About the TTT
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About the Trail

What is the Trail Through Time?

The Trail Through Time is a bi-cultural heritage trail.  It winds through the lovely woodland along the banks and marshes of the Nashoba Brook, in the North Acton Conservation Land of the same name.  The main Trail is a pleasant two-mile loop that crosses the brook twice on rustic footbridges.  Following existing Land Stewardship trails, it accesses sites along the way where stone ruins from earlier times still exist.

Many of these ruins were constructed during the American Colonial period and later into the Industrial period of English settlement.  Quite a few, however, are the remains of simple structures left by Native Americans who may have worked this ceremonial landscape for millennia before the immigrants came.  Indians quietly continued their use for some time afterwards, until the land was all owned by European settlers.  Some assert that modern Indians still revere these sites, sacred to them, in quiet use today.

The TTT Project—to clear the overgrowth and restore some of the ruined stonework at these sites—is a work in progress.  As each site is enhanced, or restored to the degree that is suitable, it is identified with an informational panel, and suitable signage is added.  Descriptions and additional information will then be added to this website.

How is the Trail marked?

The Trail is marked throughout its length with light metal squares displaying the TTT logo (see screen header).  These markers have been placed at all trail intersections and other places where the Trail’s route might be ambiguous.  The markers most often have been placed on trees where markers for other trails are also located.  An attempt has been made to have these markers visible from both directions.  The few side trails that lead to sites off the main yellow loop trail are marked with green arrows or with an icon representing 3 circles piled to form a triangle.

Where are the entrances?

The main entrance to the Trail Through Time is at the end of Wheeler Lane, off Rt. 27 in North Acton, where parking is available.  A secondary entrance to the Nashoba Brook Conservation Land is at Davis Road.  The red access trail from this entrance soon connects to the Trail Through Time.  The Davis entrance also has parking.

Other access points onto the main yellow trails through the large North Acton conservation land tract eventually connect to the Trail Through Time, most of which is located within the Nashoba Brook parcel.  These secondary accesses may be found along the south side of Milldam Road; at the Robbins Mill Pond observation platform (to be built) off Carlisle Road; at the Pope Road access to Camp Acton; and at the Spring Hill Road and Jay Lane accesses into Spring Hill Conservation Land.  Along the red access from Spring Hill Road, very near its entrance, there is a cluster of Native American rock cairns accessed by a short side trail that is marked in green.

How did the Trail come into being?

No formal organization exists to carry out this project, which is the vision of Linda McElroy, founder of the Acton Land Stewardship Committee.  The project’s workers consist of a loose coalition of volunteers with expertise in various specialized areas.  Approval and authorization for the project came initially from the Board of Selectmen and the Conservation Commission.  Other supportive Town committees and commissions include the Land Stewardship Committee, the Natural Resources Department, the Acton Historical Commission, the Acton Committee on Disabilities, and the Town building and engineering departments.

Counsel and facilitation have been provided by Town staffers: Doug Halley, Director of the Board of Health and de facto Director of Archaeology; and Tom Tidman, Director of Natural Resources.

How is the TTT funded?

Funding from the Acton Community Preservation Committee has been generous and ongoing.  The CPC has provided three separate grants for the first three phases of the project beginning in 2004.  These grants have been leveraged by a small grant to cover deed research for the Stone Chamber restoration, given by the New England Antiquities Research Association, and by literally hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.  Several Boy Scouts have earned their Eagle awards completing significant projects for the TTT, and most have contributed the proceeds of their fund-raisers for TTT materials or equipment.

The CPC grants have been used entirely for materials and expertise that couldn’t be provided by volunteers.  The recipients of these monies are Craig Chartier, Director of the Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project; David Stewart-Smith and Pete Wiggin, professional and historic masons; Hobbs Abstract of Worcester for deed research; Process Corp of Littleton for layout and design of panels and maps; Kimberley Connors-Hughes, archaeologist; Alan Carpenito, master gate-craftsman, of Carlisle; and FTET of Providence, Rhode Island, timber frame structure designers.  Support for landscaping and arborist work has come from Town departments such as Natural Resources and Municipal Properties. 

Last Updated: 05/09/2014 12:41