Walking the Dog

Suburban Walks > Beavers at Hutchins Pond


When was the last time you saw a beaver dam? At Hutchins Pond in Concord, you can see a beaver lodge, several beaver dams, and numerous trees felled by the beavers. I assume that the beavers are active at night since I have never seen them on a hike.

If you decide to see the beaver dams, parking can be difficult on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, but is not much of a problem at other times. First, drive to the Punkatasset parking area near 873 Monument Street. Walk in on the driveway between 873 and 851 Monument Street.

Less than a tenth of a mile from Monument Street, you will come to a fork in the trail and a large sign with a map posted. The left fork goes up the west side of the pond. The right fork goes up the east side of the pond. The far side of Hutchins Pond is about one-half mile from Monument Street. If you take the left fork, you will see Punkatasset Hill on your left. Eventually, you will arrive at a culvert protected by trapezoidal fences that are meant to keep the beavers from blocking the culvert. In this area, you will see many trees that have been gnawed and felled by the beavers. They strip off the tasty branches, but leave the trunks. On the right side of the culvert, you will see a small beaver dam that raises the water a few feet above the level of Hutchins pond.

As you continue on the trail, there will be a trail to the right that leads around the north end of the pond. As you continue on to the east side of Hutchins Pond, you will see more gnawed and felled trees. There is a culvert on this side that allows water to flow out of the pond and down to the Concord River. Shortly after you pass over the culvert, you will be able to see a beaver lodge on the Hutchins Pond shore.

Continuing back toward Monument Street, you will see fenced pastures on the left and a turnstyle that allows you to enter the pastures when there are no cows present. If you look across the pastures, you will see a magnificent private home.

On a hike that covers about a mile of walking, you will have seen: Punktasset Hill, Hutchins Pond, beaver dams, trees felled by beavers, a beaver lodge, and some New England pastures. Except for the path at the north end of Hutchins Pond, the path consists of unpaved roads.


(Click on the pictures to see enlarged images.)

Beaver Lodge A Poplar Gnawed by Beavers Poplar Leaves Beaver Dam at a Trapezoidal Culvert Fence Beaver Dam Turnstyle


Hutchins Pond Map

On the Hutchins Pond Map (above), you would start your walk at 873 Monument Street which is on the right side of the map. You would proceed up the left (west) side of Hutchins Pond, turn right at the top of the pond, and right again at the northeast corner of the pond. From there you would continue on out to Monument Street.

Hutchins Pond Track and Waypoint Map

On the Hutchins Pond Track and Waypoint Map (above), you would also start your walk at 873 Monument Street; waypoint P01. You would continue to waypoint P02 and then up the left (west) side of Hutchins Pond to waypoint E43 which is the culvert leading into Hutchins Pond. This is the location of a trapezoidal culvert fence. Looking toward the pond, you will see a beaver dam which has created a pond at an elevation a few feet above Hutchins Pond. This is also where you will begin to see evidence of beavers felling poplar trees and girdling oak trees. At waypoint E44, turn right. At waypoint E68, turn right again. Continue to waypoint E45, the outlet culvert for Hutchins Pond. Just past this culvert, look to your right and you will see a beaver lodge on the shore of the pond. Continuing to waypoint E46, you will see the turnstyle that allows you access to the pasture. To complete your walk, proceed to waypoint P02 and then P01.

GPS Data

A gpx file for my Estabrook Woods walks can be uploaded to a GPS unit. This file includes all of the tracks for Estabrook Woods as well as all of my waypoints for hikes in the Sudbury vicinity. Since my browser opened the gpx file and displayed it as text, I have "zipped" the gpx file. You will need to save the zipped file to your hard drive, unzip it, and then load it onto your GPS unit.