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