Lyons-Cutler Reservation, Sudbury
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.
Much of Lyons-Cutler is wetlands, but there is also a large central upland area. This land was cleared and used as farmland until 1921, when it was sold and allowed to return to a forested state. Today, SVT manages a three-mile trail system here that is open to the public.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- An Eagle Scout candidate created an interpretive guide to the trail (see link above).
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.
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