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The Pirate Legend
Trek and Trail

Many times information for the Pirate Legend Trek and Trail has been requested on Scouts NewEngland, so we decided to provide some info here about it for everyone. The Pirate Legend Trek and Trail are one of the most popular Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout hiking areas in all of New England. These trails are located in the Lynn Woods Reservation in Lynn, Massachusetts. You can choose from a 4 mile (Trek) or a 10 mile (Trail) for your adventure. The shorter Trek is excellent for Cub Scouts. There is a combination of flat terrain and gentle rolling hills, nothing too strenuous. Features that appeal to many boys and girls are the swampy areas that abuts the trails, the rocky outcrops that afford distant views of the Boston Skyline and the Atlantic Ocean, the large number of big rock and bolder formations to climb on, over, around and between, and several small streams that are crossed on log bridges. Be sure to bring food and drinks on your hike and enjoy a picnic here too.

Take a side trip/tour to the nearby famous historical landmark Saugus Iron Works. One legend tells that in 1829 pirates landed their ships on the shore of the Lynn Woods and visited the Saugus Iron Works in the dead of night. They left an order for shackles, hatchets, and other iron articles to be made with a promised payment in silver. The instructions said to leave the iron order at a certain spot on the shoreline in the woods early in the morning and then come back later that day for the silver payment. The iron workers filled the order and left the goods as instructed and when they returned they found the payment just as the Pirates promised. Months later the Pirates returned to the Lynn Woods and settled there making it their hideout. One of the Pirates supposedly buried a large treasure chest in a cave somewhere in Lynn Woods where he was hiding.

To reach the Lynn Woods you take the Walnut St. exit off of Route 1 in Saugus, MA, head east and then turn left onto Pennybrook Road. Some of the highlights include the Wolf Pits, the Pirate Dungeons and the Pirate Cave. The cave is a deep dark, pitch black, tunnel bored into solid rock. The cave was blasted and dug out by hand by a man who spent most of his life searching here for the Pirate's treasure. It has a wooden stair case that leads you down into the dark depths. The cave is extremely dark, one of the darkest places I've ever been, it swallows up light. (Bring a bright flashlight with fresh batteries with you.) The cave twists and turns and ends in a round chamber. The deepest part of the cave can only be accessed during the dryer months, (near the end of the summer or early fall), because the cave fills up with water. The cave is now only open when there are park rangers on duty. It use to be open all the time, but they had problems with teenagers partying and starting fires in there. Usually The Friends of the Lynn Woods conduct tours of the Pirate Cave on Halloween Day. The pirate Thomas Beale will be there then waiting for you at the bottom of the cave to tell the story behind the cave and the treasure alleged to be there. You'll find much more info in a book titled "Historic Hiking Trails In The Boston Area" written by J.P. Neville. This book is published and distributed by "The Witch Trail Council". It gives the history, detailed trail descriptions, tips, fold out trail maps for the Pirate Trail and Trek, and six other Historic hiking trail areas in Massachusetts. They also offer mail-order hiking awards for presentations after completing the treks and trail hikes covered in their book. The awards they sell consist of colorful embroidered patches and pewter hiking medals that are suspended on pin back ribbons. An order form for awards can be found in their book. Most of the treks and trails you find in their book take place in the eastern part of Massachusetts.

Not only are these trails fantastic for walking and hiking, but they are also some of the best Mountain Bicycle trails in New England, according to the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA). However, bikes are prohibited on these trails from January 1st to April 15th. This is to prevent damage to the trails.

The Friends of Lynn Woods publish an excellent color map of the Lynn Woods. Their map measures 11"x17" and is printed on both sides, one side with the map and the other with interesting information and the history of Lynn Woods. If you'd like a copy of their trail map contact The Friends of the Lynn Woods.

Contacts and More Info:

  • The Lynn Woods Reservation, Great Woods Road (Off Route 129), Lynn, MA 01904 TEL: (781) 598-4000 and ask when the Park rangers will be on duty and when the Pirate Cave will be open for visitors.

  • The Friends of the Lynn Woods, who also have access to the cave and are willing to take people on tours of it, depending upon their members' availability. The Friends of Lynn Woods, P.O. Box 8216, Lynn, MA 01904 TEL: (781) 593-7773

  • The Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, 244 Central Street, Saugus, MA 01906 TEL: (781) 233-0050

Book Info:

  • You can buy the book "Historic Hiking Trails In The Boston Area" from:

      The Witch Trail Committee
      P.O. Box 962, Mansfield, MA 02048
      TEL: (508) 339-7189

      SPECIAL NOTE: The Witch Trail Committee is not owned or operated by Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and their book is not found in the BSA catalog. The Witch Trail Committee is a privately owned business that publishes this book and markets the hiking patches and hiking medals found in their book only. The book "Historic Hiking Trails In The Boston Area" can no longer be purchased at any of the "New England Scout Shops" it can be ordered HERE on the Witch Trail Committee Web Site.

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    Last Revised 01-31-07
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