Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land

A flat trail encircles forest on the south edge of wide wetlands along the banks of tributaries to the nearby Sudbury River. This area at the confluence of Hop Brook and Allowance Brook has been home to generations of great blue herons, nesting atop standing dead trees in the wetlands.

Look for the many signs of beavers here, too, as well as ducks and geese. A walk in the winter can show tracks of deer, coyote, fisher, and more along the trails. Vernal pools in the adjacent Landham Brook Marsh offer a springtime chorus of breeding frogs.

An interpretive guide created by an Eagle Scout candidate describes some of the interesting features at the property.

Full Description

SVT acquired ownership of Lyons-Cutler in several stages between 1961 and 1985, through a combination of gifts and purchase. 

The Town of Sudbury and the Sudbury Water District own adjacent conservation lands, and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge lies just downstream. Altogether, this area has some 400 contiguous acres of protected land, most of them too wet for walking.

  • One of the highlights is the activity of a great blue heron nest colony located on the northern edge of the reservation, along the confluence of Hop Brook and Allowance Brook. Visit in May and June to see busy adults and gangly nestlings.
  • With streams and wetlands on every side, it can be a challenge to reach the upland at Lyons-Cutler, which only adds to the feeling of remoteness once you arrive. 
  • The upland area is roughly divided into red maple forest on the east and mixed oak forest on the west, with a large stand of white pine in the center of the northern portion.
  • Old ditches, possibly used as property boundaries, border some edges of the reservation and also run through the middle of the upland region. A number of very large trees, including red maple, white oak, and white pine, grow on either side of the interior ditch.
  • The upland forest descends gently to a red maple swamp to the south and east, and shrub swamp along the banks of Allowance and Hop Brooks on the north and west.
  • The understory throughout the reservation is largely high bush blueberry and buckthorn, and cinnamon fern dominates large portions of the herbaceous layer.

Directions

With mapping software, search for this address: Landham Road and Stagecoach Drive, Sudbury, MA

The most convenient access point is through the Town of Sudbury's Landham Brook Marsh Conservation Land on Landham Road. Take Landham Road south from Route 20 in Sudbury. A parking area will be on your right after .4 miles, just after passing Stagecoach Drive. 

Click here to visit Google Maps for specific directions from your home.

Nearby Nature Sightings

Image
A snapping turtle at SVT's Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land in Sudbury, photographed by Richard Morse.
Richard Morse photographed this snapping turtle at SVT's Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land in Sudbury.
Image
Signs of beavers at SVT's Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land in Sudbury, photographed by Larry Lawrence.
Larry Lawrence photographed these beaver-chewed trees at SVT's Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land in Southborough.
Image
Mushrooms at SVT's Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land in Sudbury, photographed by Ruth Ladd.
Ruth Ladd photographed these mushrooms along the trail at SVT's Lyons-Cutler Conservation Land in Sudbury.