As in our surrounding Towns, Acton has a number of kiosks and information panels at locations where important historic or cultural events occurred. The website at https://trails.actonma.gov/ has a terrific list of locations on the lefthand side where many of these panels and kiosks can be found. Below are some that are especially relevant to the Native American presence in Acton. These include:
- The Assabet River Trail runs through the original Pine Hawk site – for which our organization is named – in South Acton, along the south-facing bank of the Assabet River. This location yielded some 3,000 artifacts dating back 7,000 years! With ample resources of sun and abundant fish from the river, this is a place most of us would pick to settle if we were discovering our region today. Shown here is a photo of the informational panel on the Assabet River Trail, a short hike from the parking lot on Old High Street. The name “Pine Hawk” was coined by a member of the archaeological team that performed the original excavation two decades ago. Nothing had been discovered yet, but the site needed a name to enter in the initial reports. She looked around, saw a lot of pine trees and a soaring hawk, and the name “Pine Hawk” was born.
- The Trail Through Time, a 2-mile bi-cultural heritage loop trail in North Acton, passes through or accesses twelve sites where stone remains of structures built during three periods of the land’s history still endure. In addition to the ubiquitous stone walls of pre-Columbian through post-Colonial origin that crisscross the conservation land, there are numerous clusters of stone piles scattered throughout the woods in North Acton and several nearby towns. The Trail Through Time has panels describing the Pipsissewa, Plantain and Princess Pine stone cluster sites. These sites are generally considered to be of Native American origin and their purpose to be ceremonial; they are not habitation or burial sites. The Trail also includes a special Native American kiosk with three panels detailing different aspects of Native American lifeways.
- At Great Hill, evidence of probable Native American use may be seen along the Piper Road wetlands area in the bowl-shaped depression in natural bedrock thought to have been an Indian grinding stone.
- A new kiosk for the East Acton Village common is still being constructed. When it is done, it will include this panel below describing some of the local Native American history of this area.