Prospect Park  LbNA # 26019

Placed DateSep 30 2006
LocationShrewsbury, MA
Found By Rock Island
Last Found Aug 13 2016
Hike Distance?

Time: 45 min

Directions: From the center of Shrewsbury go north on Rt 140. Take your first right onto Prospect St. The entrance to the park is a short way down this road on the left. Drive through the stone pillars that mark the entrance and park.

Background: Prospect Park is situated on land that was once part of Juniper Hall, the estate of Matthew J. Whittall, a manufacturer of fine carpets and rugs. Check out the photos, in the kiosk, of the estate as it was in 1912. The building was razed in 1979 after being used as a Masonic hospital. Some of Whittall's manufacturing buildings now house Rotman's furniture store in Worcester.

Clues: On the right before the closed metal gate you may see a pair of trail signs. If they are there, follow the sign for the Juniper Trail heading off to the right. In any case, take the trail on the right in front of the 2 benches. You will pass around a gorgeous big old fir tree standing in the middle of the path. Continue on. A paved trail will merge in from the right. Take a left onto this trail. You are now walking on the old service road of the estate.

Now it gets dicey. The garden has been unattended long enough for the vegetation to take over. Bring your machete.

Continue walking uphill until you come to a something that might have been a clearing on the left. Walk in and look for any part of a stone wall on the right. Go to the wall. You are entering the ruins of the formal gardens of the estate. With much effort at exploration you will see the pergola and the reflecting pool. Unfortunately, they have also been discovered and continually vandalized by our local youths. Back to the wall. Good luck in finding the stairs in the center of the wall. Go up these and walk forward until there is an embankment or wall in front of you. Go left along this. Soon a large stone retaining wall will be on your right. The house sat on the land above this wall.

The path to the box is now blocked by debris. So, to go around the debris, go to the end of the retaining wall, turn left, walk in a bit, and look over to the left. Through the brush you should see the walk that you want to go to. Go there. Don't get onto the walk. Look at the corner, where the semi circular portion of the wall joins the flat portion. Under a rock is the Garden of Remembrance letterbox. There is no log book in this box. Please re-hide well.

Go back to the paved trail the way you came.

Once back on the paved trail go left, continuing uphill. On the right you will see water towers.

When you come to a T intersection go sort of straight ahead. At the fire hydrant take the trail into the woods on the left. Enjoy walking downhill. After a while you will see a house on the right and the road ahead. Take the trail to the left at a large boulder painted with blue-green arrows. Walk down this rocky path and through ferny undergrowth. A large oak tree will appear to be in the path with a large boulder to its left. Stand with your back to the large tree and the road. Look uphill. The Prospect Park letterbox is behind the triangular rock under some sticks and leaves. Please re-hide well.

Continue forward on the path. You'll cross over a wooden bridge, and then come to the main driveway for the estate. Take a right onto this and soon you'll be back at your car.