Trail Policies


To protect the health of our conservation lands and ensure that everyone enjoys their visit to our natural areas, please comply with our Trail Policies

SVT Trail Policies
  • SVT reservations are open to the public from dawn to dusk.
  • Please stay on trails to reduce your impact on wildlife and on the land. 
  • Please respect the rights of neighboring landowners by complying with their posted trail policies. Many SVT Trails connect to trails on lands owned by other entities, including private landowners, local municipalities, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Please also see our Dog-Walking Policy, below.

In order to protect these natural areas and the wildlife who live on them, the following are prohibited on SVT properties:

  • Motorized Vehicles
  • Hunting or Trapping (some exceptions; see below)
  • Camping (some exceptions; see below)
  • Bicycling (some exceptions; see below)
  • Fires
  • Disposing of Trash or Yard Waste
  • Cutting or Removing Plants
  • Metal Detecting

Should you see any unauthorized uses or emergencies during your visit, we encourage you to notify local police or the Environmental Police at 800-632-8075. Please also report these activities to SVT at 978-443-5588.

Dog Walker at Memorial Forest. Photo by SVT.
Dog-Walking Policies

Dog walking is allowed on SVT properties as long as sensitive resource areas and positive visitor experiences are preserved. To protect wildlife, vegetation, and other visitors, we established these dog-walking policies:

  • Dogs must be under control at all times.
    "Control” is defined by the dog being within the owner’s sight and hearing at all times and being trained to come immediately when called.
  • On some properties, we require dogs to be leashed.
    This requirement will be posted at the trailhead. These are properties with especially vulnerable wildlife and vegetation.
  • At all properties, dogs must be restrained by a leash immediately when encountering other walkers.
    Dog-greeting behavior is unpleasant to some and frightening to others and is a potential safety concern. 
  • Dogs must stay on paths at all times.
    Free-running dogs can disturb or kill birds and mammals and can trample and damage vegetation.
  • Dogs are not allowed in ponds, watercourses, or wetlands.
    Dog activity erodes banks and adds sediments to ponds, stream waters, and vernal pools thereby degrading habitat for aquatic species. 
  • Dogs are not allowed to harass wildlife.
  • Dog owners must clean-up after dogs.
    Please remove it from the property and discard it in the trash. There are no trash barrels at most SVT properties.
  • Dog walkers may not walk more than three dogs at a time.

Following state and federal regulations, deer hunting is allowed at:

  • Berlin: Garfield Woods
  • Boylston: Brissette
  • Westborough: Cedar Swamp

In addition, hunting is allowed by special permit only at:

  • Framingham: Cowassock Woods, Henry's Hill, and Wayside Forest
  • Littleton: Smith Conservation Land
  • Northborough: Cedar Hill
  • Wayland: Black Land and Murphy Field  (shown on Hazel Brook map)
  • Westborough: Sawink Farm

Please see Deer Management: Hunting Policies for more information about hunting permits.


Special permits for camping may be given out, on a case-by-case review.  Contact the SVT Director of Stewardship for more information; see our Contact SVT Staff page for our contact information.


Bicycling is allowed at:

  • Billerica: Ralph Hill Conservation Area/Vietnam Veterans Park--only on the Green trail
  • Framingham: Baiting Brook-Welch Reservation--only on marked trails connecting to Callahan State Park. (We do not allow bikes on wetlands crossings where the trail is not suitable for that use or on steep slopes due to erosion.)
  • Framingham and Ashland: Cowassock Woods
  • Hopkinton: Saddle Hill
  • Hopkinton: Whitehall Woods
  • Sudbury: Memorial Forest--only on marked trails