Swampscott Boy Scouts clean Harold A. King Town Forest for project

Joshmichael Sagala and Colleen Hitchcock look at a specimen they found when they were walking on a trail at Harold A. King Forest in Swampscott on Sunday. (Owen O'Rourke)

SWAMPSCOTT — When boy scout Duncan Page first visited the trail at Harold A. King Town Forest about a year ago, the aspiring Eagle Scout saw a perfect opportunity to help himself and the community.

“I was already trying to figure out a project and I saw how much work it needed,” he said. “It’s a really cool trail. I like it a lot.”

So Page reached out to the Recreation Director Danielle Strauss to set up a clean up and to mark the trail.

Led by Page, a group of boy scouts, equipped with hedge clippers and paint, started clearing the path going through the woods, and painting trees in order to mark the path for visitors.

The scouts were assisted by adults who supervised and operated chainsaws in order to cut logs blocking the path.

The trail was originally marked in 2009, but Page’s efforts helped mark the trail both ways, making it easier for hikers to find their way out, according to his father, Charlie.

“He joined on as an 11-year-old and it has been amazing to see how he has matured into a 16-year-old,” Charlie said.

The younger Page received help from several local organizations, including Swampscott Recreation and Rotary Club. The Conservation Commision also provided him with red metal markers for the trail.

Along with the trail, the group also erected a small kiosk at the start of the path on Nichols Street that has information and a map of the trail.

Sunday afternoon, Duncan and some of the scouts spent time at the trail, guiding local visitors and showing of the fruit of their labors.

Duncan, along with others at the event, hope that this project will encourage locals to explore the area more.

“I’m really excited about it,'” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed the trail and I want others to as well. I’m happy that it’s getting publicity.”

“We’re not just a beach town,” Charlie said. “I hope people come and explore it.”

“Nobody knows about this forest, it’s a hidden gem,” Strauss said. “We’re hoping to showcase it.”

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