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Sharon & Boston, MA – November 25, 2014 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) offer hundreds of acres of open spaces, woodland trails, and hills around the state where you can get out and embrace the winter. Studies show that exposure to nature and outdoor exercise, or “nature therapy” – even as little as five minutes a day – has significant health and wellness benefits including improved mental health, reduced stress, and a more positive outlook and spirit.
“In our increasingly digitized and busy lives, nature deficit disorder has never been more prevalent,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees’ President and CEO. “It’s our mission at The Trustees to inspire more Massachusetts residents of all ages to disconnect from technology and get out, be active, and experience our many wonderful outdoor places across the state.”
Whether you’re looking for great spots to hike, sled, snowshoe, cross-country ski or just launch a spontaneous snowball fight, you can easily find a Trustees’ property near you where you can enjoy and embrace winter.
Rocky Woods, Medfield
Logging roads initially laid out two centuries ago continue to fulfill their transportation roles – but for easy walking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter on this 491 acre property. The route around Chickering Pond and the Bridle Trail loop are both ideal for families with young children, and are stroller friendly without snow.
Noanet Woodlands, Dover
Follow a network of 17 miles of trails across this nearly 700-acre Noanet Woodlands preserve that features woodlands and ponds, a former mill site, and Noanet Peak, which offers stellar views of the Boston skyline. Perfect for winter hiking, walking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing this property is also a favorite for runners and families with young children who love to climb rocks and explore nature’s best. Feeling energetic? Just across the street from the Noanet parking lot located on Powisset Street, you’ll find our bucolic 109-acre Powisset Farm offering open pastures, meadows and trails ideal for a leisurely cross-country ski.
One of The Trustees’ more off-the-beaten path reservations also boasts a terrific sledding hill, just a few steps beyond the parking lot, and wide-open acres for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. Its pastoral riverside location adds to the ambiance. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks and pick a scenic spot for a restful break.
Francis William Bird Park, Walpole
An 89-acre, historic landscape park, Bird Park offers three miles of flat pathways which meander past grassy meadows and tranquil duck ponds, and over stone arch bridges spanning quiet streams. Ideal for walking as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, the park also includes a recreational area and children’s playground.
Moose Hill Farm, Sharon
At 466 feet, Moose Hill is the second highest elevation between Boston and Providence, offering 3.5 miles of trails that run through rolling meadows and woodlands, ending with views of the Boston skyline and the Neponset River Valley from the upper hayfield. While enjoying winter activities at this peaceful property, explore cellar holes, foundation edges, and stone walls scattered throughout. For an added family adventure, the Moose Hill Farm features a Quest, or outdoor scavenger hunt, which is available for download on www.thetrustees.org and tells the story of the property’s history as former sheep and dairy farm.
World’s End, Hingham
This South Shore favorite with panoramic views of Boston’s harbor and skyline boasts four hills, but your best bet for sledding is Planter’s, the large drumlin rising just before you cross “The Bar” to the far side of the reservation. Frederick Law Olmsted-designed carriage paths throughout the property offer opportunities for all ages to enjoy moderate hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing at this spectacular Hingham haven.
Whitney Thayer Woods, Cohasset & Hingham
The 10 miles of carriage roads throughout this property are suited for all kinds of winter fun and recreation. Amble through resurgent hardwood forests to open fields and spectacular vistas of the South Shore and Boston skyline. Walk, sled, or cross-country ski down the hill to Weir River Farm where families can get up-close to horses, sheep, and chickens year-round.
Governor Oliver Ames Estate, Easton
Set in the quiet town of Easton 30 miles outside of Boston, the historic 36-acre Governor Oliver Ames Estate – one of The Trustees’ newest properties – features rolling hills, meadows, ponds, and a host of lovely and mature trees, as well as remnants of a storied and prominent past – all within walking distance of the North Easton National Historic District. The gentle hills are ideal for sledding with young children. A gravel driveway which dissects the property leads all the way down to the bridge at the river offers easy opportunities for strolling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Appleton Farms Grass Rides, Ipswich and Hamilton
This family-friendly network of grassy trails adjacent to America’s oldest continually operating farm, Appleton Farms, spans over 250 acres and provides an ideal environment for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well as winter walking and nature watching. On weekends, warm-up in the visitor center with a hot drink and a tour of the historic farm house, now a Visitor Center on the property, which also offers year-round cooking classes.
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich
The undulating, half-mile long Grand Allée on Castle Hill, a National Historic Landmark, provides some great family-friendly sledding terrain, especially the farther east you walk from the Great House. Hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski around the property and enjoy panoramic views of Cape Ann and Crane Beach. Stop by the newly restored “Casino” complex, which will serve as a new entertainment venue for the property, for a rest.
Ravenswood Park, Gloucester
Miles and miles of meandering carriage paths offer the winter explorer fresh tracks and surprises on a wintry day. On weekends and holidays, let the Cape Ann Discover Center be your jumping off point, providing snowshoe rentals, hands-on nature exhibits, and discovery backpacks. When it’s time to thaw, visitors are welcome to warm their toes by the woodstove with a warm cup of cocoa.
Ward Reservation, Andover and North Andover
At 420 feet, Holt Hill, one of three on the 695-acre property, is the highest point in Essex County and gives sledders a thrill, especially those who climb to the top. Formerly home to two long distance ski jumps run by nearby Phillips Academy until the 70s, Holt Hill offers great views extending from the surrounding Merrimack Valley to the Boston skyline. The reservation features nearly 10 miles of trails for winter recreational activities. The Red Trail loop is perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Lyman Reserve, Bourne
For a winter hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski outing off the beaten path, choose from two trails offering spectacular views of Buttermilk Bay and the Cape Cod railroad bridge. Situated at the mouth of 4.5-mile-long Red Brook on Buttermilk Bay, the property features a 1.5-mile loop to Red Brook meanders through a pine forest that leads to a sandy beach. The shorter .25 mile trail is perfect for families with young children looking to get out and explore winter’s wonders.
Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, New Bedford
A network of cobblestone paths lined with rare and exotic trees make this six-acre property that boasts one of the oldest houses in New Bedford seem like a country estate in the heart of the city. The site of the former famed Allen C. Haskell and Son nursery, the Haskell Public Gardens is a great place to stroll, cross-country ski, snowshoe, or pull a child on a sled while you embrace winter. Yet, don’t wait for the first snow to fall to visit New Bedford’s newest park, the grounds are inviting and beautiful to visit every day of the year.
Cornell Farm, Dartmouth
Cornell Farm offers unique opportunities for families to snowshoe, ski, hike, or frolic this winter while exploring the old farmstead, meadow, and forests that are located on this 130-acre farm found on the edge of a salt marsh at the head of the Little River.
It just wouldn’t be winter snowshoeing and Nordic skiing at Notchview, a true gem when the snow flies. With more than 3,000 acres of rolling terrain and almost 40km of trails – from groomed to backcountry – it’s the idyllic escape for any winter enthusiast. A new café, lessons, and equipment rentals make Notchview the perfect place for beginners and experts alike to learn and challenge themselves before warming up to recount the day with family and friends.
Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield
Bart’s Cobble is always abuzz in winter, becoming a snowy playground with plenty of fun and fascinating events for all ages. After touring the cobbles and following wildlife tracks, warm up with hot drinks and friendly staff in the Visitor’s Center at this National Natural Landmark in the beautiful southern Berkshires.
Bullitt Reservation, Ashfield
Some places have it all. Pop on your skis or snowshoes and take a jaunt through an eye-pleasing blend of fields, historic farm buildings, woodlands and streams that form a crucial link in almost 3,000 acres of protected land. The Pebble Trail is a short loop that’s sure to get your body moving, while the Three Bridges Trail will take you to nearby Chapel Brook Reservation and beyond.
Dexter Drumlin, Lancaster
Don’t let it’s diminutive size fool you. Dexter Drumlin is a popular destination that draws sledders and sliders from throughout the greater Worcester area. The property’s impressive elevation and gentle contour make it a favorite with young families.
Doane’s Falls, Royalston
Descend a short, streamside trail and you’ll be treated to an up-close experience with a raucous series of plunging falls, which winter cold turns into an elemental ice sculpture! A half-mile trail runs along the stream, offering great vantage points. If you really want to get moving, the property is just one stop on the 22-mile Tully Trail offering myriad opportunities for winter hiking and recreation.
For a list of fun programs and events for all ages happening at these and other Trustees reservations, visit: www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/.
The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of irreplaceable scenic, historic, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees is the world’s oldest land trust and one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation non profits. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations – from working farms and historic homesteads and landscaped gardens, to community parks, barrier beaches, mountain vistas and woodland trials – located on more than 26,000 acres throughout the Commonwealth. With hundreds of outreach programs, workshops, camps, concerts and events annually designed to engage all ages in its mission, The Trustees invite you to Find Your Place and get out and experience the natural beauty and culture our state has to offer. For more information, visit: www.thetrustees.org.