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DirectionsCelebrate the Peacefulness and Beauty of the Trails in the Burlington Landlocked Forest

The Friends of the Landlocked Forest are celebrating new boardwalks and trails and a new map for this little-known gem. It’s only minutes from your house!


2013 trail building

Burlington Selectmen, Dan DiTucci (left) and Ralph Patuto listen to Lexington Selectman Norman Cohen at the dedication ceremony for the information kiosk built at the entrance to the Landlocked Forest.

Burlington Landlocked Forest - 4min from David Darby on Vimeo.


Please visit Shinji Coram's Eagle Project: Bannon Hill Tour, a collection of articles guiding you through Bannon Hill

Boy Scouts Build Trail in the Landlocked Forest

Last year, Burlington’s Boy Scout Troop 511 teamed up with members of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) to build a new trail in the Landlocked Forest. The project – coordinated with the Friends of the Landlocked Forest and approved by the Burlington Board of Selectmen – created a trail that makes access to the property and its trail system easier for residents of all ages. The existing trail under the power lines from the Lexington parking lot is quite steep in places and is less suited for the casual walker.  NEMBA’s certified trail builders showed the scouts how to use their tools safely and the whole crew headed out to the pre-marked trail.  After four hours of removing branches, rocks, vines, loose soil, and other obstacles the trail was finished. The next step is a bench or two that will be built as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Volunteers Build new Boardwalk in the Landlocked Forest

More than 25 volunteers turned out to build a new boardwalk in the Burlington Landlocked Forest on Saturday, May 7th.  The project was carried out by the Friends of the Burlington Landlocked Forest and the Boston chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA).  The 140-foot boardwalk crosses a rocky stream and wetland area and connects the eastern and western sections of the forest.  The boardwalk is made from arsenic-free pressure treated wood and is expected to last at least 25 years.  The Burlington Board of Selectmen approved the project and the Friends of the Landlocked Forest raised $1,600 from more than 60 donors to pay for the materials.  NEMBA provided both experienced volunteers and the specialized tools needed to create a boardwalk in the forest.

Click here to Watch the Volunteers Build the Boardwalk


Notice for Burlington residents:

A Warrant Article has been submitted requesting that Burlington Town Meeting change the zoning status of the Burlington Landlocked Forest from General Industrial to Open Space. Later this month, Town Meeting sponsors will be appearing before the Planning Board, Recreation Commission, Conservation Commission, and the Board of Selectmen to make their case. Burlington Town Meeting will then vote on the issue on Monday, January 23rd.

This is a great opportunity to protect the forest!

We are asking every forest supporter from Burlington to call or email the Town Meeting members from your precinct and ask them to support this warrant article.

For a list of Town Meeting members by Precinct and contact info, click here.

If you are unsure which precinct you live in, click here, for the list of streets and precincts.

Things you can mention to people you call or email:

Burlington Open Space Zoning allows the following uses:

  • Non-profit educational uses like libraries, museums, schools, and child care facilities
  • Non-commercial outdoor recreation including nature study and walkways
  • Public parks, tennis courts, and related facilities
  • Cemeteries by special permit
  • Public water distribution structures
  • Temporary tents for not more than four days
  • Bomb shelters
  • Agricultural and horticultural usage and non-commercial greenhouses
  • Windmills and towers of 12 feet or less
  • Fences and signs
  • Churches and other religious buildings

Please let Town Meeting members know you value the forest as a recreational asset and there is legal pedestrian access right now. Burlington residents can park at the parking lot at Turning Mill Road in Lexington for unimpeded access into the forest’s extensive trail network - and during the last few years, hundreds of Burlington residents have done just that. If you want to send a link for directions and the trail map, here it is.

By zoning the forest as Open Space, we can prevent a large development with office buildings and condos from coming to the 250-acre site. This type of development would exacerbate existing problems. For example, the only outlet from the site would be a large bridge over Rt. 3 that would empty onto the Middlesex Turnpike, exacerbating traffic congestion.

The forest also absorbs and cleans rainwater. Burlington Town Meeting voted in 1986, by a two-thirds majority, to purchase the Landlocked Forest by eminent domain to protect the water supply and preserve open space. Most of the Landlocked Forest is in Burlington’s Zone 3 Water Protection District, which drains into the Vine Brook aquifer located along the Middlesex Turnpike.

You can also point out that the current drought afflicting our region is a vivid reminder that clean water is a precious resource and we can never do too much to protect the Vine Brook aquifer. In addition, forests reduce air pollution; studies show that trees produce oxygen and offset pollution from traffic.

Ask your Town Meeting representatives to prioritize recreational uses and water protection over the potential for more parking lots and traffic.

Thank you on behalf of the Friends of the Landlocked Forest – Martha Simon, Chris Warren, Rosalie Blum, Monte Pearson


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Photo Fundraiser: Support the Friends of the Landlocked Forest by purchasing a photo of the Landlocked Forest. We also offer photo puzzles, T-shirts, aprons, tote bags, mousepads, mugs and bookmarks. All proceeds will go to support our organization.

Friends of the Burlington Landlocked Forest is an organization of citizens concerned with the wellbeing and preservation of 270-acres of land located between Routes 62, 3, and 128 in Burlington, MA.

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