This reservation shares a remarkable natural and human history with the city-owned Dogtown Common, which connects to its trails. Enormous glacial erratics rest within a mixed hardwood forest.
The Carter Reservation is a great place to study the glacial geology of New England. This land is among the final resting places for rocky debris left behind by melting glaciers over 10,000 years ago. Today, many huge boulders, which were dragged south from as far away as Newfoundland, still look as if they have just dropped from the sky onto a foreign land.
In the mid-1700s, this region was the most populous and prosperous in early Gloucester. As residents moved to the coastline in the mid-1800s, some widows of fishermen and soldiers did stay, keeping dogs for protection and company. Eventually these residents passed on; their dogs became feral, and the area became known as Dogtown.
Flora & Fauna
A dense woodland with mature white pine and hardwood forest. A wetland and stream skirt the trail, fertile ground for lady slippers and Canada mayflower in May and June.
The forest canopy offers a great place to look for woodpeckers and migratory songbirds. The vernal pools beckon the adventurous seeking salamanders and frogs in early spring.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.