Hiking – Wilderness

The 65-acre wilderness is a remarkable tribute to Olmsted’s skills as a park developer. Winding paths cleverly laid out around hillocks and rock outcroppings —through stands of oaks, hemlocks, and pines — create the feeling that the park is even larger than it is.

The Franklin Park Coalition has been focusing on two challenges in the wilderness area, the park’s most significant woodland. Invasive species, often from other countries, such as Japanese Knotweed and Asian Bittersweet, have taken over many sections of the forest. FPC holds regular volunteer events to clear invasives and enable native plants to grow.

The Summer Youth Crew we hosted in recent years contributed significantly to the effort to control invasive plants that prevent the propagation of a new generation forest trees. The invasive plants prevent native seeds from taking root and smother saplings, thus our beautiful forest contains mostly older trees near the end of their life spans. To ensure that the wilderness area of Franklin Park remains a treasure for future generations, the FPC developed the Woodlands Restoration Campaign to study the forest, restore trails, clear invasives, maintain mature trees, and raise funds for new plantings.