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.
The red and gold colors from the cranberry vines create beautiful carpets in the bog.
On sunny days, the reflections of the clouds and grasses in the ponds create fascinating patterns and effects.
I like to stop, gaze at them, and find subjects that make beautiful photos.
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.
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.
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.