The Coney Brook Trail is accessed via the Pond Trail, at a trail junction approximately 500 feet from the north side of the TPMA... more » parking lot. (Look for the orange blazes.) The trail soon crosses over Plain Road and into a clearing, which was created in 2009 to stimulate the regeneration of a pitch pine grove.
The optional Logger's Trail is quickly in sight to the right, but the Coney Brook Trail proceeds straight ahead into the forest, along an abandoned cart path. This path leads gently downhill, passing the ruins of the old Parker Place, once a small farm with zig-zagging stone walls. The trail continues to the bottom of the hill, where it heads north, skirting the edge of lush, forested wetlands. Here, the route takes advantage of the topography, following the tops of small glacial ridges, called eskers, which were formed about 14,000 years ago. Hemlock Ridge is one of those eskers, providing a shady, fragant resting place, even on the brightest summer day.
As hikers climb back up the hill toward Plain Road, they will likely hear Coney Brook babbling away before they see it. A series of railings and a small bridge provide for safe viewing of brook, which can range from a trickle to a torrent, depending on rainfall and beaver activity upstream. After one more short climb, the trail breaks out into a hayfield, which The Nature Conservancy leases to a local farmer. The Coney Brook Trail concludes at the intersection with Plain Road, where hikers have the option of turning right to return to the parking lot (closing a 2.3-mile loop), or turning left to continue onto the Pond Trail. less «