Friday, March 1, 2013

Douglas State Forest, Coffeehouse Loop

March 1, 2013
Distance: 2.6 miles
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Map: Douglas State Forest Detail Map
Parking: Park entrance is near 107 Wallum Lake Road, Douglas, MA. Sign for the main park entrance is there. I planned to park at the parking area on the map indicated by "P" next to the nature center. That part of the road was closed (unplowed). Instead I kept left, and parked at the boat ramp area next to Wallum Lake.

Restrooms: In parking lot
Post hike dinner: Chipotle, Marlborough

Since I couldn't park where I originally intended, it was a little more confusing to find the start (and then the end) of the trail. Otherwise the trail was well marked.
At parking lot, continue on road (no vehicular access) with the lake on your left. Head towards the Nature Center. There is a sign near the Nature Center saying turn right to head towards the Coffeehouse Loop trail. Turn right and continue along that road. You'll pass a trail on your left. The road ends at a sign saying turn lef for the Cofee House Loop trail. Turn left, now you are on the trail.
The trail has blue blazes throughout. It is a clockwise loop. Sometimes the trail is joined by other trails. The trail ends at a road, which is actually the closed circular parking lot. Turn right on the road. Then, get back on the trail where the sign says no vehicular access. Continue on this until you see the original sign for the Coffeehouse Loop trail. Turn left and follow trail back to parking.

In the summer Wallum Lake is probably crowded with bathers. Today, we didn't see anyone on our hike. Parts of the trail were very flat & wide, and then parts were more trail-like. This was an easy hike, though I did need microspikes due to the snow and ice. There are a couple of streams which might be nice for dogs in the summer. I think these trails are also used by equestrians and mountain bikers.

Sign for park entrance
Boat ramp parking lot.
Sign near nature center
Start of the trail. You will end up here again.
The trail is joined by the Midstate trail (which is a little more rugged than parts of the Coffeehouse trail).
One happy dog!
One of the stream crossings
At the end of the Coffehouse trail, turn right onto a road which quickly ends at the circular parking lot.
Keep the parking lot on your left.
Keep to the right at the Do Not Enter sign.
This trail will lead you back to the "Coffeehouse Loop Trail 2.2 miles" sign.

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