From Rte 128 North or South: exit 43 in Lynnfield, (4 miles to Lynn Woods) at bottom of ramp, head east, following signs to Walnut St., Saugus/Lynn. At 1.5 miles, bear left at fork. You will cross over Rte. 1 and continue into Lynn (boundary is unmarked) on Walnut St. At blinking light, turn left onto Pennybrook Rd. (opposite O'Callaghan Way). Go to end of Pennybrook Rd. and between two stone pillars into the Reservation.
Founded in 1881, the Lynn Woods Reservation, a 2,200 acre forested park, is the second largest municipal park in the United States. Located 10 miles from Boston, Lynn Woods falls into our Urban Legend category. 30 plus miles of scenic trails provide a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities and scenic routes for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Three active reservoirs (lakes) provide idyllic pond-scapes as well as clean water for the City of Lynn, Massachusetts.
Major points of interest in the Reservation are: an elegantly landscaped three acre Rose Garden; Dungeon Rock, an underground cave with a history of pirate lore and treasure seekers; the Wolf pits where early Lynn settlers trapped wolves and the Stone Tower. The five story, stone Fire Observation Tower was built in the 1930's. If you climb to the top, you will be rewarded with views of the Lynn Waterfront and the Boston Skyline.
A maze of trails criss-cross Lynn Woods Reservation and wind through wetlands, natural deciduous and evergreen forests including hemlock stands and around idyllic pond-scapes. A variety of terrain ranging from gravel fire roads and technical singletrack to rocky ledges and fields strewn with boulders of all shapes and sizes provide some of the best mountain biking within the Greater Boston area.
Walden Pond, the largest of the three reservoirs (ponds) in Lynn Woods, divides the reservation into two distinct areas. To the South of Walden Pond, a maze of gravel-surfaced fire roads and some singletrack provide mostly easy to moderate riding. The five-story Stone Tower (1/4 mile from the main parking lot) and Dungeon Rock (see historical note below) provide an interesting diversion in this area of the Reservation.
The trails that are located to the north of Walden Pond are for experienced technical riders who like to eat rocks for breakfast. Rocks, rocks and even larger rocks! There are numerous formations to ride on, over, around and between.
Before you ride, take the time to learn the layout of the trail system and pick up a copy of the official park map. Bike on the multi-use trails designated for biking which are marked with colored paint blazes. If it isn't on the map it isn't an official trail. Mountain biking is not permitted on the trails marked "foot traffic only".
There have been "issues" regarding illegal trail building and riding. As a result the park was almost rendered off limits to mountain bikes. We would have been reduced to singing sagas about the good old days and the Legend of Lynn Woods. I'd rather be riding, wouldn't you?. (I'm rather off key anyway).
The Legend of Dungeon Rock:
Lynn Woods has a colorful history, starting in the 1600s. An often told tale is the Legend of Dungeon Rock. Thomas Veale was one of four pirates from New England, who is said to have rowed a boat full of treasure up the river Saugus and settle at Lynn Woods. An earthquake shook Lynn severely in 1658. The pirate was within his treasure cave at the time. The rock above him splintered and fell in upon him, sealing him inside forever. From that time onward the spot has been called Dungeon Rock.
The Wolf Pits are another interesting vestige of the past that can be found in the Lynn Woods Reservation today. In the 1600's Lynn area settlers dug stone lined pits to trap wolves for fear of their lives and to protect their livestock. They completely eradicated wolves from the area by 1775. (Tragic and sad). I like wolves.
Stone Tower (presently closed for restoration)
Sitting on the top of the highest point in Lynn on Burrell Hill, this rustic, 48 foot tall fire observation tower was built by the WPA Project in 1936. Nice views from the top of Lynn's waterfront and Boston.
For more information:
Lynn Woods Reservation
Phone: (781) 477-7123
Lynn Parks Department
Phone: (617) 598-4000