1951 Turnpike Street
Rte. 114, N. Andover
Harold Parker State Forest, which lies in Andover,
North Andover, North Reading and Middleton, comprises just over
3,000 acres of Central Hardwood-Hemlock-White Pine type of forest.
The forest is twenty miles north of Boston and within one hour's
drive of three million people. Recreational opportunities include
hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, swimming,
camping and picnicking. The forest has over 35 miles of logging
roads and trails
and offers quiet seclusion to off-road hikers and bikers. Non-motorized
boating is allowed on any of the 11 ponds. No horse, boat or bike
rentals are available at the facility.
Lorraine Park Campground, located about 2 miles
from the Headquarters on Jenkins Rd., contains 91 sizeable campsites
that are spread out sufficiently to provide a real "forest" camping
experience. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a grill,
and although no electric or water hookups are available, the bathrooms
do have hot water showers. Camping is offered mid-April to mid-October;
office hours are from 9am-9pm.
Berry Pond is the area's day use facility, and
is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. The pond has a sand beach and
new washhouse with flush toilets and changing stalls set against
a beautiful backdrop of trees reflected in the surface of the pond.
Lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Grills
and picnic tables are available for anyone wishing to picnic at
The Annual Fishing Festival is held mid-August at Sudden Pond. A
Nature Center is located just inside the campground on Jenkins Road,
and is open from April to October.
The forest consists of rolling hills, low lying swampy areas, rock
outcrops and several ponds. The landform was created by glacial
movement, and evidence of glaciers exists today in the form of glacial
erratics. The area was inhabited by Pentacook Indians until it was
settled by English farmers around 1650. By the mid-nineteenth century
agriculture was abandoned, and a new forest grew up. The sites of
an 18th century sawmill and homesteads can be found. Tradition has
it that many of the homes surrounding the forest were used as Underground
Railroad hideouts in the 1850s. Secret doors and chambers can still
be seen in local homes. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe
and William Lloyd Garrison were frequent visitors to families in
Things to know before you go…
• Campground Office Hours: 9am–9pm
• Camping Season: Mid-April through Mid-October
Harold Parker State Forest is located in north-eastern Massachusetts.
From Boston: Take 93 north to exit 41, follow 125
north (toward Andover), for about 4 miles to the State Police Barracks
(on right). Turn right on Harold Parker Rd. to Jenkins Rd. Turn
left on Jenkins, right on Middleton, Headquarters is 1-1z¹2 miles
on the left
From Lawrence: From I-495 take exit 42, east on
Rte. 114 for 6 miles, right at brown State Forest sign to end of
road, left to Headquarters.
From Salem, Peabody, Danvers: West on Rte. 114,
left at Harold Parker State Forest sign, left to Headquarters.
Trailer / R.V.
For more information