SVT is responsible for the protection and care of diverse conservation lands that include wetlands, sensitive habitats, trails and other open spaces including major sanctuaries. Many of these properties have trail maps, which can be found below. Click on the property name for more information and directions to parking.
The Land Protection and Stewardship staff are always on the look out for new properties under threat of development or help in maintaining our current responsibilities. If you would like to get more information about assisting this team, please visit our Volunteer page or call us at 978-443-5588.
To see what wildlife has been seen around the watershed, or to report new sightings, visit our Nature Sightings page. Free maps to our properties are available at most property kiosks and at the SVT office at Wolbach Farm in Sudbury; or you can look at the list below, where you can download our maps.
More information regarding regulations on our properties.
Brues Woods' (39.3 acres) upland trails pass through mature pines. Plank walkways carry the trail across Bridge Brook and through damp areas in the adjacent wooded wetland with its tangled under-story and fallen trees.
An interpretive nature trail can be followed through 6 stops along the trail with the downloadable brochure. A complete tour takes less than an hour over moderately easy terrain, with some briefly steep spots. Be prepared for mud.
More than 2,225 acres of open space straddle the borders of Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, and Marlborough, making this site one of the most significant areas of open space in the SuAsCo River Watershed.
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.
Stone walls mark the eastern, northern, and western boundaries of the conservation restriction (CR) donated to SVT by James and Mary Donald in 2001. Their gift created a new access point to the adjacent Acton Arboretum. SVT is responsible for annually monitoring the Donald land to ensure its conservation values are being protected.
This property was conserved in 2013 when it was sold to SVT by the Rachel Webster Elliott Trust.
The Forty Caves conservation area includes lands owned by the Town of Berlin, the Town of Clinton, and SVT.
Consider how remote and novel that [Gowing’s Swamp]. Beneath it is a quaking bed of sphagnum, and in it grow . . . plants which scarcely a citizen of Concord ever sees. It would be as novel to them to stand there as in a conservatory, or in Greenland . . . .—Henry David Thoreau, August 30, 1856
In 1995 the Sudbury Valley Trustees and the Town of Wayland, with the assistance of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, purchased one of the last large parcels of open space in the town: the Paine Estate.
Please note that Mainstone Farm is privately owned. Portions of the land are not open to the public. Please stay on designated trails, shown on the map.
Hamlen Woods and Mainstone Farm highlight a complex of conserved lands owned by the Town of Wayland, Sudbury Valley Trustees, and other private entitites. Additional protected lands, including Mainstone Hills, Reeves Hill, and Turkey Hill contribute to a network of wildlife habitat and public trails.
Hazel Brook Conservation Area (48.4 acres) rewards your senses almost immediately by the sound of the rushing waters of Hazel Brook, soon followed by the sight of a beautiful pond.
Don't stop there, for a moderately easy hike uphill through the quiet woods leads you to a network of more than 65 miles of trails through Weston Town Forest and other public land. A figure-eight route through the property takes about one hour, plus any additional time you choose to devote to Weston town trails beyond.
This 16.5 acre reservation situated amidst residential properties, a pasture, and a hayfield, is mostly red maple swamp, and features about 1200 feet of Hop Brook, a large pond, and two small ponds.
In 2010, as part of his Eagle Scout Project, Matthew Barnes of Sudbury Troop 63 created an interpretive brochure and posted markers along the trail that correspond with the points in his writings and on the map.
About the Property
Horse Meadows Knoll sits adjacent to the Horse Meadows Reservoir, which is now a beautiful naturalized pond. The property is forested with a mixture of hardwood species, white pine, and hemlock, and it provides habitat for multiple endangered species.
The Harvard Conservation Trust (HCT) and SVT worked together to protect this land. HCT owns the land, and SVT holds a conservation restriction. SVT manages the land and worked with HCT to create hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the reservoir and its associated wetlands.
The Lyons-Cutler Reservation is located along the Allowance Brook adjacent to Sudbury Water District and other Town of Sudbury lands. The contiguous open space totals more than 340 acres, and is just upstream from the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
Please Note: Learn more about our ongoing Desert Natural Area Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak Barrens Habitat Restoration Project and about recent changes to trail use rules at Memorial Forest due to stream crossing conditions. In Spring 2017, we have created a bird nesting zone to protect rare birds, please leash your dogs in this area.
The Mt. Pisgah complex of lands is a region including parts of Boylston, Berlin, Bolton, and Northborough. The land is wild, rural, and quiet, with few roads through the surrounding area. Along with an extensive trail system, several beautiful vistas provide looks at the surrounding landscape.
In 1996, the Knox Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America was created as a result of consolidation of two local councils: Norumbega and Algonquin. The Knox Trail Council, led by a volunteer board of prominent community leaders, now administers the Scout program in the 21-town Greater Metrowest region and owns two large camping properties devoted towards the outdoor education of students as well as religious and community youth groups. Located in Bolton around Little Pond, the E. Paul Robsham Jr.
Northwest Framingham retains more than 1,100 acres of open space valuable for wildlife, farming, and quiet recreation. Sudbury Valley Trustees owns 12 parcels of land here, totaling more than 200 acres, and has participated in the protection of hundreds of additional acres now owned by Callahan State Park and the Town of Framingham or farmed under the state’s program of Agricultural Preservation restrictions.
The Town of Billerica and SVT collaboratively manage the Vietnam Veterans Park and Ralph Hill Conservation Area.
Vietnam Veterans Park was the first park in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans.
The Middlesex House of Corrections formerly used the upper part of the property as a working farm that provided dairy products and vegetables to the prison.
Round Hill (38.6 acres) provides maximum reward for minimum effort. At an elevation of 227 feet, Round Hill rises only about 100 feet above the surrounding terrain but the view from the top stretches for miles, taking in river, meadows and rolling terrain, especially in winter.
SVT's Saddle Hill Reservation links Hopkinton State Park with Hopkinton Area Land Trust (HALT) property to create a network of conservation lands that protect important habitat while allowing hikers considerable opportunities for exploration. Parking is available at the HALT Sand Trail trail head, near the corner of Greenwood Road and Saddle Hill Road.
HALT partners with SVT to protect Saddle Hill. HALT holds a conservation restriction (CR) on the land, which ensures that it will never be developed.
Upper Mill Brook Conservation Area (60.6 acres) is a diverse property which contains both open and wooded swamps, deciduous woodland, a brook and several ponds, with beavers in residence.
While a basic tour takes about 45 minutes, additional extensions onto Wayland conservation land can add up to another 2 hours. The main trail is easy; however the extension to Claypit Hill Road is moderately difficult.
The Walkup Reservation is an island of protected land in a sea of commercial development. The property includes mixed hardwood and conifers and old pasture uplands, an open field with wet meadow, a wooded wetland with vernal pools, and a small pond.
SVT's Whitehall Woods is situated between Upton State Forest and Whitehall State Park on Pond Street in Hopkinton. The wooded property is home to a trail that can be used to access the adjacent Upton State Forest. The property consists of varied terrain and habitat type including white pine-red oak forest with scattered pockets of red maple in lowland areas. A large vernal pool is located near the trail head.
The Turenne family purchased the 18-acre property only a few weeks before they turned it over to Sudbury Valley Trustees in 1990. An 1870s map shows that the property had been owned by the Newtons, one of the older families in Southborough.
Photos of that time show that the property was used as pasture. Stonewalls surrounding the property are further evidence of this land use. It is likely that the property was then used as a wood lot in the early part of the century. Multi-trunked 75 to 80 year old oak trees support this hypothesis.