Madam Sherri Forest and Castle near Chesterfield, NH
You can hike in a beautiful forest and also explore the ruins of a notorious Jazz Age doyenne at the Madam Sherri Forest and Castle near Chesterfield. The forest is named for Madame Antoinette Sherri, who worked as a costume designer for the Zigfield Follies in the 1920s and built a stone-walled estate in the woods of Chesterfield. She threw lavish parties and horrified locals by driving about in a fur coat with nothing else. Much of the rubble of her “castle” is still in the woods – use your imagination and you’ll enjoy an eerie exploration. The Madame Sherri Forest is the jumping off point for the Ann Stokes Loop Trail and several other hiking trails. Map
Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park in Hubbardton VT
Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park is an undeveloped state park on land donated to the state in late 2016. It is in the shadow of Mount Zion. There are walking trails and a beautiful Japanese garden. Dogs are welcome!The park is open year round, 10 a.m. to sunset. Map
Dogtown in Gloucester, MA
Dogtown — more on the name later — is actually a ghost town of about five square miles in central Gloucester. The walking trails, which are open to the public, are pocked with boulders on which inspirational messages are carved. The area was settled starting in 1642, and it was thriving community until about 1750, when economic changes led to its abandonment. Some of the final residents were widows of Revolutionary War soldiers, whose use of dogs for companionship helped coin the name Dogtown. The last resident, Black Neil, was taken to the poorhouse in 1930. In the early 20th century naturalist and philanthropist Roger Babson mapped Dogtown’s cellar holes and hired stonecutters to inscribe the boulders. Gloucester now maintains Dogtown as an undeveloped public park.
To Get There: from Grant Circle on Route 128 (exit 11), take route 127 North. Within the first mile, take a right on either Dr. Osman Babson Road or Reynard Street and proceed up to Cherry St. Take a left and look for Dogtown Road on the right. Drive up the paved road to the parking area, and then walk to the end of the paved section of Dogtown Road. Follow the unpaved Dogtown Road to Dogtown Square, and the bear right for the Babson Boulder Trail. Map