Armchair photo tours: The Carlisle Cranberry Bog

The Bog House and entrance to the trails at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog in Carlisle, Massachusetts

Photos by Cheryl Landes

The Carlisle Cranberry Bog in Carlisle, Massachusetts, is a pleasant place to go for a walk any time of year. It’s also a nice place for snowshoeing in the winter. The trails, which are the roads and dike tops of this 151-acre working farm, are flat and easy to navigate.

My favorite time to walk here is in the fall. I love walking past the trees brilliant with yellow, red, and orange leaves.

Fall colors at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

The red and gold colors from the cranberry vines create beautiful carpets in the bog.

Deep, rich fall colors in the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

On sunny days, the reflections of the clouds and grasses in the ponds create fascinating patterns and effects.

Clouds reflecting in a pond at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

I like to stop, gaze at them, and find subjects that make beautiful photos.

Reflections from the grasses in the water at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

Native Americans harvested cranberries in Massachusetts hundreds of years before the colonists settled here. In approximately 1816, cranberry cultivation began in the natural bogs near Cape Cod. In 1903, the Nickles brothers built the Carlisle Cranberry Bog and harvested the first crop a year later. Their profits encouraged them build the Bog House, which was finished in 1905.

More fall colors at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

The bog has been cultivated continuously since then. It has changed hands several times, from the Nickles family to the Lowell Cranberry Company to the Town of Carlisle, who now owns and operates the farm. The Town of Carlisle and its neighbor, the Town of Chelmsford, own the surrounding property.

Walking on the dike tops at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

The bog is located on Curve Street, three miles northwest of the Carlisle Town Center. From the Carlisle Town Hall, drive west on Massachusetts Route 225 for 1.5 miles and turn right on Curve Street. Drive 1.4 miles and look for the entrance to the bog on the left, next to the Bog House. Parking is available for four to five cars at the Bog House. A second parking area large enough for six to 10 cars is on the north side of Curve Street, 100 yards from the Bog House.

Learn more about the bog at the Town of Carlisle’s website.

Dark clouds reflecting in a pond at the Carlisle Cranberry Bog

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