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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.