Pegan Hill
Find Your Place

About Pegan Hill

Once the ancestral home of local Native Americans and later a Colonial-era farmscape, this ridgeline is a thickly wooded habitat laced by remnant stone walls.

What makes Pegan Hill a special place?
At 410 feet, Pegan Hill is the highest point in Natick. This classic glacial drumlin is forested with pine, oak, maple, and birch. From the one-mile trail that runs along its north-south axis, you can take in partial views from the summit southeast toward the Great Blue Hill.

For more than 100 years, Pegan Hill was home to the Pegan Indians, a group of “Praying Indians” first led by the Reverend John Eliot beginning in 1651. They cleared the hill for cropland and pasture, but by the 1760s, the Pegan Indians had perished, and settlers had taken over farming. Stone walls are the only remaining evidence of these farming days.

Trails
1-mile trail. Moderate walking.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Mountain biking is permitted only on designated trails.

Directions

Pegan Lane
Natick and Dover, MA 02030
Telephone 508.785.0339
E-mail: charlesrivervalley@ttor.org

Latitude: 42.2480
Longitude: -71.3038

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Points North: I-95/Rt. 128 South, take Exit 21A, Rt. 16 West. Follow turns to stay on Rt. 16 West for 5 mi. In South Natick, turn left onto Pleasant St. and follow for 1.1 mi. Turn Right onto Pegan Lane. Entrance and parking (3 cars) are 0.3 mi. on the left.

From Points South: I-95/Rt. 128 North, take Exit 16B onto Rt. 109 West for 1.6 mi. Turn right at Dover Rd. for 1.7 mi. Continue onto Powisset St., then right onto Walpole St. Continue onto Sprindale Ave. then right on Main Street for .8 mi.  Stay left onto Pleasant St. then first left onto Pegan Ln. Entrance and parking (3 cars) are 0.3 mi. on the left.

Admission

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.

Admission

FREE to all

Property History

More than 350 years ago, Pegan Hill marked the southern edge of the 4,000-acre "Praying Indian" town of Natick, established in 1651 at the urging of the Reverend John Eliot (1604–1690). From 1646 until his death forty-four years later, Eliot led a mission whose goal included the creation of "praying towns" for Native Americans who, inspired by the gospel that Eliot had taught, desired to leave their nomadic lives to form villages in which they could learn more about Christianity. After early success, Eliot became encouraged by the possibility of gradual religious, social, and political integration of all Native Americans into colonial society. In the end, he founded six more "praying towns" in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The lowland areas surrounding Pegan Hill served as fields for apple trees and vegetable crops, and fences were laid out for raising goats, pigs, and oxen. The stone walls that encircle the base of Pegan Hill are remnants of this era. Pegan Hill was likely burned of most of its vegetation for planting, deer hunting, and berry picking. Treeless hills were also magical places because they provided views of where the land met the sky.

After King Philip's War (1675–76), many surviving Native Americans moved to Natick to live under Eliot's care. When he died in 1690, their life rapidly declined. Unable to find trades and despised by wider society, the Native Americans retreated to the fringes of colonial life, worked marginal jobs, and sold off their land to farmers to pay debts that were impoverishing them.

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Judson S. Battelle in 1956 in memory of Mr. Batelle's father. Additional land given by Mrs. Dorothea D. Hovey in 1957 in memory of her husband, and by Mr. and Mrs. Barron F. Lambert, Jr. in 1968.

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 Pegan Hill 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 Terri on: November 12, 2011
The directions to Pegan Hill parking are not quite right. The end of Pegan Lane accessed from Springdale Rd doesn't lead to the parking lot...it dead ends. You have to go down Main street and enter Pegan Lane from the other end and the parking will be on your left. If you put 7 Pegan Lane in your gps it will get you close...Not far from Lookout Farm. Not the best trail if you are really looking to hike, but ok for a quick walk in the woods. Don't follow the Charles River Trail or you'll be trudging through mud!



Submitted by David R. on: September 6, 2010
Very nice trails, but are poorly marked. Had a nice picnic lunch in an open field, but not sure if that is part of the reservation (due to lack of signage) Nice day, thank you



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