An often-overlooked trail here in Harvard is the Shaker Spring House trail! It’s recently been refreshed, and the 45-min loop offers beautiful walk through forest and wetlands as well as a close-up look at a historic landmark: the Shaker Spring house. The house and water system underneath was originally built by the Shakers in 1855. Suffering from a drought, they laid an aqueduct about a mile long from the spring at this site to a reservoir in Shaker Village (now Route 2 runs between these two sites, so you won’t be able to hike from this trail over to the Old Shaker Village any longer.)
You’ll find the entrance to the trail at the end of Green Hill Road, just off of Old Littleton. There’s parking off the cul-de-sac for 3-4 cars. About 150 yards into the trail, you’ll come to a fork and can hike the loop in either direction. If you want to see the Spring House first, head to the left (clockwise) you’ll come upon it very quickly.
It’s winter now, so many of the trees are bare and the noise from the highway is significant during business hours. That said, the proximity and easy access for many who live along Old Littleton makes up for this, and once you turn south away from Route 2, you’ll wander through the woods and along streams.
For more information, visit https://harvardconservationtrust.org/maps/shaker_spring_house.pdf