Rochester Town Forest and the surrounding area were once farmland, which was cultivated from just after the Civil War up to the 1960s. Thick woods have since regrown on this small but scenic property, providing a peaceful place for a walk despite being so close to the bustle of Old Colony High School. This wide, easy-to-follow path is perfect for a brisk trail run or an easy walk to catch up with friends. In the winter, the trail is a good place to give snowshoeing or cross-country skiing a try, thanks to its mostly flat grade.
There is only one trail on this property, making it easy for your mind to wander but your feet to stay on track. The 1.3-mile loop crosses through Rochester Town Forest and circles around Old Colony Vocational Technical High School. Enter the trail at the back of Lot A, where visitors may park. (Download trail map)
The loop is primarily flat, with a few gentle inclines to scale at its northern corner. The northern section of this loop navigates around the high school’s sports complex before re-entering the woods. Keep an eye out for groups of runners, as the school cross country team uses this trail for practice.
Habitats & Wildlife
Turkeys are abundant in Rochester Town Forest, as well as on the high school lawn! You may also notice chipmunks scurrying about or the occasional black-capped chickadee call. Sweet birch trees make for a pretty sight along the trail in the spring, their ribbed leaves standing out bright green against a backdrop of hardwoods and white pine. The trail crosses a cleared gas easement corridor at its southwestern corner, where you’ll find blueberry bushes and wildflowers in the summer.