Sharon, MA – January 4, 2012 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) offer hundreds of acres of wide open spaces, woodland trails and perfect hills where you can take advantage of our recent snowfall and embrace winter’s wonderland. Studies show that exposure to nature and outdoor exercise – even as little as 5 minutes a day – has significant health and wellness benefits including improved mental health, reduced stress, and a more positive outlook and spirit. A recent article from the November issue of Outside Magazine points to similar benefits from “nature therapy” and travels to the deep woods of Japan where researchers are backing up the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress – and even prevent cancer.
“So many children and adults are experiencing ‘nature deficit disorder’ today,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President, outdoor enthusiast and mother of two young children. “It’s our mission at The Trustees to inspire more Massachusetts residents of all ages to get out and experience our wonderful outdoor places across the state, so they can be active and make important community connections.”
Whether you are looking for great spots to go sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, or just launch a spontaneous snowball fight, you’ll find a Trustees spot near you for getting out and embracing winter. And if you’re looking to shed some holiday calories, too, cross-country skiing can burn from 600 – 1,200 calories an hour – and snowshoeing burns more calories than running or skiing. Of course sledding, walking and hiking are all excellent options for fitness and outdoor enjoyment as well. Check out these properties on The Trustees’ website for more information, including fun programs and events for all ages at www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/.
Francis William Bird Park, Walpole
Bird Park is an 89-acre historic landscape park created by the Bird family in 1925. Follow three miles of flat pathways, past grassy meadows and tranquil duck ponds, and over stone arch bridges spanning quiet streams. This park includes a recreational area and children’s playground, ideal for walking families as well as snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
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 are perfect for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as well.
One of The Trustees’ newest 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.
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. Holt Hill offers great views extending from the surrounding Merrimack Valley to the Boston skyline. The reservation’s almost 10 miles of trails are great for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more.
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich
The undulating, half-mile long (and recently restored) 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.
More about The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees of Reservations is the nation’s oldest statewide land conservation organization founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891 to “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of scenic, cultural, and natural significance for current and future generations to enjoy. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 109 spectacular reservations located throughout Massachusetts and work to promote healthy, active, and green communities. Accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, The Trustees are an established leader in the conservation and preservation movement and model for other land trusts nationally and internationally. One of the largest nonprofits in Massachusetts, The Trustees employ 150 full-time, 49 regular part-time, and 400 seasonal staff with expertise in education, cultural resources, land protection, ecology, conservation, land management, and planning. To find out more or to become a member or volunteer, please contact www.thetrustees.org.