Forest Health Walk, Stop 1


Welcome to the Forest Health Walk at Cowassock Woods and Ashland Town Forest.

Cowassock Woods is owned by Sudbury Valley Trustees, a nonprofit conservation organization that protects natural areas in the 36 communities around the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. 

The Ashland Town Forest is managed by the Ashland Town Forest Committee.

During the next ninety minutes, as you walk the trails at these two properties, you will learn how to study the visual clues that indicate whether a forest is healthy. Because most of these visual clues are easier to spot when plants have their leaves, the ideal time to take the Forest Health Walk is between June and September. But you will still be able to see some of the clues at any time of year, even in winter. 

To avoid disturbing other visitors, please use headphones to listen to this presentation, or else read the text version. Of course, those who are unable to read the text version or are hiking with a group are welcome to play the audio version aloud.

At every stop, be sure to face the QR code so you will see the correct features when asked to “look to your left” or to “look ahead of you”.

What Is Forest Health?

At this point, you may be wondering, “What is forest health?” There are many answers. Some people measure a forest’s health by its beauty. Others may focus on the forest’s ability to produce timber. 

But for this walk, we define forest health as how well a forest can sustain itself and the wild animals that rely on it. 

Please continue along this trail about 300 feet to Stop 2, marked with another QR code.