Shirley, MA
89 acres
Bird Watching Cross-country skiing/Snowshoeing Mountain Biking Not Permitted Dog Walking Walking/Hiking (Easy) Picnicking Gardens

About Farandnear

Near enough for regular visits, but with a feeling of remoteness that will transport you far from your cares, Farandnear lives up to its name.

What Makes Farandnear a Special Place?
Farandnear was the summer home of Arthur Banks – an accomplished political scientist and professor – and his family for several generations. Banks’ grandfather, Charles Goodspeed, named the property, because, at 50 miles from his home in Wollaston, it was “far” enough to require a two-days’ journey by horse to reach, but “near” enough to be a vacation home. Farandnear will be open for you to enjoy, forever, thanks to the generosity of Arthur Banks, The Trustees of Reservations, and people like you.

What to See and Do
There’s more than meets the eye at Farandnear. Its park-like grounds are perfect for playing, picnicking, relaxing, and more. Along its 2.7 miles of easy wooded trails, you’ll find fields of wildflowers; an arboretum full of more than 80 cool conifer trees; and the remnants of an old cranberry bog. And don’t miss “Paradise,” where huge hemlocks grow.

Fun for You
LISTEN: You’ll hear lots of birds calling, including black-capped chickadees, catbirds, and barred owls.
COUNT: How many butterflies and dragonflies can you see in the wildflower fields?
PLAY: Race around the trees in the arboretum.
LOOK: You might find black bear, bobcat, or deer tracks on the ground.

2.5 mi. of trails

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.

Regulations & Advisories

Please observe these rules and regulations when you visit Farandnear:

  • Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed.
  • Please carry out what you carry in. Littering is prohibited.
  • Disturbing, removing, defacing, cutting or otherwise causing damage to vegetation or any natural feature, sign, poster, barrier, building, or other property at Farandnear is prohibited.
  • All fires are prohibited.
  • Camping is prohibited.
  • Hunting and firearms are prohibited.
  • Mountain biking is prohibited.
  • The reservation is open from sunrise to sunset.
  • Horseback riding is prohibited.

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.


Center Road, Shirley, MA 01464
Telephone: 978.840.4446
E-mail: information@thetrustees.org

Latitude: 42.5669
Longitude: -71.6556

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Points East
From I-495 S take exit 29B to merge onto MA-2 W toward Leominster. Take exit 36 toward Shirley Road/Shirley.  Merge onto Fort Pond Road (0.1 mi). Turn left onto Shirley Road (0.9 mi) and continue onto Lancaster Road (1.2 mi). Take a slight left onto Center Road (1.6 mi) and parking for Farandnear will be on your left.

From Points West
From MA-2 E take exit 36 toward Shirley Road. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Shirley Road/Shirley/Ayer and merge onto Shirley Road (1.0 mi). Continue onto Lancaster Road (1.2 mi). Take a slight left onto Center Road (1.6 mi) and parking for Farandnear will be on your left.


When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of ½ hour.

FREE to all
For more information about becoming a member, click here.

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

Trail maps are available at the bulletin board in the parking lot. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.

Private Functions

Farandnear Weddings

Enjoy your wedding, rehearsal dinner, special occasion, or corporate event with the Bull Run Restaurant on the beautiful grounds of Farandnear. For more information and bookings, please visit https://www.bullrunrestaurant.com/farandnear

Planning Your Visit

Before You Go
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:

Dog Walkers’ Etiquette

Before Setting Out

Enjoying other Trustees Properties


Opportunities for Hunting on Designated Trustees’ Properties

We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.