Elliott Concord River Preserve, Carlisle
Although small itself, the Elliott Concord River Preserve directly abuts over 900 acres of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which in turn is contiguous with another 760 acres of additional protected open space, mostly to the north. To the south, only a small, undeveloped inholding separates this 1,600+ acre complex from another 200 acres of National Wildlife Refuge (the Concord Impoundments), which in turn connects across the river to other protected open space in Concord and back into Carlisle, including historic Estabrook Woods.
A trail departs the parking lot along an easement over private land; please note signage and respect private property here. Shortly after entering the forested section of the land, the trail crosses an attractive stream, a tributary to the nearby Concord River. The trail then winds its way out of tree cover into a field before heading back into a pine forest. At the fork in the path you can choose to head up the hill to the highest point of the property, overlooking the river, or follow the trail along the edge of the wetland and along the Concord River. Around the midpoint of the loop is a short trail that leads out to the river’s edge. This point also serves as a resting spot on a paddle along this beautiful stretch of the river. A launch is located just downstream of the property at the Route 225 bridge.
From Route 95 in Lexington, take exit 31B (Routes 4 and 225 towards Bedford). Follow Route 225 for 4.8 miles (Note: Route 225 turns left at a fork with Route 4). Turn left onto Skelton Road. Go 0.2 mile. Turn left into the driveway for #121 Skelton Road. Parking is on the right. Stay along wooden fence to the trail into the woods; please do not walk on the private driveway.