edge of the East Head Reservoir. Just shy of a ½ mile, the trail turns towards the reservoir and you get your first good view of it as you crest a small hill. The trail then heads down to a sharp left turn at the bottom. Stop Here for the Letterbox. To make sure you’re in the right location, there should be a small path down to the reservoirs shoreline. Walk down this path to where it meets up with the East Head Nature Trail (a hiking trail that circles the reservoir). There should be a sign post with the #13 on it, which means you’re in the correct location. Go back to the bike trail and put your back to the reservoir. Directly across the bike trail will be a large Pine tree. Behind this tree is a second Pine tree. Go to the second tree and you will see a log on top of a board. Under this board is the East Head Reservoir Letterbox. Please recover with Pine needles, so as to conceal it. Continuing up the trail, you'll pass through Gates 73/72 as you cross Lower College Pond Rd, then Gates 9/8 as you cross Bare Hill Rd at 1 ½ miles. Another ¼ mile takes you through Gate 7.

Note; You can take a quick detour from here to check out the Fire Tower. Just turn left on the dirt road, which then crosses over Bare Hill Rd to another dirt road. Just down this road to your right is the Fire Tower. It's surrounded by a fence so you can't go up it.

Continuing onward, you cross through a gas pipeline and Gate 6. Caution, at 3 ¼ miles you come to a steep hill with a hairpin turn. You pass through a boulder field on the way to your final two Gates 5/4. The trail ends next to a power line at Bare Hill Rd after 4 miles. Turn right on Bare Hill Rd to reach the Cranberry Bog parking lot and the campgrounds of Curlew Pond.

Forest Headquarters to East Entrance:

Heading out of the Forest Headquarters parking lot, turn left and cross a causeway between two gates, where the East Head Reservoir flows out. You'll pass by the starting point for the East Head Nature Trail and briefly travel along Fearing Pond Rd to the paved trails start on your left.  Passing through Gates 91/90 soon brings you to an intersection. This is about ¾ miles from HQ. Turning right takes you towards Fearing and Charge Ponds. Continue straight and pass a second turnoff that is part of the previous trail. You cross over a gas pipeline and emerge at another intersection. Again, turning right takes you towards Fearing and Charge Ponds. This is just over a ½ mile from the last intersection. Another ¼ mile takes you across Halfway Pond Rd at Gates 26/25. Pass through Gate 27 at 2 ¼ miles and come to Upper College Pond Road parking lot at 2 ½ miles. As you leave the parking lot you pass through Gate 28/30. To your left will be a wooden gate next to Gate 30A

Note; Gate 30A is currently missing its number. It's just a metal gate with wooden barriers on either side.

Facing the wooden gate, to your left will be a large boulder. Behind this boulder is a second boulder. Go to the second boulder and under its backside is the College Pond Letterbox. Continuing along the trail, you cross over Upper College Pond Rd at Gate 29. Another ½ mile takes you through Gates 32/31 and mile 4 brings you to Gate 33, where you cross through some power lines to Gate 34. The last 1 ¾ miles takes you to the trails end at the East Entrance after 5 3/4 miles.

Charge & Fearing Pond Loop:

Starting from the Charge Pond parking lot; From the parking lot cross over Charge Pond Rd, passing through Gate 112. You come to a T in the trail. 

Note; Right takes you towards Charge Pond

Turn left and travel a ½ mile through some dying Scotch Pines to Gates 48/49. Less then a ½ mile brings you past Gates 52/53 and the Fearing Pond Beach parking lot (fee). The trail winds its way to Gates 61/60. You pass through a large Red Pine forest on the way to an intersection. You then turn left and cross over Fearing Pond Rd at Gates 43/44. I loved this last section, as it was mostly downhill as it looped back to the Charge Pond parking lot.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR MYLES STANDISH SF MAP

CLICK HERE FOR BIKE TRAIL MAP

 

EAST HEAD RESERVOIR LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON

SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

COLLEGE POND LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON

SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

TO EMAIL A VERIFICATION

letterbox@snet.net 

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

HOME PAGE