I thought maybe I’d exhausted every trail within a reasonable driving distance during the pandemic, but I’d overlooked Weston’s Case Estates, less than a 20-minute drive from our house.
I went on a rainy morning, parking at the Weston compound that includes the community center, library, and some schools. I found the trail entrance just around the side of the community center, and was greeted by an information board including the first of many signs about how dogs must be leashed. In fact, I didn’t run across any unleashed dogs, and for that matter, not many people either during my 4 or so miles of crisscrossing Weston’s trails.
The start of the trail is on a packed stony material that would work fine for strollers or wheelchairs.
It winds through a batch of colorful rhododendrons…crimson, pink, pinker, orange, and white, that have been around for 100 years.
The path ends at a lookout over old farm buildings and a stone incinerator. According to Weston’s Case Estates trails pamphlet (embedded below): “Case Estates sits on the original homeland of the Massachusetts Tribal Nation. From 1909 until the early 2000’s, much of this land was home to an experimental farm and horticultural center under the care of Marian Case (until 1944) and then Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.”
From there it was into the woods, following paths up and down and across, best of all through boardwalks and bog bridges that saved me from soaking my sneakers. With temps in the 40s and drizzle in the air, bugs were kept at bay and the green growth enveloped the trails.
Back at the parking lot I surveyed the buildings, including the Community Center and Library, then was home in practically no time despite a leisurely drive back.
The Weston Forest & Trail Association owns more than 200 acres of conservation land and easements and maintains more than 100 miles of trails in the Town of Weston.