Explore a landscape of broad fields and elegant double-faced stone walls, once part of a larger farm that’s still in operation today.
What makes East Over Reservation a special place?
The rural surroundings evoke a simpler, less-pressured time in America, but that Currier & Ives feeling is belied by the fact that the Buzzards Bay watershed is facing unprecedented modern threats from development and sprawl. Preserving crucial tracts such as this helps protect land and water for everyone.
Walk on the Wild Side
East Over's varied wildlife habitats are largely an artifact of past land uses. Today, rolling fields and abandoned pasture lands comprise well over half of East Over's acreage. Almost 40 acres of hayfields provide not only an important agricultural crop, but also habitat for grassland wildlife such as bobolinks, meadow voles, and colorful butterflies. Twelve acres of fields at East Over once used to pasture livestock are now undergoing succession toward woodland. This old field habitat supports a distinctive assemblage of wildlife species including blue-winged warbler, Eastern towhee, and cottontail rabbit. Vernal pools scattered across East Over are critical breeding habitats for a number of amphibians and reptiles, some of which are rare.
If Walls Could Talk
The region’s earliest walls were haphazard affairs, constructed of every size and shape rock turned over by colonial farmers. By the 19th century, stone walls had become a more aesthetic element of rural architecture. Those which grace the East Over landscape are strong, double-faced, and capped by custom-quarried granite. Little wonder the two miles of rock barriers surrounding the farm took over a decade to complete.
Miles of trails pass through a mosaic of agricultural fields, successional forests, and winding hedgerows all surrounded by quarry-stone capped double walls. A new trailhead on County Road in Marion now lets you access miles of East Over landscape. Forest trails traverse pine and oak uplands and unique wetland habitats, and provide sweeping views of active cranberry bogs.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.
Clapp Road, Rochester, MA 02770
County Road, Marion, MA
Get directions on Google Maps.
Clapp Road entrance, from points North:
Take I-495 South to Exit 2, Rt. 58 South. Take a slight right onto Rt. 58; go 0.2 miles to traffic light. Rt. 58 becomes County Rd. Go 2.5 miles to fourway intersection. Turn right onto Mary’s Pond Rd. Go 2.5 miles, then turn right onto Clapp Road. Parking lot is 0.5 mi. on right.
Clapp Road entrance, from points South:
Take I-195 East, Exit 20. Turn left onto Front St./Rt. 105 North. After approx. 1.5 mi. turn right onto Walnut Plain Rd. At first intersection, turn right onto Mary’s Pond Rd. After approx. 0.5 mi., turn left onto Clapp Rd. Parking lot is about 0.5 mi. on right.
County Road entrance:
From I-195: Take exit 20 and take Rt. 105 North. Go .3 miles and turn right onto County Rd. The parking area is on the left just before 285 County Road.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.
FREE to all.
East Over Reservation was formerly part of a larger working landscape that included agriculture, cranberry harvesting, and a Colonial-era millworks on the Sippican River. In the mid-19th century, New York businessman Charles H. Leonard began to transform the landscape, and built the network of elegant stone walls. The Hiller family purchased the land in 1910 and provided careful stewardship for almost a century.
The Hillers maintained the larger farm, pastures and woodlands until a few years ago, when The Trustees of Reservations, working with the towns of Rochester and Marion, the Massachusetts Division of Conservation Services, and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, were able to protect it.
Today, the golden-hued farm buildings, so long a celebrated symbol of the South Coast landscape, remind visitors and locals alike of all that is worth saving and sustaining.
Property Acquisition History
It was permanently protected between 2003 and 2005 by a broad coalition, including The Trustees of Reservations, the Town of Rochester, and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
East Over Quest
A quest is an educational treasure hunt and outdoor experience that involves answering questions, using map skills, and deciphering clues that will lead to a hidden “treasure” box. This is an independent, self-guided adventure. Quest booklets are available in the parking lot or by clicking here to download.
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.
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:
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:
Explore New England By Going Questing This Summer
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