About Cormier Woods
Explore a beautifully preserved farmstead that dates to the 17th century and wander trails that lead past stone walls through restored woodlands.
What makes Cormier Woods a special place?
We think it’s the way this farmscape represents three centuries of people dedicated to working the land. By the mid-1700s, settlers had cleared forest for crop fields and livestock pastures. Only 50 years later, their enterprising descendants were transforming the Blackstone River Valley into our young nation’s first industrial center.
You first see Cormier Woods, a farmstead on a small, intimate scale, as you arrive at a bend on a narrow, stonewall-lined road. The 18th-century house, barn, and sheds are well-preserved examples from more than 300 years of agriculture and the labor of generations of several families.
Today, you can explore the reservation’s varied habitats along three miles of easy-to-moderate trails that loop through the farmstead and surrounding forest and wetlands. In spring, vernal pools nurture salamanders and wood frogs.
Pass beneath evergreens and hardwood species including oaks, maple, and birch. If you think you’re seeing a lot of acorns during the fall, you’re right. Oaks are the dominant tree species seen from the trails. You’ll pass several species, each with their distinct leaves and acorns, especially as you venture away from the farmstead. On the 1.5-mile loop trail leading toward the reservation’s northwest border, look for groves of 80- to 100-foot white pines.
Look and listen for bluebirds at field edges, warblers in the thickets, and melodious thrushes, their flute-like song echoing across the woodlands. You’ll also wander through fields of native grasses and flowers, and, deeper into the woods, past brooks and giant boulders, rock outcrops and cellar holes.
Cormier Woods lies within what is now defined as the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The designated area extends from Worcester to Providence and celebrates the historical and cultural importance of the river, birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution.
Today, the property’s well-cared for buildings, fields and stone walls are a legacy of that industriousness, and pay tribute to donor James Cormier’s longstanding sense of stewardship.
Three miles of connected loop trails pass through easy-to-moderate terrain, including pastures, woodlands, and a boulder field.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.
This rustic farmstead dates to the 1700s and represents three centuries as an agricultural landscape. The cellar holes and stone walls you'll see here remind us that the zeal of colonists to literally carve a life from the landscape was at first primitive, but then powerful. By the mid-1700s, settlers had cleared forest for crop fields and livestock pastures. Only 50 years later, their enterprising descendants were transforming the Blackstone River Valley into our young nation’s first industrial center.
Property Acquisition History
Gift, with endowment, from the estate of James Cormier in 2005.
Conservation and Stewardship
Management Planning for Our Properties
Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have worked to protect special places in Massachusetts and maintain them to the highest standards. To ensure these standards are met, a program of careful planning and sound management is essential. Comprehensive property management plans are created for each reservation and are completely updated approximately every ten years. We often work with volunteers, property users, and members of the community to carry out this planning, which typically involves several steps:
- Describing in detail the site’s natural, scenic, and historical resources; identifying management issues related to the protection of those resources.
- Describing how visitors use the property; outlining the opportunities that the property provides for people to become involved in the work of conservation and caring for their community.
- Developing a detailed list of management recommendations, a work plan, and a description of financial needs for implementing the actions.
- Developing a prescribed routine management program for the reservation that will guide staff work plans, volunteer involvement, and the allocation of human and financial resources.
View Cormier Woods management plan.
Planning Your Visit
Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.
Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:
- Protect wildlife and plants.
- Guard against all risk of fire.
- Help keep air and water clean.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
- Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
- Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
- Enjoy and share the landscape with others.
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
Enjoying Trustees Reservations
About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land