I’m thinking I should categorize the state parks like the Michelin Guides do: in 3 categories. 1. Worth the trip 2. Worth the detour 3. If you’re in the area.Northwood Meadows State Park would fall into the category of “if you’re in the area.”
As I understand it, this park exists because a developer went bust and the property ended up belonging to the state. So it’s more an accidental than an intentional park and the state hasn’t really spent anything on developing it. Fortunately, this park has a strong group of local friends who are keeping it interesting.
In the center of the park, about a half mile from the road and parking lot, is a lovely pond. The trail is so smooth it allows for handicapped access to the pond. There are even specially designed fishing platforms for those with special needs.
When I visited, on a hot Saturday in August, there were just a few others there, so I doubt the park is ever crowded. To me, that’s a plus. All around the pond is a network of trails, including the NALMC (Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative) 5-mile loop trail. All the trails are well marked, maintained, and signed and offer several attractive easy hikes around the pond. The NALMC trail actually leaves the park and traverses Harmony Hill Farm and other preserved lands to complete its 5-mile loop, and that was originally going to be my hike for the day. However, this trail is really essentially a gravel roadway, closed to traffic, but nonetheless wide and uninteresting.
So I changed plans and followed the smaller trails through the woods and around the pond.
The trails are well maintained and there are well-built bridges traversing any wet spots. This would be a nice park for the young bicyclists in your family or even older walkers who may not be interested in climbing mountains. As always, there are plenty of natural wonders to be found if you look closely. Happy travels!