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.
Baiting Brook Meadow Farm spans 88 acres off Nixon Road in Framingham. The trails on this land, which is still privately owned, connect to trails on Callahan State Park, SVT’s Baiting Brook-Welch, Henry’s Hill, and Wayside Forest Reservations, and the City of Framingham’s Wittenborg Woods.
During the development boom following WWII, Margaret Pearmain Welch feared for the landscape in the northwest corner of Framingham. To help conserve it, she donated 87 acres of land over several years, starting in 1959, and provided the core of SVT’s first reservation beyond our original Wayland-Sudbury base.
Much of the conserved land in this area is a result of the Beals family purchasing property in the 1960s to protect it from development. The family permanently protected part of the land by donating the 3.4-acre Triangle Meadow and a 48-acre conservation restriction (CR), both to SVT.
Berlin Meadows, owned by the Town of Berlin, is a mix of open field, wet meadow, forested wetland and upland, and dense successional scrub. It provides natural flood control and storm drainage to neighboring communities. The Town donated a conservation restriction on Berlin Meadows to SVT.
Sawyer Hill, which is privately owned land, consists of forested open space and public trails. SVT has held a conservation restriction on this land since 2008.
Brues Woods' 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.
A local Eagle Scout created an interpretive nature trail brochure that describes the trees at six markers along the trail. A complete tour takes less than an hour over moderately easy terrain, with some briefly steep spots.
The Crane Swamp Conservation Area spans more than 2,225 acres of open space that straddle the borders of Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, and Marlborough, making this site one of the most significant areas of open space in the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord River watershed. The centerpiece of the conservation area is a 400-acre red maple swamp surrounded by a complex of open fields, wet meadows, ponds, pine plantations, and oak-pine forests, with Cedar Hill to the west and Walnut Hill to the northeast.
SVT’s Cowassock Woods is nestled in the much larger Ashland Town Forest. Together, these lovely properties span more than 500 acres and are rich in both human and natural history.
As you walk the entrance trail at Cowassock Woods, you can still see signs of a development that was planned for the site; SVT acquired the 50-plus acres of Cowassock Woods in two stages in 1984 and 1992, after the plans fell through.
Cowassock Woods and Ashland Town Forest are composed of a mosaic of mixed hardwood forest types, wetlands, vernal pools and stream corridors.
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.
SVT’s Henry’s Hill Reservation straddles Wayside Inn Road near the Framingham-Sudbury line. To the east, the land is a wooded slope with an intermittent stream. To the west, several acres of open fields are surrounded by a mature forest and a small wetland.
The Hop Brook Natural Area is one of several wildlife havens in the northwestern part of Framingham. Owned by SVT, this land sits amid residential properties, a pasture, and a hayfield. It consists mostly of red maple swamp, and it features about 1200 feet of Hop Brook, one large pond, and two smaller ponds.
A brook, three ponds, red maple swamp, and many fruit- and seed-bearing trees provide habitat suitable for otters, foxes, minks, and cottontail rabbits, as well as a variety of fish, turtles, birds, frogs, and insects.
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.
SVT acquired ownership of Lyons-Cutler in several stages, beginning in 1961 with a three-acre gift from Mary Goodnow Cutler. Another eight acres came in 1967 with two gifts, one from Kenneth and Joseph Cutler and one from Roland Cutler. In the following year SVT purchased the core piece of the reservation, a 59-acre parcel from Edward Lyons. The most recent addition to SVT’s reservation came in the form of a three-acre gift from Forrest Bradshaw in 1985.
Straddling the border of Sudbury and Marlborough are hundreds of acres of public and private open space dedicated primarily to conservation. These lands include the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Massachusetts Memorial Forest (owned by SVT), other lands owned by GFWCM, two tracts of Marlborough State Forest, and conservation lands owned by Town of Sudbury and City of Marlborough.
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.
The Nobscot Scout Reservation, a 452-acre property in Framingham and Sudbury, is devoted to the outdoor education of students as well as to religious and community youth groups. As of 2018, it is owned by the Mayflower Council of the Boy Scouts; previously, the Knox Trail Council owned the land.
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.
Owned by the Town of Bedford, the O’Connor land contains wooded uplands and wetlands, and it lies within a region that holds residential, industrial, and conservation lands. The trail system provides a much-need place for respite and exercise in the midst of a heavily developed area.
In 2009, the Town donated a conservation restriction (CR) on the property to SVT; this CR ensures the property will never be developed into housing lots. SVT works with the Town of Bedford to ensure that the conservation values on the land are maintained.
Named after the brook that flows through the property on its way to the Sudbury River, the Peppergrass Brook conservation restriction (CR) lies within a region heavily dotted with conservation lands, including the Town of Bedford’s Carlisle Road Conservation Areas, Bedford Meadows CR, Brown-Page Conservation Area, and Redmond- Anderson Conservation Area, as well as Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
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.
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.
Whitehall Woods 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 Whitney Field and Kennedy-Bowers conservation restrictions (CRs) contains two fields, a small upland forest, and Heath Hen Meadow Brook and its surrounding wetlands. The land provides a naturally vegetated watershed with substantial frontage on Heath Hen Meadow Brook, a tributary to Fort Pond Brook and the Assabet River.
Tucked into a residential area, this wooded property near Route 135 offers welcomed open space for local residents. Wiley Woods, which was donated to the Hopkinton Area Land Trust (HALT) in 1997, was the first property acquired by HALT and is named for one of the organization's founders. HALT donated a conservation restriction (CR) on the land to SVT in 2001.
Turenne Wildlife Habitat is primarily a relatively young, dry oak/hickory forest. There is a mesic slope area on the west side of the property that contains a much richer mixed hardwood forest. Granite outcroppings are scattered around the property.
The George and Lucy Yapp Conservation Land, which is owned by the Town of Littleton, is located in a scenic rural corner of the town. It links with other conserved lands in the area, creating a network of open space that is beneficial to wildlife.
SVT holds a conservation restriction (CR) on the Yapp property, partnering with the town to ensure its permanent protection.