Follow an old lane through scenic open fields, to a wooded knoll.
PASTURE TRAIL Departing from here, follow the Pasture Trail down the slope to the open fields. The trail continues as a path between a stone wall and an old barbed wire fence, and then opens up to the field beyond.
HILLOCK TRAIL Turn right at a marker, where the Hillock Trail enters a wooded area. The trail will loop around and re-emerge at the field. Mosquito Brook can be seen snaking through the lower portion of the field on its long journey to the Ipswich River.
WOOD KNOLL TRAIL To explore further, follow the Wood Knoll Trail, marked with red trail markers. The trail ends at a utility corridor where power lines and a natural gas pipeline run from Dracut to Salem.
Low-lying sections of the Pasture Trail may be wet from seasonal flooding. Long pants are recommended as poison ivy and wild roses can be found growing among the grass year round. Volunteers usually mow the path in early summer, so it may be lost in the tall grass at some times of year.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The open fields at Foster Farm are hayed annually. Keeping these clearings open provides a habitat for many plant and animal species that rely on grasslands.
In summer, the fields fill with fragrant, pink milkweed blossoms. Bluebirds are a common sighting here along the edge of the fields.
There have been Fosters at Foster Farm since the 1600s. In 1935, Earl and Bea Foster bought the land and buildings from an aunt, and by the mid-1950s they had 3000 chickens and a herd of over 100 prize-winning Ayrshire cattle, selling milk and breeding stock.
The town acquired this land in 1998 through an act of town meeting, with the western portion designated as a future elementary school site.