Cross to the north side of the road and proceed north on the red-blazed Charcoal Burners Trail (named for the men who felled trees in the area during the nineteenth century and carefully burned them to make charcoal). The trail briefly parallels the road, then bears left and heads into the woods. Soon, you’ll reach the eastern end of the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail, but you should continue...
Cross to the north side of the road and proceed north on the red-blazed Charcoal Burners Trail (named for the men who felled trees in the area during the nineteenth century and carefully burned them to make charcoal). The trail briefly parallels the road, then bears left and heads into the woods. Soon, you’ll reach the eastern end of the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail, but you should continue ahead on the red-blazed Charcoal Burners Trail. The relatively level trail passes through thickets of mountain laurel, with an understory of blueberry bushes.
In about two-thirds of a mile, you’ll reach a cairn (rock pile) that marks the start of the white-blazed Cabot Trail. Turn left and follow the Cabot Trail, which descends gradually, reaching Jordan Pond in half a mile. Two short side trails lead down to the pond; the second trail (which leaves to the right just beyond the crossing of the pond’s inlet) reaches the shoreline at a rock ledge, with a broad view over the pond. A bench has been placed here for hikers to rest and contemplate the bucolic scene.
Continue ahead on the Cabot Trail, which soon goes by a large rock outcrop and begins to ascend. After passing between old stone walls, the trail emerges onto a clearing. Here, the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail comes in from the left. The Cabot Trail ends here, and you should continue ahead on the yellow-blazed trail, briefly following a wide, grassy road. Watch carefully for a double-blaze, which marks a right turn.
Just beyond, you’ll come to a unlocked gate – the first of several you’ll encounter in this portion of the hike. This section of the trail crosses private property and several active fields, and you are requested to leave each gate in the position (locked or unlocked) that you find it in. Follow the trail as it turns left on a dirt road for about 200 feet, then turns right and reaches a wooden gate (before coming to a road that goes off to the right). After passing through this gate, you’ll emerge alongside an open field – in summer, filled with a multitude of wildflowers. Continue ahead on a footpath, with a fence on the right and an old stone wall on the left, and views to the right over the ridge to the north. You’ll pass a large horse barn on the left.
After following a path between two fences, the trail turns right and follows along the right side of another large field, used for growing hay. As you reach the crest of the hill, views appear over a large lake below. After descending for a short distance, bear left on a farm road that crosses the field (to the right, a double yellow blaze on a fence post indicates the turn). Continue along the farm road as it passes another gate and crosses a third field (due to the absence of trees, there are few blazes along this section of the trail). Enter the woods at the end of the field, bear right at the next fork, and emerge onto a fourth field. Here, the trail bears right, skirting the perimeter of the field, then continues along the road, soon re-entering the woods at a gap in a stone wall.
After reaching a limited viewpoint to the north and west from a rock outcrop, the trail begins a steady descent through mountain laurel thickets. Soon, you’ll hear the sounds of traffic, as the trail comes close to Route 301. Near the base of the descent, the trail swings sharply to the right, heads away from the busy road, and begins to parallel Clove Creek. For half a mile, the trail runs along this attractive watercourse. This is about the halfway point of the hike. The trail then bears left, crosses the stream on a wooden bridge, crosses the private Glynwood Road (a little-used dirt road), and climbs rather steeply to a grassy woods road.
A red-blazed trail begins on the left, but you should turn right to continue along the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail, which follows this grassy road. Soon, you’ll come to a T-intersection, where the yellow-blazed trail turns left. In another 150 feet, it reaches a junction with the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail. The Perkins Trail turns left here, but you should bear right, leaving the Perkins Trail, and follow the blue blazes of the Fahnestock Trail. A short distance ahead, you’ll pass a large pond to the right, visible through the trees.
Just beyond the northern end of the pond, the trail bears right, crosses the pond’s inlet on a culvert and a moss-covered cement bridge, and begins a steady climb. Watch carefully for a right turn at the crest of the rise, where the trail leaves the woods road and heads into the woods on a footpath. The trail descends a switchback, climbs a rock outcrop, and continues to ascend more gently through mountain laurel. Eventually, it turns right onto a woods road. The trail briefly turns left onto another woods road, then turns right and continues on a footpath through dense barberry bushes.
After a moderate climb, the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail turns right onto a wide, grassy woods road. A short distance beyond, the red-blazed Charcoal Burners Trail joins from the left. Continue along the joint blue-and-red trail, which descends to Beaver Pond. The trail comes out along the shore of this beautiful pond, with a panoramic view over the pond. This is a good spot to take a break..
The trail now turns right, descends to cross the outlet of the pond, then climbs through highbush blueberry bushes and dense mountain laurel thickets to reach another junction. Here, the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail turns left, but you should continue ahead and follow the red-blazed Charcoal Burners Trail for about a mile to Route 301, where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 09/09/2005 updated/verified on 04/04/2013
This loop hike traverses the northern section of the park, passing by three scenic ponds, following an attractive stream and skirting several open fields.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.