Rocky Woods
Find Your Place

About Rocky Woods

Enjoy expansive views from atop Cedar Hill, amble along a trail to a former quarry site, or explore five ponds that dot this woody landscape.

What makes Rocky Woods a special place?
We think it’s the rich history of Rocky Woods’ 491 acres, laced by footpaths and former logging roads that meander through woods and wetlands and to the top of 435-foot Cedar Hill. At adjacent Fork Factory Brook, a trail network traces hay fields and climbs wooded uplands across a 135-acre landscape that once supported both farms and mills.

With 6.5 miles of trails winding through varied terrain, Rocky Woods is a year-round destination for outdoors lovers of all abilities. The 0.75-mile loop around Chickering Pond, the largest of the reservation’s five man-made ponds, is a family favorite. The Bridle Trail and Loop Trail are short, flat options that tour wetlands, while the half-mile Echo Pond Trail, with its long, narrow footbridge, loops around this large pond. Or, if you’re looking to stretch your legs on a longer trek, you can take on the Mine Hill Loop, which links together the Wilson Swamp, Ridge, and Cheney Pond trails and circles 420-foot high Mine Hill ridge.

The reservation is situated with one foot within the Charles River watershed and the other foot within the drainage of the Neponset. Mill Brook, which flows through the Fork Factory wetlands, meanders southeast to the Neponset River, while Vine Brook, on the Rocky Woods side, flows southwest into the Charles.

The area’s high water table forms wetlands throughout the reservation and these varied habitats attract songbirds, particularly the towhee, with its “drink-your-tea” call. Bullfrogs and painted turtles live in the Reservation’s four man-made ponds where visitors can enjoy catch-and-release fishing.

Trails
6.5 miles of trails. Moderate hiking, strenuous in places.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours, 3 hours if also visiting adjacent Fork Factory Brook.

Facilities
Restrooms, handicapped-accessible fishing platform, picnic tables, terrace, picnic

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 >>

  • Dog walking by Green Dogs permit only.

  • Mountain biking permitted only on designated trails. Trails are closed to mountain biking March 1 to April 30, during muddy season.

  • Swimming and ice skating are not permitted.

  • Camping is not permitted.

  • Reservation closes at sunset.

  • Unauthorized motor vehicles are not permitted.

Green Dogs: Sharing the Trail - Dog Walking Program

Except on Sunday afternoons from noon to closing, dog walking at Rocky Woods and Fork Factory Brook is permitted by dogs and walkers sporting a Green Dogs program permit.

For more information, click here or contact Mike Francis, Superintendent, at mfrancis@ttor.org or call 508.785.0339. Green Dogs is a program developed to help keep trails open for multiple kinds of visitors and encourage responsible dog walking.

Directions

Hartford Street
Medfield, MA 02052
Telephone: 508.785.0339
E-mail: charlesrivervalley@ttor.org

Latitude: 42.207000
Longitude: -71.276615

Get directions on Google Maps.

From I-95/Rt. 128 (Exit 16B): Rt. 109 West for 5.7 mi. Turn right onto Hartford St. and follow for 0.6 mi. to entrance and parking (100 cars) on left.

From Intersection of Rts. 27 and 109 (Medfield): Take Rt. 109 East and bear left onto Hartford St. Continue as above.

Admission

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours, 3 hours if also visiting adjacent Fork Factory Brook.

Admission
Trustees Members FREE. Nonmembers: Adult $4, Child (12 and under) FREE. Fees collected by ranger on weekends and holidays; honor system applies at all other times.

Property History

In the 18th century, Rocky Woods was common land that the Town of Medfield later divided into woodlots and parceled out to residents. They used sleds to haul out felled trees for cordwood and building timber. In the early 19th century, this network of logging roads was used to haul away high-grade slabs of granite that were quarried from a hillside west of Chickering Pond. Rocky Woods granite was reportedly used to build the 1825–26 Dedham Courthouse.

In the late 1920s, Dr. Joel Goldthwait began buying woodlots in Rocky Woods, which by then had little commercial value. He created riding and walking trails through some 300 acres of woodland, which he donated in 1942 to establish the Reservation.

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift, with endowment, of Dr. Joel E. Goldthwait in 1942. Additional land given by Moses Ellis in 1942. Additional land given between 1946 and 1961. Additional land given by Krist E. Apog in 1964 and 1972; William F. Spang in 1977; Robert E. Linnell in 1980; Misses Mary and Dorothy M. Corcoran in 1981; and Robert Fanger and Michael A. Miller in 1983.

Programs

Head for the Woods for a Family Adventure!
Adventure Backpacks Now Available at Rocky Woods


Looking for something fun to do outside with your family? We have just what you need to begin exploring nature with your children at Rocky Woods and Fort Factory Brook Reservations in Medfield – an Adventure Backpack. The Adventure backpacks are filled with a field guide, magnifying glass, binoculars, bug box, and more.  They also include activity ideas for children ages 3 to 8 and their parents/friends/guardians. We've made it easy for you to explore and have fun as you navigate your way around in nature.

Sign out one of our ten Adventure Backpacks from the Rocky Woods Ranger Station on Saturdays or Sundays starting at 9AM. There is no fee, but we do ask that return your Backpack to the Ranger Station by 4:30PM the day of your adventure. If you have any questions, please call 508.785.0339 or send us an email at charleserivervalley@ttor.org

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 Rocky Woods 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.



Private Functions

Looking for a great venue for an office or church picnic, family reunion, scout celebration, or some other event? Consider renting the picnic shelter at Rocky Woods Reservation. Exclusive use of the Picnic Shelter includes parking, picnic tables which seat up to 100 individuals and a large barbecue grill (charcoal not provided). A water spigot and electrical outlet are available at the shelter. The rental also includes the exclusive use of the adjacent play field that features horseshoe pits and a volleyball court.  Horseshoes and volleyball are provided. Along with exclusive use of the shelter facilities and field, all other facilities at Rocky Woods are available including nearby portable toilets, hiking trails, and ponds which are open for fishing (but not for swimming or boating) and a small children’s play area with swings and see-saw across the pond. 

The daily fee for use of the shelter is $150 for Trustees Members and $175 for nonmembers, which includes admission for up to 80 people. Additional people are $4 per person.

For more information, download the rental agreement and rules and regulations for Rocky Woods.

Before planning your event, call our office to check availability at 508.785.0339.

 

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 parco on: September 3, 2011
I grew up in medfield 75-95 I WALKED THROUGH the park briefly were those hawk like birds falcons



Submitted by brian on: December 13, 2009
Compass skills w/ REI yesterday was great. Wonderful reservation! Thanks,



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Announcements & Alerts

Find out about our new Adventure Backpacks! Click on "programs" tab on the left.

Rocky Woods is a Green Dogs Reservation. Learn more>> 

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

Upcoming Things To Do


Saturday, November 29
Introduction to Winter Camping

Other Trustees Properties You Might Like:

Medfield Meadow Lots
Medfield, MA

Pegan Hill
Natick and Dover, MA

Shattuck Reservation
Medfield, MA


Rocky Woods in the News