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, the Bolton Conservation Trust, and the Bolton Trails Committee all work in unison toward responsible land stewardship. These local conservation groups rely on the assistance of volunteers and generous donations from our community. If you would like more information or would like to participate in their effort, please contact.
The Bolton Trails Committee is pleased to present Bolton's first digital library of GPS/GIS based trail maps.
The property map links below are optimized for mobile device users as image files.
Please visit the Trails Committee home page to download high resolution PDF maps and GPS files for each of the property's listed.
Reference the Key Map below to locate an outdoor destination in Bolton
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.
2 - Vaughn Hill Core Conservation Area (MAP)
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.
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.
Description: Bowers 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.
4 - Powerderhouse Hill Core Conservation Area (MAP)
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.
5 - Zink-Northwoods (MAP)
Size: 104 acres
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 trails in the Northwoods area off Harvard Road.
6 - Rattlesnake Core Conservation Area (MAP)
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.
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.
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.
Size: 83 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.
10 - Randall-Vinger (MAP)
Size: 66 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 parking at Quaker Park but the trailhead begins at the opening in the stonewall, heads through the field and into the woods, which is unmarked. The main trailhead is located on the left side of Randall Road; the first immediately after the first stream crossing. One can park off street at the Randall Road and Rocky Dundee intersection.
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: 48 acres
Access: The main trail heads are located on the right hand side of Randall Road and include two entrances to the "Basin Loop" trail and the "Brendan Ridge" trail. One can park off street at the Randall Road and Rocky Dundee intersection.
Description: This expansive upland forest area is made possible by the Hapgood / Schecter property easement with access from Randall Road to West Berlin Road. Several interesting natural features and habitat make this an enjoyable property.
Size: 11 acres
Access: 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.
13 - Bolton Overlook (MAP)
Size: 4.5 acres
Access: Parking located on Wattaquadock Hill Road across from Nashoba Winery.
Description: A gift to the Bolton Conservation Trust in 2011 and currently leased by Nashoba Valley Spirits, Ltd. The purpose of this lease is to return the property to active agricultural use. The view of Main Street and beyond makes this a must-see property.
Size: 5.6 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.
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.
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