Jump to Section
Hover your mouse over images in order to see captions.
Hiking Time Calculator
to estimate how long a hike will take based on YOUR walking pace.
MA - Central North
Views, pond, brooks, cliffs, loop hike
250 feet (cumulative)
This is an easy loop hike with gentle ups and downs and offers lots of different natural features: a beaver pond, brooks, cliffs, and views of the surrounding forests and hills. First, this route follows the trails on the outermost perimeter of the Vaughn Hills hiking network, then it turns into the center of the property to do a smaller loop up and around the summit of Vaughn Hill.
The trails are well marked by yellow triangles. You will pass very close below a beaver dam on the right, a quarter-mile from the start. The dam which is six feet high by about 75-100 feet wide has turned what used to be a swamp into a pond. The beaver lodge is another quarter-mile along the trail. Continue around the pond as far as possible (on the trail). You'll see a sign for the summit but keep going right around the pond and you'll enjoy the treat. There are a few trails that crisscross and the ice storms have blurred some of the paths but the trail should be cleaned up soon.
The trail then turns left away from the pond and begins to move into the woods and follows a brook beneath a steep cliff (the view up is very nice). You will make your way along the back edge of a farm and then you will need to follow the map to stay on the outside perimeter of the trail system. The path follows a brook downhill to the north and then loops around and follows another brook uphill to the south. The trail crosses the brooks several times and passes over an old dam located at the very northern turnaround point.
The trail loops back around to where you will see the summit sign once again. There is a well-marked loop trail that takes you up to the top of two small peaks (Vaughn Hills) with beautiful panoramas of the forest and trail below. After descending the hills in a southerly direction you will be back at the junction you encountered earlier near the pond, and you can then head back to the parking lot along the trail you came in on.
This hike is fairly easy with gradual changes in elevation. The loop is easy with no snow and can be difficult with snow but no snowshoes. This is a great quick hike (after work) and is surprisingly quiet, although you may see other walkers with dogs and horses. The total elevation change is a couple hundred feet.
The multiple loops allow you to do as much or as little of a hike as you like. The access from Route 495 is very easy, yet far enough away that the road noise cannot be heard.
Hiking Time Comments
Hiking Time Calculator
Actual vs. Typical Hiking Times and Outing Durations
Distances of Hikes
New England States
New Hampshire Regions
Rhode Island Regions
Map Comments and Legend
Please check the links below to get the latest status, closures, and alerts regarding forest roads, trails, and campgrounds.
White Mountain National Forest
Green Mountain National Forest
Welcome hikers, walkers, and snowshoers!
This site is geared towards those that love to be outside. Whether you're looking for outdoor fitness and recreation or wishing to find peace and serenity through nature - we have suggestions for you.
Our free hiking trail guide resource offers everything from short, easy, nature walks to challenging mountain climbs above timberline in the alpine zone. The detailed trail reports with hike descriptions, trail maps, photos, and driving directions serve as a great planning tool. Many of the trail guides are based on hikes in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.
We offer ideas for all seasons so take those boots or snowshoes out of the closet and go for a hike! Get revitalized and melt away stress; there's always a special peace or joy in being surrounded by nature whether you're all alone on a remote path or on a busy trail exchanging cheerful greetings with like-minded people.
HikeNewEngland.com covers hikes in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
The trailhead for this hike to Vaughn Hills is located in Bolton, Massachusetts.
From I-495, take Exit 27 for Rt. 117 West.
Follow Rt. 117 West for about 2.6 miles.
Turn sharply right onto Green Road and follow it for about 0.9 mile.
Park on the left in a parking area opposite Nourse Road.
Share this page's content on a social network. Choose from Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Yahoo, MySpace, and more. Hover over the button below to share.
top of page
The information on this site may freely be used for personal purposes but may not be replicated on other websites or publications. If you want to reference some content on this site, please link to us.