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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 bobcat in Stow, photographed with an automatically triggered wildlife camera by Steve Cumming.
A bobcat in Stow, photographed with an automatically triggered wildlife camera by Steve Cumming.

December 6, 2016

Steve Cumming used his automatically triggered wildlife camera to photograph this bobcat in Stow.

A European starling in Framingham, photographed by Joan Chasan.
A European starling in Framingham, photographed by Joan Chasan.

December 5, 2016

Joan Chasan photographed this European starling near her Framingham home.

A hooded merganser along the Sudbury River in Southborough, photographed by Steve Forman.
A hooded merganser along the Sudbury River in Southborough, photographed by Steve Forman.

December 4, 2016

Steve Forman photographed a great blue heron and a hooded merganser along the Sudbury River in Southborough.

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.