Rattlesnake Conservation Area

Rules, Regulations and other Information
rca map

Assessor’s Map and Parcel(s): 6.D-54, 5.D-22, 5.D-26, 5.D-35, 5.E-44, 5.E-02

Acres: ~251.39

Acquired: The Town of Bolton acquired the parcels within the Rattlesnake conservation core area through receiving gifts of land and purchasing land. In 1976, the Town of Bolton purchased the property encompassing the Lime Kiln. Then in 1999, the town purchased parcels from the Atlantic Union College. Conservation Restrictions protect additional adjacent parcels totaling around 80 acres and the Bolton Conservation Trust holds about 105 acres of adjacent land resulting in the largest contiguous piece of core conservation area in the Town of Bolton.

Features: The property boasts varying terrain and habitat. Popular features include the Lime Kiln, Quarries, Philip Phillips plaque, split rock, the cave, and the Bob Horton Trail loop. Glacial erratics sprinkle the landscape of this core area. A collection of vernal pools provide energetic shows in early spring. Brooks flow through the mixed forest. Tunnels of vibrant Witch hazel, wetlands, ledge outcrops and a relatively isolated pine forest noticeable from the forest floor overcome with pine straw diversify the property. Trails throughout the property provide access to view all listed features.

Access: Parking is located at the four main trail heads; (1) Old Sugar road cul-de-sac, (2) intersection of Old Sugar Road and Sugar Road, (3) Harris Farm (easement across private property, stay on trail), (4) off of Route 117 by Lime Kiln property.

Trails: HERE

Regulations for Use of Conservation Land

It is the intent and policy of the Conservation Commission that conservation land be maintained in a natural state. Some areas where appropriate the commission establishes trails to allow for passive recreational use. Any alteration to a Conservation property or trail by persons other than the Commission's authorized agents shall require the prior written permission of the Commission. The Conservation Land Rules and Regulations shall be adhered to at all times. Inclusive of the Dogs on Conservation Land Rules and Regulations. You may find these regulations on our town website or by clicking HERE.


Construction, or placing of any building, asphalt or concrete pavement, antenna, utility pole, tower conduit or other temporary or permanent structures of facilities except for fences appropriate to the preservation purposes consistent with this except with the written consent of the grantor.

Mining, excavating, dredging or removal from the premises of soil, loam, peat, gravel, sand or rock, except as necessary for proper drainage and said conservation.

Placing, filling, storing, or dumping on the premises of refuse, trash, vehicle bodies or parts, rubbish, junk, waste or other substance or unsightly or offensive material whatsoever.

Cutting, trimming, removing or otherwise destroying trees, shrubs, grasses or other vegetation, except in accordance with the terms of said paragraph B (4) below.

Activities detrimental to drainage, flood control, water conservation, erosion control, or soil conservation.

The use of motor vehicles, including, but not limiting motorcycles, motorized trail bikes and snowmobiles, except in accordance with the terms of Paragraph B (5) below.

Hunting and trapping of animals or discharging firearms.

Fires for recreational or cooking purposes.

Any other use or activity within the conservation easement area which would be detrimental to the preservation of said land in such open natural condition which would be inconsistent with the purposes of these restrictions.

B. Permitted Uses:

Hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and other passive outdoor recreational activities.

The construction, maintenance and marking of trails for pedestrian use and horseback riding, not to exceed ten feet in width.

The maintenance of presently existing trails and wood roads.

Selective clearing and landscaping for fire protection, land maintenance or otherwise to preserve the present condition of the conservation area, including farming and agricultural husbandry operations carried on in accordance with sounds agricultural and forestry management.


The parcels shall remain in their natural, scenic and open space condition and shall be used only for passive recreation such as nature/walking trails and forestry uses;

No motorized vehicles of any type or kind shall be allowed, except as necessary for selective clearing operations and to the extent access is required for fire, police or other emergency vehicles;

No above-ground structures of any type or kind shall be constructed on the parcels, except for walkways, pedestrian footbridges, trial signs, and fencing appropriate to the conservation purpose of the parcels;

Except for the maintenance of nature/walking trails, no trees shall be cut of vegetation removed unless the same are dead or diseased or cause a safety hazard;

No activities that are or may be detrimental to drainage, flood control, water conservation, erosion control or soil conservation shall be performed on the parcels;

No hunting or trapping of animals or discharging of firearms shall be allowed on the parcels;

No fires for recreation or cooking purposes shall be allowed on the parcels;

No other use or activity which would be detrimental to the preservation of the parcels in an open and natural condition or which would otherwise be inconsistent with the purpose of this deed shall be allowed on the parcels;

Not withstanding the forgoing, the following activities are expressly permitted on the parcels: maintenance and relocation of presently existing trails and wood roads and the creation and maintenance of new trails and wood roads.

Adopted 12/21/2010
The maps and data displayed on this site are for reference and planning purposes only. The Town of Bolton assumes no legal responsibility for the information contained herein. The items specified above are restrictions specific to the conservation property. They are included for transparency purposes only. They do not give anyone the right to alter conservation property. That is ONLY the authority of the conservation commission or its authorized agents.