Forty Caves, Berlin and Clinton
Striking features catch your eye as you explore this conservation area. North Brook rattles and gurgles, slipping under a flat slab of rock and widening into a quiet pool on its way through the property and eventually to the Assabet River.
Trails narrow to squeeze between rock outcroppings. Glacial erratics punctuate the woodlands. Granitic gneiss spotted with feldspar crystals provide evidence that the glacier plucked some of these boulders from cliffs that lie just north of the conservation area. Steep cliffs in Berlin's portion of the conservation area overlook a marsh and stream that makes its way to North Brook. A view from the opposite side, along the orange trail near Allen Road, looks towards the namesake of the conservation area - caves created by tumbled boulders and rock slabs that lean together.
The geology of this site is spectacular. In addition, the Clinton-Newbury fault is visible at several points. The rock here is tightly folded and crinkly, different from the granitic gneiss found elsewhere in the conservation area.
In 2017, SVT and the Towns of Berlin and Clinton teamed up to conserve an additional 63 acres of property that spans the two towns and abuts 193 acres of conservation land, including lands owned by SVT and the Town of Berlin. Read about the successful effort to protect this property.
Trails on the property are accessible from parking areas on Allen Road in Berlin and on Francis Street in Clinton.
For Allen Road in Berlin: For directions from your location, see Google Maps.
From the center of Berlin, head west on MA-62W (West Street), approximately 1.4 miles. Turn right on West Street and proceed approximately 0.4 mile. Turn right onto Allen Road and follow approximately 0.6 mile to a parking area on the right. The parking area is marked with a sign for Forty Caves, and the orange trail proceeds to your right from the trailhead kiosk.
For Francis Street in Clinton: For directions from your location, see Google Maps.
From the intersection of Mechanic Street and Chestnut Street in Clinton, proceed south on Chestnut Street 0.3 mile and turn left on Cameron Street. After 0.2 mile take a slight left on Oak Street. After 0.1 mile bear right onto Chace Street and proceed approximately 0.5 mile before turning right onto Francis Street. Francis Street is a small dirt road. You will see a Forty Caves sign on your right approximately 200' down the road. Turn right at the sign, and find parking ahead on your left. The orange trail proceeds from the kiosk.