Harold Parker State Forest

Made possible by

Photos

About

Summary

An excellent choice for family camping and hiking with easy trails, and plenty of ponds and high points to explore.

Written by

Cody Grodzki

Distance

0.1 miles

Varies, depending on which trail you choose.

Destination Distance From Downtown

17.5 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 days

1 Day to Full Weekend

Seasonality

Summer and Fall

May-September

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Leashed dogs are welcome with proof of rabies vaccination and as long as they are cleaned up after.

Fees Permits

Yes

$12 MA residents, $14 out of state residents

Review

Intro

Located 40 minutes north of Boston in the town of North Andover, Harold Parker State Forest lays claim to over 3000-acres of land and 35 miles of trails. Once logging roads, these trails now loop and wind around the forest, taking hikers through rock outcroppings, wetlands, high points, and 11 different ponds.  If you have been searching for a fun place to spend some quality time with the family in the great outdoors, look no further- Harold Parker just might be the perfect place for you.

What Makes It Great

One of Harold Parker’s many notable features is its dedication to accessibility.  The forests’ beaches, campsites, and restrooms are all handicap accessible, making this a fantastic destination for groups of all abilities. Additionally, the campsites are far from what many hardcore campers would deem “roughing it” but scenic enough for even more outdoor oriented folds to enjoy. 

Looking for things to do while you’re here? The Harold Parker State Forest Annual Fishing Festival is held in September, so for all you anglers out there, it might be worth lining up your weekend adventure with this fun event.

Have a real nature enthusiast in your group? Visit the Nature Center! Open for all to enjoy from May to September, this is the starting point for many public events. Check out the calendar to see what happenings are going on during your stay.

Who is Going to Love It

Harold Parker State Forest is a superb destination for the family. Hosting nearly 90 campsites and with features such as hot showers and restrooms, even those with minimal outdoor experience should enjoy themselves here. In addition, the many ponds are a great place for swimming and fishing, especially during those warm summer months.  

A great place to go for a feeling of adventure, a day spent in Harold Parker State Forest will have you exploring the seemingly endless trails that criss-cross through the landscape. Throughout your journey you'll likely encounter others enjoying the trails as well-  mountain bikers, horseback riders, and even fisherman call the forest and waterways home. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Hop on I-93 N to MA-125 N/Ballardvale St in Wilmington. Take Exit 41. Follow MA-125 N and Harold Parker Rd to Jenkins Rd in Andover. Turn right onto MA-125 N/Ballardvale St (signs for N Andover/Merrimack College/Andover). Turn right onto Gould Rd. Continue straight onto Harold Parker Rd. Turn right onto Jenkins Rd. Harold Parker State Forest will be on your right.

For camping information, Harold Parker State Forest asks that visitors please call (978) 475-7972 for seasonal camping information. Sites are $12 per site per night. Parking for 2 cars is included with campsite reservation.

Location

Harold Parker State Forest

North Andover, MA, 01845
42.610219, -71.090561

Get Directions