Martini Junction is a model train built in the Needham Town Forest. It consists of 120 feet of track, supported in places by elaborate wooden supports, a station with a human-scale table and benches, and other random miniature pieces of scenery.
If you are fortunate enough to visit the Junction when its creator, Jim Metcalf, is there, he is likely to unlock the remote-controlled train, run it around the tracks, and answer your questions.
Jim built Martini Junction and has maintained it for ten years, ever since he and his wife discovered the spot and started picnicking there. Jim decided it would be a nice place to have a martini, hence the name.
Whether it was before or after a few martinis that Jim decided their picnic spot in the middle of the forest would be a nice place for a scale model train, is less clear.
Regardless, for any visitor lucky enough to find Jim running his train, the Junction is true a delight.
We explored Martini Junction on Obscura Day - March 20th, 2010. Photos, stories and more here
Know Before You Go
Park at the end of Robinwood Avenue. It is a residential neighborhood so please be considerate and respectful of where you park. Immediately inside the forest, go to the far right and follow the "white" trail, indicated by the number 12 and marked by white marks on trees, along with tiny white birdhouses.
Within 5-10 minutes, take the unmarked trail off to the right indicated by the number 11. This trail is marked by the same tiny birdhouses, still white, but with orange roofs. Take this trail for another ten minutes or so. Along the way, you will see various small decorations and miniature structures like houses and people indicating you are heading in the right direction.