Serio's Grove Reservation
The property contains stands of white pine and red oak trees, as well as other species of trees and shrubs. The land has been disturbed by previous owners for the removal of large quantities of gravel which underlay the property. The pine groves provide a comfortable camping spot as the pine needles provide a natural cushion under sleeping bags. Further down the old wood road and to the left there is a large upland where the pine groves continue down to the river’s edge.
Trail to the property crosses a live rail line. Caution should be used in crossing the tracks. Watch for the engine.
In 2001 Andover Town meeting voted to acquire the old Reichhold Chemical property on Lowell Junction Rd. along the banks of the Shawsheen River. In the fall of 2007 the Conservation Commission made a commitment to develop the parcel into a picnic and camping area. Clues began to surface that the area at one time had another very different life. The first give-away was the existence of an old diving board jutting out into the river. An area map showed an odd square parcel right in the middle. Land disturbances told of previous activities.
Further investigation found that the property had been the homestead of the Serio family. Frank Sr. also ran the “Miami” boat house, a canoe and kayak rental business from the back of his home. The family name disappeared in 1968 with no further information until Poe Hill overseer John Petty contacted Frank’s son now living out of town. Frank Jr. happily related his family’s history that may have been lost forever.
The Serio family, Frank Sr. and his wife Theresa, moved from Malden in 1932 to a site “off Lowell Junction Rd.” The home had no phone, electricity, or water. Electricity came in about 1935. At the time of their move the property was mostly open land, nothing like the forest that has grown up during the intervening 40 or so years.
Frank Serio Sr. was given recognition as one of the town’s early environmentalists. Soon after moving in he became concerned about the industrial soap being dumped into the river from an upstream chemical company. Through his efforts a plan was developed by the company to eliminate the pollution.
Because of his interests in the environment the Conservation Commission decided to honor Frank Sr. by naming the property after him. In 2008 the property was officially named “Serio’s Grove”. A dedication ceremony was held on the property with many Serio relatives in attendance. Jay Leno, an Andover native who use to rent canoes from Frank Serio Sr. back when Jay was a young boy, sent a DVD to this event congratulating the Serio family.
In addition to two boat put-ins, there are 4 fire pits, picnic tables, and a pavilion on the site. Supervised family camping, led by Conservation personnel, is help on a monthly basis during the season. The area is also available to community groups such as Boy and Girl Scout troops with advanced permission. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Conservation office.
Trail from Lowell Junction Road across live rail line to the original roadway into the property. There is also access from the river with two canoe access points.
On Lowell Junction Rd near chain link fence where trail head is located.