Tag Archives: Sudbury valley trustees

Southborough–Turenne Wildlife Habitat and Town Forest

Massive rock outcroppings are throughout this area–very cool

We headed to Southborough recently to explore a trail new to us, the Turenne Wildlife Habitat. We hoped to find a quiet spot unnoticed by other weekend visitors. We mostly have time to get out on weekends because of my husband’s work schedule, and crowded trails have been a challenge throughout this pandemic, when the outdoors has become a refuge for many of us.

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Walkup Reservation, Westboro, MA

The “Bossy Crossing” underneath the old trolley line railbed at Walkup Reservation

I first visited the Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) Walkup Reservation nearly five years ago when I was doing the field work for More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, a field guide I created to over fifty trails in the Upper Charles, Neponset, Assabet, and Sudbury river watersheds. Al Sanborn, who had lived in Westborough, was my guide for two of the sixteen towns I included in the book–Westborough and Grafton, and served as the caretaker for the Walkup Reservation for a number of years.

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New Year walk–Forty Caves

Stream flowing through Forty Caves property, on the way to the Assabet River. Note the wall leading down to the river, which is how we eventually made our way cross to get back where we started

We headed to Berlin/Clinton the first of the New Year, to celebrate #MAfirstweekhikes, and after seeing the crowds of cars at the Francis Street entrance of Forty Caves, in Clinton, we headed over to Berlin to the back side of the property, where we found only two other cars parked at the entrance on Allen Road. This is a Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) property, and we recently joined SVT for two reasons: 1) to support their work conserving open space in the Concord, Assabet, and Sudbury watersheds between Boston and Worcester; 2) to obtain a copy of their publication 42 Walks West of Boston, 2nd edition. We plan to visit more of these wonderful properties in the future, and having a physical copy of their guide book is a great tool in helping us find our way to sometimes difficult to locate trails. ( My book, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, includes several SVT trails, as well as numerous others in the Upper Charles, Neponset, Sudbury, Concord, and Assabet River watersheds).

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Connecting trails in Hopkinton, MA–Whitehall Woods

Alke Whitehall, with fall colors, still lake water,blue sky

Lake Whitehall is a popular place in the summer, but at the far end from where most people access the lake, is a newly acquired property, Whitehall Woods, that not only connects people with the lake, it also offers a trail that eventually reaches to Upton State Forest. An intriguing trail, it offers an easy walk in the woods with views of some cool rock formations.

Wide open woodland path covered with pine needles
Very easy walking is found along the trails of Whitehall woods

When I visited in early fall, the trail was wide open and offered easy footing. The blazes are pretty clear, and directions toward Upton State Forest are pretty straightforward as well. Thus, you can enjoy a relatively short, easy walk, or you can choose to take an extended trek through the woods to Upton, MA.

Trail kiosk for Whitehall Woods
Trail kiosk is easy to spot form the  new subdivision’s road that borders the property

Access the property is from 203 Pond Street, reached by turning onto the new subdivision road and looking on the left for the small parking area. The land is protected with a conservation restriction, and combined with other open space, offers 2600 acres of continuous open space.

heavily forested trail with rock shelf
Some cool rocks await for those interested in exploring the landscape

Whitehall Woods offers a quiet place to walk and wander. A different atmosphere from its better known neighbor, Lake Whitehall, this is a place to visit when you are looking for a place to rest and relax. 

rocks and trees with hiker on the trail
John Ritz, of the Hopkinton Trails Club, was my guide on this walk

Marjorie

beech cliffs 2018
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then  

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