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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Ashland Town Forest To Host DCR Event

Forests are quiet places – places to be with nature.  But quiet belies a truth – there is a lot of work involved in the care and protection of these treasured resources.  Ashland is lucky to have a lot of forested land.  

One area stands above many others, the Ashland Town Forest. The original forest, a gift of the town’s benefactor, Henry Warren, is now a 660-acre beauty.  Additional parcels have been purchased by the town, and the Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT).

The Ashland Town Forest Committee assisted by the town’s DPW have made numerous upgrades: informational kiosks at trail heads, map posts at key intersections, and multiple bridges and boardwalks. Trailhead parking is provided by lots on Winter Street, Oak Street, and Oregon Road. Access from the SVT’s Cowassock Woods section in Framingham is on Salem End Road. Last year a new trail section was added to the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT), a trail that stretches from the Town of Essex in the North to the Town of Kingston in the South.

In recognition of these efforts, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has asked Ashland to host its annual town forest event.  

Dating back to 1928 these gatherings welcome a diverse range of professionals, volunteers and other community members.  This year’s morning session will be held at the Ashland Community Center on Oct. 21, and will feature presentations on…

• The Impact of Climate Change on Forests by Jennifer Shakun, Director of the Bioeconomy Initiative of the New England Forestry Foundation;

• Forest Health, Forest Care, and Forest Protection by Laura Mattei, Director of Conservation for the Sudbury Valley Trustees

• Massachusetts Forest Health Year in Review by Nicole Kelleher, Director of the DCR Forest Health Program

The afternoon will offer participants a choice of one of four short family-friendly hikes in the Ashland Town Forest.

• Salem End Sanctuary Cave where one of the woman accused of witchcraft sought shelter

• Rain Garden and Quarry Hike along a portion of the Bay Circuit Trail to historic  quarries that likely supplied foundation stones to many area buildings

• Historic stone bungalow, deer exclosure and forest replanting hike along another portion of the BCT

• Historic stone bungalow and Fairy House walk – a shortened version of hike #3

A limited number of seats are available for the public. Snacks and lunch will be provided. You can register by visiting:  

Question can be emailed to the Ashland Town Forest Committee    [email protected].