Welcome to Bolton Conservation Land and Trails!
Our conservation lands and trails wind through open fields and meadows, natural quarries, canopied forests that pass by streams, ponds and even quaking bogs providing natural habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including fox, coyote, turtles, salamanders, butterflies, dragonflies and birds as well as rare plant species. We welcome you to enjoy the rich, natural landscape that gives Bolton its rural charm and character.
Bolton is privileged to have over 2,000 acres of conservation-protected land in over 15 Core Conservation Areas. Bolton’s trail systems provide quality passive recreational opportunities in the form of walking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Our Conservation Lands also provide access to several historical points of interest from old munition stations to buttonhole factories and hideouts that capture one’s imagination.
The Bolton Conservation Commission in conjunction with the Bolton Conservation Trust is responsible for maintaining these lands. Together, we established a volunteer organization, The Bolton Trails Committee to help support the maintenance and expand the trail system with an aggressive plan to form a 15-mile loop trail in and around Bolton, known as the Bolton Loop Trail. The Bolton Loop Trail will link many of the existing Conservation areas in Bolton along with Conservation areas in Harvard, Stow, Lancaster and Berlin. Using new and existing Conservation land and easements, and working with private landowners the Bolton Loop Trail Project will provide a network of trails connecting our communities. We continually seek the assistance of volunteers and generous donations
from our community to make this a reality. If you would like more information or would like to participate in this effort, please contact Carol Gumbart in the Bolton Conservation Office at 779-3304.
Click on the links for maps of the major Bolton Conservation areas. We are in the process of updating the maps and will post the latest versions upon availability. Printed versions of all trail maps are available in the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall in a booklet published by the Bolton Conservation Trust.
Bolton Conservation Land Rules and Regulations
The Bolton Conservation Commission welcomes and encourages responsible public use and enjoyment of land under its stewardship. Pursuant to MGL Ch. 40, s. 8c, the Conservation Commission has adopted these rules and regulations to provide a pleasant experience for users and in order to preserve and protect in perpetuity the wildlife, aesthetic, ecological, environmental, and conservation values of these properties, which include:
- Protection of surface and ground water resources
- Protection of unfragmented forest habitat
- Protection of wildlife habitat
- Protection of open space and the Town’s trail system
Dogs may be walked on conservation land as long as they are under the effective control of a person. People walking dogs shall remove feces from trails and all environmentally sensitive areas. Please keep dogs out of vernal pools during the breeding season for frogs and salamanders (generally mid-February through April). Do not let dogs chase or harass wildlife.
- Hunting, Trapping, and Discharging of: firearms, arrows, paintballs and pellets
- Motor Vehicle, except for emergency response or municipal vehicles
- Dumping and/or littering
- Alcoholic beverages and glass containers
- Swimming, except wading by the Tom Denny Nature Camp
Advance Permission Needed in Writing from the Bolton Conservation Commission for the Following:
- Memorials or displays
- Building new trails or extensions to existing trails
- Cutting, removing or damaging vegetation, except for the control of invasive species
- Collecting dead or down wood, rocks, or wildlife
Any activities or uses not set forth here require the prior written permission of the Conservation Commission.
Adopted 12/21/10 Filed with the Town Clerk 1/3/11 Bolton Conservation Commission, 663 Main Street (978)779-3304 or Concom@townofbolton.com
Size: 118 acres of land, 90 of which is in Bolton and 28 acres in Stow.
Access: The major trailhead is located on Annie Moore Road (off of Long Hill Road), approximately 1,000 feet past the sharp bend in the road. Another access point is on Bolton Woods Way on the east side of the road. Street parking at both locations.
Description: The trail passes through a mix of upland forest, crosses a perennial stream and climbs to scenic ledges.
Barrett Hill/Danforth Brook
Size: 84 acres
Access: The major trailhead is located on Danforth Brook Lane off of Hudson Road. The trail has been marked and connections are still in development.
Description: The trail meanders along a dammed stream then crosses woods and an unnamed stream before rising dramatically to Barretts Hill.
Size: 455 acres owned by the State, a portion of which is in Lancaster
Access: The major access is along Still River Road by the red barn owned by the State Department of Fisheries and Wildlife where there is a parking lot. At the base of the parking lot, there is a bridge crossing Still River to access the conservation area. During the wet season, it may be flooded. Another access point is located on the north side of Route 117 on the Bolton/Lancaster town line.
Description: Also known as Intervale, the Bolton Flats is an important flood plain along the Nashua River with breathtaking views from hills flanked on either side. Hence, its original name of Intervale was coined. Bolton Flats is widely known as a primary habitat for migratory birds and offers many recreational activities such as canoeing, bird watching, fishing and hiking. As a state-owned property, hunting in season is permitted.
Size: 91 acres, about half is located in Harvard
Access: There is parking at and access at the end of Flanagan Road in Bolton. Trail connections can be made off Bare Hill Road for those coming from the Vaughn Hill Conservation Area. Vaughn Hill CA Map
Description: Bower Springs is one of Bolton’s most popular conservation areas due to the scenic ponds, flat grassy fields suitable for picnicking and well distinguished trails connecting on to the Vaughn Hill/Hansen conservation areas, another popular area with miles of scenic trails. No swimming is permitted in the ponds except by the Tom Denney Nature Camp during the summer months. Bluebirds are attracted to this property and can be seen perched on the nest boxes that were constructed by a local 4-H group.
Size: 580 acres, owned by the Commonwealth, of which 72 acres are in the northeast corner of Bolton where it intersects with Stow and Harvard.
Access: The main entrance and parking lot is located on Harvard Road in Stow (1/2 mile from the intersection of Delaney Road). Another access point is at the East End Road fire pond. This unmarked wet access can be made by following Great Brook.
Description: Delaney Pond lies at the center of the property, providing an important habitat for otters and a variety of fish and bird species and also provides a unique opportunity for canoeing, fishing and wildlife viewing.
Derby Field/Sawyer/Memorial Field
Size: 110 acres of town recreation area
Access: The main entrance and parking lot is located at the Florence Sawyer School off Mechanic Street. Parking and access to Memorial Field can also be found off Wattaquadock Hill Road.
Description: The Derby Field and Memorial Field are the largest active recreational areas in Town. For passive recreation a trail forms a loop that starts from the Emerson School and goes into the forest, past a brook and an open field area.
Size: 38 acres
Access: A beautiful arched stone gate marks the main entrance on Wattaquadock Hill Road diagonally across from the intersection of Ballville Road.
Description: The Fyfeshire conservation area hosts a scenic trail around a pond and a bridge crossing a dam. The trail ends at private property and does not go completely around the pond. Its picturesque sitting areas make it a wonderful spot for picnics. It features some uncommon trees such as black gum, white cedar and tupelo. During the summer blueberries can be munched on from high bush blueberry bushes.
Vaughn Hill Core Conservation Area
Size: 187 acres
Access: There are four main access points to this Conservation area: Woodside Drive, Bare Hill Road, Green Road (across from the intersection of Nourse Road) and Vaughn Hill Road. The Woodside Drive and Vaughn Hill Road entrances also have parking areas.
Description: Vaughn Hills is one of the highest elevation areas between Boston and Wachusett Mountain, offering panoramic mountain vistas. Trails also traverse pine forests, follow creeks and streams, abut beaver dams, ponds and open meadows. Hiking can be extended into Bower Springs via trailheads on Bare Hill Road. Bower Springs CA Map
Phillps/Rattlesnake Core Conservation Area
Size: 453 acres
Access: There are several points of access to this Core Conservation Area. Access via the Lime Kiln is located on Route 117, approximately 1.5 miles east of Route 495. A gravel parking lot is on the north side of 117 (Main Street) just before a brown fence. If you reach Bolton Spring Farms you’ve gone to far. Parking can also be found on Old Sugar Road, which is off Sugar Road east of the bridge of Route 495. A trail is about 500 feet down on the left of Old Sugar Road. Another access is via Harris Farm Road, off Sugar Road. At the Harris Farm Road cul-de-sac, go up the common driveway to the
right of the leftmost house and enter near the Bolton Conservation sign.
Description: These hundreds of acres are comprised of wooded hillsides, dotted with boulder outcrops and vernal pools. A large network of trails, including wide cart paths, traverses the hillside. An Interpretative Trail is found off the Main Street entrance. This 1.3-mile trail, known as the Bob Horton Memorial Trail provides information on botany, geology, history and early industry.
Powerderhouse Hill Core Conservation Area
Size: 100 acres
Access: The main access point into this Core Conservation Area is behind the Bolton Town Hall at 663 Main Street. Parking in the rear parking lot is available. Trail access is also available at the corner of Golden Run Road and Sugar Road but there is no parking. Another access point is at the beginning of Quail Run Road but this access is unavailable in the spring due to flooding conditions.
Description: Behind the Town Hall the area is wooded hillside providing a good climb via either the marked trail or the wider Old Town House Road. The Powderhouse, built for storage of ammunition was constructed in 1812 and sits up above Town Hall. Ledge and boulder outcrops make the hike up to the Powderhouse interesting. A large vernal pool is located near the entrance of Quail Run and the wooden boardwalk is usually under water during the spring.
Randall Road Area Core Conservation Area
Size: 174 acres
Access: There are several access points into this Core Conservation Area. The southern access is via a public trail easement off Berlin Road at the intersection of Frye Road. There is no parking here but the trailhead begins at the opening in the stonewall, heads through the field and into the woods. Another access point is off Rocky Dundee Road, just before the circle. There are two from the un-improved section of Randall Road; the first immediately after the first stream crossing; the second, on a forested road across from new construction. There is a trail across from 92 Randall Road that traverses conservation land; it is the hope that we can work with two adjoining landowners to gain access to the core area from this trail. One can park
along Randall Road and Rocky Dundee. The northern most access is via a public trail easement between 100 and 108 West Berlin Road.
Description: The trails over this wide-ranging Core Conservation Area take one past the Quaker Cemetery dating to the 1770’s, along old stone walls, crossing many babbling brooks, and hilly woodlands and ledge outcroppings interspersed with several vernal pools.
Size: 11 acres
Access: There is no parking for this area. Access into the property is can be made off Wattaquadock Hill Road about 1/2 mile south of the West Berlin Road intersection. Alternative access is via a trail easement (Philbin Solomon Trail) off West Berlin Road a ¼ mile south of the intersection of Wattaquadock Hill and West Berlin Road on the westerly side.
Description: The main attraction is the kettle hole bog, which hosts carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundew. The hike into the bog is over wooded ledge.
Size: 5 acres
Access: Present access is off the trail easement on Route 117, ¼ mile east of Nashoba High School. Parking is limited to a shoulder pull off for a couple cars maximum.
Description: The pond is adjacent to lovely farm fields providing pastoral views. The pond provides good habitat for birds and mammals alike.
Access: Located off Corn Road approximately ½ mile north of the Sugar Road overpass.
Description: This trail climbs alongside a lovely stream with several crossings, one over a scenic dam, before reaching upland habitat. The trail is a connector to future trails in the Northwoods/Levison area off Harvard Road.