Josias Byles Preserve

Access to the trail is on Ashford Center Road (U.S. 44) next to Henrietta House Bed and Breakfast 

Walkability: Moderate, with a descent to the river and then a climb back up.

Total distance: 1.7 miles. 

Elevation change: 236 feet (up + down).

Environment: Nice woods with open forest floor. The trail starts on a right-of-way between two properties. There are gardens and goats on the right at Henrietta House. This R-o-W is a road that leads into the Boy Scout camp property. The trail turns left after crossing Byles Brook . Before that there is a short trail, marked with orange blazes, that starts immediately after the kiosk at the entrance into the Preserve. This trail goes uphill to an overlook above a five acre meadow kept in early succession habitat by Joshua's  Trust for the benefit of wildlife.  It reconnects with the main yellow trail (about 0.1 mile). 

We stayed on the yellow trail, passing up the opportunity to cross the middle of the preserve on the blue-blazed trail (about 0.5 miles shorter than the full yellow trail). The yellow trail descends from 560' to 400' where it comes to the Mount Hope River wetlands. While the trail technically does not go all the way to the river, look for an unmarked rough trail to the right at the end (at the binoculars on the left of the map). It takes you a few dozen feet to the edge if the water and to a large beaver dam which extends across wetlands associated with the river. It's a bit difficult to see it through the brush, but worth a look. 

Return to your car by continuing uphill on the yellow trail and turning back onto the right-of-way. Or extend your hike and do the blue section, too.

Directions: The entrance and parking area (ample, and well off the road) are located 0.5 mile east of Westford Road (Rt. 89) on the north side of Ashford Center Road (U. S. 44), next to Henrietta House B&B.

Josias Byles Sanctuary page at Joshua's Trust website.

October 2023

Map of Josias Byles Preserve trails from Joshua's Trust.