South School Woods
Immediately behind the playground are huge white pines, inhibiting undergrowth with their dense shade. Elsewhere young white pines and hardwoods create dense groves filled with the sounds of birds.
The Andover and Wilmington Railroad ran through here from 1836 until 1848. When the playing fields were built, part of the rail bed was covered, but much of it is still visible as the long straight trail running south/southwest from the playground. In 1996 Andover’s youth soccer and baseball supporters eyed part of South School woods for sorely needed athletic fields. South School students, however, rallied in support of “their” woods and asked the sports leagues to look elsewhere.
Enter the pine grove behind the school’s south parking lot and playground. Trail leaves the grove south into a wide arc, gradually turning right to reach the old railbed. Either return via the railbed for a short walk, or continue on the perimeter trail. A number of small trails leave left toward private property, but continue on the main trail as it loops around, always bearing right, to emerge behind the playground again.
South School; Andover Street; Community
Path from River Street
South School parking lot; River Stree
Size: 75 acres
Location: Lowell Street (Route 133) opposite West Parish Cemetery, High Plain Road, Candlewood Lane
Parking: Near cemetery gates; Juniper Road off High Plain Road