North Common Meadow
Petersham, MA
25 acres
Cross-country skiing/Snowshoeing Hunting Mountain Biking Dog Walking Walking/Hiking (Easy) Horseback Riding Picnicking Historic House or Structure Private Function Rentals

About North Common Meadow

Children love to play in the field of wildflowers then listen for the splash of frogs at the adjacent lily pond.

What makes North Common Meadow a special place?
Having once served both as pasture land and as part of a golf course for the Nichewaug Inn, the broad expanse of North Common Meadow today is woven into the rural fabric and character of Petersham Center. Ground-nesting birds hide in the tall grasses of the upper meadow grasses while wildflowers burst into color in the lower meadow. Off of North Main Street, the historic Law Office of Aaron Brooks, an influential supporter of open space in the late 19th century, overlooks a working hayfield. A trail leads down through the meadow, around the small, lily-covered pond, and out to East Street. You can also follow a short spur trail north into the Roaring Brook Tract of Brooks Woodland Preserve.

The Buell Woods Trail, a short walk south, across the street from the Meadow’s East Street entrance, provides a forested connection to the Brooks Woodland Preserve.

A trail system, beginning at the Brooks Law Office, winds for one-half mile down through the meadow, around the pond, and out onto East Street. Easy walking. Looking down the meadow, a short spur leads hikers off to the left into the Roaring Brook Tract of the Brooks Woodland Preserve trail system.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1/2 hour, longer if visiting Brooks Woodland Preserve or Swift River Reservation.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

  • Authorized bow hunting, only with written permission, is allowed on this reservation for a limited number of hunters, according to MasssWildlife regulations from mid October through December each year, from ½ hour before sunrise all day until ½ hour after sunset, Monday through Saturday. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions, requirements, and rules for the benefit of all visitors. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties

The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Find the full policy here.


22 North Main Street and 27 East Street
Petersham, MA 01366
Telephone: 978.840.4446

Latitude: 42.491
Longitude: -72.185

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Rt. 2, take Exit 17, Rt. 32 South, to 

From the Town Hall in Petersham Center, either travel 0.4 mi. down East St. and park along the road at the entrance, or travel north 0.1 mi. on Main St. (Rt. 32) and park along the road in front of the historic Brooks Law Office.


When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1/2 hour, longer if visiting Brooks Woodland Preserve or Swift River Reservation.

FREE to all.

Property History

Once pasture for livestock, the property later was part of a golf course for the Nichewaug Inn, which operated on the Common through the first half of the 20th century.

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage purchased in 1975 with funds given anonymously. Additional land purchased in 1978.

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.

Maps and Resources

Printed trail maps are distributed free from bulletin boards in parking areas. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.

Additional resources:

Private Functions & Photography

Outdoor private functions may be arranged for up to 100 people. For more information, e-mail or call 978.840.4446.

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