On my birthday, Big Dude and Little Dude took me for a small local hike. On the Tyngsborough Town Yahoo group, a community member asked if anyone knew how to find the Shady Glade Trails. I had seen the trails on the town website but the links were faulty. I'm pretty certain that the website is run by volunteers so I can't fault them too much for the oversight. It has had a recent update in the last few weeks and now there is new information and the links are corrected.
However, at the time we made this journey we only had information that the trail head was on Primrose Lane. The street is on the west side of Tyngsborough a short drive from Route 3. We found the kiosk with it's large white sign on the right side of the street. The sign was tucked behind some tree branches so it was hard to see. We drove past it at first. There are about 3 parking spaces on the opposite side of the road.
We unloaded and put sunscreen and bug spray on. Big Dude settled Little Dude in his backpack and we went across the street to explore. At this point, Big Dude realized he only had his flip flops. We did not have a trail map but the sign indicated that we would find one main trial with two looping trails off of it blazed with trail markers. We struggled at first to make our way down the hill but we found some stone steps that had been over grown.
The path appeared to have once been wide and later I found out that it was an old cart path. It was very obvious that the trails were not well used. There was much overgrowth of ferns, grass and other forest plants. Due to all the rain we had received in June, the trail was flooded in several areas.
The mosquitoes were quite fierce. During the hike, Big Dude was getting huge mosquito bites. After a few of them had got him, he realized he had forgotten to put any bug spray on himself. I had a few bites through the bug spray. Surprisingly, the baby seemed to be okay.
We came upon a second trail junction with multiple signs. We had seen the conservation area blazes on another side trail. As the bugs were biting terribly, we debated about turning around or continuing on. We briefly explored some of the side trails but found them to be in worse condition than the main trail; overgrown and flooded. So after a bit we turned back.
It was a hot, muddy, and buggy hike with hidden trails. Now that I've seen the trail map, I know that we hiked nearly all of the main trail. I plan to go back and explore the two loops prepared with some DEET and the map. These trails would be great for a Girl Scout or Boy Scout community service project. They could use a bit of TLC. Of course, now that the trail is up on the town website, perhaps it will receive more foot traffic.
Where: Shady Glade Conservation Area, Tyngsborough, MA
Directions: To Primerose Lane
- From the Tyngsborough Bridge (center of town) head south on Rt. 3A
- Turn Right onto Westford Road
- Turn Right at the second set of lights (still Westford Road)
- At the fork bear Right onto Chestnut Street
- A half mile on the right is Primrose Lane