Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
112.00 ft (34.14 m)
Trail type
3.40 mi (5.47 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Stow Town Forest in Stow, Massachusetts offers a well-maintained trail network perfect for hikers, trail runners, or mountain bikers. This 3.4-mile loop outlines the perimeter of the land, but the preserve offers many other trails to explore and loop. This loop features a scenic picnic area near the Assabet River where there are some benches to enjoy the views.

The loop begins at the Stow Memorial Athletic Field, just off of Route 117. There is a large parking lot for several dozen cars that is rarely crowded. There are multiple maps posted along many junctions in the trail network, and the trails are labeled by different colors. Most main trails are wide and clear, and are mostly flat, and there are also many narrower connecting trails with steeper terrain than others that are more challenging.

A recommended route to see most of the entire forest begins on the blue loop heading counter-clockwise. Off of the blue trail the AT&T Eastment Trail takes hikers to the southwestern end of the park, at which point the loop turns towards the orange trail, allowing hikers to follow the scenic Assabet River for the longest duration and get the best views. Just across the river is the Assabet River Rail Trail and Crow Island. Connecting back to the blue loop, follow this wider path along the river to a picnic area and a large sign and map. Continue following the blue loop back to the parking. A recommended addition to this loop is the portion of the trails near Elizabeth Brook; these trails are narrow but feature interesting terrain as well as some challenging mountain biking features.

The Stow Town Forest is a great place to visit year-round. This New England forest preserve is the perfect location for seeing colorful foliage in the fall, and the trails are wide enough and well-maintained for mountain biking in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter (although they are not groomed). There are so many trails available that it is easy to find an uncrowded and exciting adventure!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic river. Wide trails. Loop options.

Trailhead Elevation

197.00 ft (60.05 m)

Highest point

224.00 ft (68.28 m)


Near lake or river
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required




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