Medfield Rhododendrons
Find Your Place
Support This Reservation
Become a Member
Medfield Rhododendrons Medfield, MA
196 acres

About Medfield Rhododendrons

Approach with care this fragile habitat of rare Rosebay rhododendrons with care — here you can experience one of very few populations of this important species.

What makes Medfield Rhododendrons a special place?
Medfield Rhododendrons is the site of an important and rare stand of Rhododendron maximum, the great laurel or rosebay rhododendron, one of only three species of evergreen rhododendrons native to eastern North America.

Rosebay rhododendrons are most abundant in the southern Appalachian Mountains, where they form extensive thickets. In New England they reach their northernmost range. At the turn of the 20th century, this plant became popular for its showy flowers, and overcollecting in the wild nearly wiped out the species. Only seven known populations exist today, including this one, the largest and easternmost population of rosebay rhododendrons in Massachusetts. Please help protect this fragile site.

Trails
A quarter-mile trail leads from the Woodbridge Road parking area to the stand of rhododendrons. Easy walking, although wet underfoot.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour. Blooming for this species typically occurs in late June.

Regulations & Advisories

  • In cooperation with the Town of Medfield, 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 reservations >>

  • The trail is a public easement across private property. Please respect the privacy of neighbors.

Directions

Woodbridge Road
Medfield, MA 02052
Telephone: 508.785.0339
E-mail: charlesrivervalley@ttor.org

Latitude: 42.1767
Longitude: -71.3034

Get directions from Google Maps.

From I-95/Rt. 128, take Exit 16B onto Route 109 West. At the intersection of Rts. 27 and 109 in Medfield, take Rt. 27 South 0.5 mi. Turn right on Woodbridge St. Parking area is immediately on right. Walk 200 yards along Woodbridge St. to trail on right. This trail is a public easement across private property. Follow trail to the stand of rhodendendons.

Admission

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour. Blooming for this species typically occurs in late June.

Admission
FREE to all

Property History

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage purchased in 1934. Additional land purchased in 1938. Additional land given by Robert S. Hale in 1936 and 1937; Richard W. Hale in 1937; and W. K. Gilmore & Sons, Inc. in 1961 and 1971. Gift of trail easement and parking area from the Woodridge Trust in 1996.

Conservation and Stewardship

Though listed today as a “threatened” species by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, rosebay rhododendrons were once more common in Massachusetts; approximately half of the historical populations in Massachusetts have been lost. At the turn of the 20th century, rosebay rhododendrons at this site in Medfield were approaching extinction due to overcollecting and cutting for their showy flowers.

The Trustees of Reservations acquired Medfield Rhododendrons to protect this important colony of rosebay rhododendrons. Currently, there are seven known populations, including this one. The Medfield Rhododendrons colony represents the largest and easternmost population in Massachusetts. Since large populations can better withstand changes to the environment, especially catastrophic events such as disease and flooding, this stand is likely to persist over time, thereby offering The Trustees of Reservations a vital conservation opportunity.

Please help us protect this important stand by respecting the fragility of the site. Surrounding the stand is wetland and river floodplain for the Stop River and Charles River basin.

 


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 Medfield Rhododendrons management plan.

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.



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

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.


Submitted by Jim on: May 24, 2010
First time to visit Medfield Rhododendrons. How have the plants fared since 1999 when you did the big clean-up? Are they making a comeback? We couldn't tell and were curious.



Nickname
Email Address
(Your email will be kept private)
Comment
Enter this word
 
Announcements & Alerts

Notice: Trails may be especially icy or muddy during the winter to spring transition. Use caution.

Advisory: Authorized bow hunting is allowed on portions of this reservation. See Regulations and Advisories at left for more information.

The trail is a public easement across private property. Please respect the privacy of neighbors.

Upcoming Things To Do
No events for this reservation at this time.
Other Trustees Properties You Might Like:

Medfield Meadow Lots
Medfield, MA

Rocky Woods
Medfield, MA

Rocky Narrows
Sherborn, MA