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The Harvard Conservation Trust has partnered with the Harvard Conservation Commission to establish a Trail Challenge on a number of favorite Harvard conservation lands.

Here’s how it works:

A numbered red control punch will be placed on a variety of conservation trails in Harvard. Each punch has a unique set of pins which, when stamped on paper, will make a design. The numbers on the punches correspond to a number on the official control card.

The challenge is simple: Demonstrate that you have been out enjoying the trails by collecting as many punches as you can. A prize will be given to each person who collects at least 14 punch marks (eight for children under 10). Official Tyvek control cards are available for free at the Trust’s office (102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard), Harvard Town Hall and the Harvard General Store.

One red control punch will be placed on the primary trail (yellow blaze) of each of the following protected lands: Blomfelt, Clapp-Scorgie-Tufts-Smith, Holy Hill, Kaufmann Land, Millie’s Path (on Maxant Land map), Ohlin, Old Mill Road, Pin Hill, Prospect Hill, Sprague Land, Shaker Spring House, Small Nature Trail, Tripp Land and Vesenka/Black Pond. Additional trails will be added in time and notices will be posted with the control cards.

Maps of these trails can be found online at the Trust’s website: or by purchase at their office, the General Store and Westward Orchards.

The punches have been attached to trees close to the trail at an easily reachable height, so you don’t need to turn over every rock or scour the forest looking for them — simply get out and walk! The challenge will officially start on Nov. 12. Additional trails will be added in time and notices will be posted with the control cards. Good luck and enjoy walking on the trails! When finished, contact HCT Trustee Robin Malloy at to collect your prize.

In addition, those out on the trails for the first or the one hundredth time, may want to take note of a book put out by the Garden Club entitled Ancient, Historic and Notable Trees of Harvard. This book is an invaluable resource to have while walking and is available for purchase at the Harvard General Store.