The Trail Through Time (TTT) is a
heritage trail in the conservation lands of North Acton, Massachusetts,
which offers visitors more than a journey into the past. The two-mile
trail meanders through hardwood forests and beside wetlands alive with
birds and frogs during the summer. Two footbridges offer
picturesque views of the Nashoba Brook as it rushes past mossy banks.
Above the floodplain, the Trail connects a series of sites with
archaeological remains of stone structures from two distinct cultures.
Here, Native Americans, who lived in
this region for at least eight thousand years, conducted ceremonial
practices along a swath of sacred landscape that extends from
present-day Lincoln through these Acton lands to Littleton. Though
modest, many small stone structures related to these ceremonies remain
scattered through the woodland.
European farmers began to establish
farms here in the mid-1600s, and after King Philipís War in 1676, the
Native American presence diminished rapidly. By the 1700s, the new
"Americans" were raising beef cows, vegetable crops, and apples for
cider where formerly the Indians had hunted, raised corn, squash, and
beans, and fished the plentiful streams. And by the 1800s, many
mills were using Nashoba Brook to grind flour, cut lumber, and
Rock quarries, rock-strewn sluiceways,
stone walls, and enigmatic stone piles remain as evidence of these
bi-cultural activities and beg to be explored by children of all ages.
A storage chamber built into a hillside beckons visitors to explore its
dark interior. Sites sacred to Native Americans, but hidden for
centuries by the encroaching forest, guard the Trail.
Well-marked trails, sturdy bridges,
and boardwalks guide visitors through this ancient and peaceful
landscape to view the intriguing remains of a once-vibrant focus of