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When I was a young Boy Scout in North Reading in 1968, my troop had a wonderful young Scout Leader named Richard B. Ives. One night after one of our troop meetings, he went home and died suddenly of a massive heart attack. The community was shocked and saddened by his sudden passing. My dad, a banker, set up a collection fund to buy and maintain some town owned land where Mr. Ives’ Scout troop often camped, hiked and earned their outdoor skill badges. It was named Ives Memorial Forest. A few years later, I remember planting small trees there as part of a 4-H conservation program.
Thirty-five years later, I decided to go back and investigate the Forest. Sadly, it seems Mr. Ives has been forgotten over the years. There is no mention of it being called the Ives Memorial Forest any more. A generic sign at the trailhead that says “North Reading Conservation Land” is all that remains. It appears the area may have been absorbed by neighboring Harold Parker State Forest, according to a map of that area.
The good news is the forest that remains today is as beautiful as it was all those years ago. There is a magnificent stand of Red Pine planted by the CCC in the 1930’s. Numerous trails crisscross the area, but I saw no sign of humans in several recent visits. Definitely it is an underutilized and peaceful forest.
The only recommended parking is at the coordinates listed below. There are two trailheads there. I explored many of the other trails, and they all seemed to terminate in the back yards of various nearby McMansions. The walk to the cache is easy, but to actually retrieve it you need to be SURE-FOOTED! Please use caution there.
UPDATE: Because a few cachers are having difficulty, I will clarify the location that I say in the hint: The cache is halfway up the steepest area of the rocky hillside. You need to be looking among the rocks imbedded in the hillside to find the cache. It is a small tupperware type container wrapped in camo tape.
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