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Impact

Together with our 2800 members and 200 volunteers, we...

  • Conserve and care for over 4300 acres of fields, forests, and farms in the 36 communities surrounding the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers.
  • Maintain more than 55 miles of hiking trails.
  • Help friends and neighbors connect with nature through our events, programs, and outings.
  • Assist local organizations in their efforts to protect the region’s most important natural areas.

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Cowassock Woods, by Joyce Dwyer
Cowassock Woods, by Joyce Dwyer

Cowassock Woods and Ashland Town Forest are composed of a mosaic of mixed hardwood forest types, wetlands, vernal pools and stream corridors. Sixty to eighty year old mixed hardwood forests – mixed oak and oak/hickory forest types - are the dominant natural communities.

These communities differ in structure and species composition depending on the dryness of the sites. Rocky outcrops on the property create the driest sites with more black birch and smaller oaks. There are patches of naturally occurring coniferous species including white pine and eastern hemlock. There is also a large area of planted 70-foot white pine and a smaller area of planted red spruce and red pine in the center of Cowassock Woods. There is a large red maple swamp on the northern section of the Ashland Town Forest and several smaller wetlands on the town property. Cowassock Brook begins at the maple swamp and runs southeast though the SVT portion of the property. This creates a rich corridor of red maple, highbush blueberry, skunk cabbage and a large diversity of sedges and wildflowers. In many areas, even the upland forest contains some wetland indicator species; there is most likely a ledge or high water table creating relatively moist upland soil.

PDF icon Cowassock Woods Brochure and Map

Nature Sightings

A pileated woodpecker in Bolton, photographed by Gordon Taylor.
A pileated woodpecker in Bolton, photographed by Gordon Taylor.

November 27, 2016

Gordon Taylor photographed this pileated woodpecker in Bolton.

Red-tailed hawks in Stow.
Red-tailed hawks in Stow.

November 24, 2016

Steve from Stow photographed these red-tailed hawks near his home.

A red-tailed hawk in Wayland, photographed by Steve Forman.
A red-tailed hawk in Wayland, photographed by Steve Forman.

November 18, 2016

Steve Forman photographed this red-tailed hawk in Wayland.

Ring-necked ducks on the Sudbury Reservoir in Southborough, photographed by Steve Forman.
Ring-necked ducks on the Sudbury Reservoir in Southborough, photographed by Steve Forman.

November 16, 2016

Steve Forman photographed ring-necked ducks and lesser scaup at the Sudbury Reservoir in Southborough.

Canada geese on the Sudbury River in Lincoln, photographed by Harold McAleer.
Canada geese on the Sudbury River in Lincoln, photographed by Harold McAleer.

November 15, 2016

Harold McAleer photographed these Canada geese on the Sudbury River in Lincoln.