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Total Acres: 62
Year Conserved: 1986
Alt Reservation is a patchwork of former pastures that have been allowed to grow since the early 1900s. Greenbelt currently manages the property to enhance wildlife populations and provide visitors with a peaceful place to walk among the white pines that thrive in its soil.
Visitors will note the stone walls that once served as pasture borders. The rolling land is largely made up of oak and pine forest with a small red maple bottomland.
A relic white cedar swamp, known as Beaver Pond, is located at the southern edge of Alt Woodland.
Beaver Pond, White Cedar Swamp, and the upland woodlands of the Alt Reservation were important resource areas for the Indigenous people who lived here, Algonquian-speaking people known as the Naumkeag. Naumkeag was actually the name of their village at the outflow of Wenham Lake, as written by English colonists. In another of their villages at the outflow of the Castle Neck River in Ipswich, the same people were called the Agawam, and at Pawtucket Falls on the Merrimack, where they fished, they were known as the Pawtucket.
To the Algonquians, cedar was and is one of the four sacred plants used in ceremonies and cures. The other sacred plants are sage, sweetgrass, and tobacco. The people gathered blueberries here and caught turtles in the pond. Turtle shells were used as bowls or fashioned into rattles used in curing ceremonies. Beaver Pond marks the headwaters of the Miles River, an Ipswich River tributary.
1.6 miles of easy terrain
These globally threatened ecosystems are native only to a very narrow strip on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. A certified vernal pool, a critical breeding area for amphibians, has been found on the property. Wood frog, fairy shrimp, and amphibian egg masses were observed when certified in 2008.
Predominantly wooded, this property is dominated by red oak and white pine. While stone walls suggest a past history of pastureland, more than 100 years of tree growth have left the entire area forested. In the small openings along trails, look for high and low bush blueberry and sweet azalea.
Great-horned and barred owls, as well as sharp-shinned hawks can be found here. Look for signs of deer–tracks, antler rubbings on saplings and scratched ground where they search for acorns in winter. Squirrels, possum and raccoon are common. Streams and wetlands are home to spotted turtles. Springtime migratory warblers may be abundant.
Grover Street, Beverly (opens in Google Maps)
Latitude 42.585402, Longitude -70.853857
Parking for 1 car on Grover Street. The parking area is marked with a Greenbelt sign and metal gate. Please park parallel to the road.
From the North Beverly Train Station:
Travel down Dodge Street 1.4 miles, and turn right onto Grover Street. Follow Grover 0.6 mile to the entrance on the right.
From the Montserrat Train Station:
Take Route 22 East towards Hamilton for 1.7 miles, then turn left onto Grover Street. Follow Grover 0.5 mile to the entrance on the left.
82 Eastern Avenue
PO Box 1026
Essex, MA 01929
e. Contact by Email
Greenbelt thanks the photographers whose work is featured prominently on our website: Jerry Monkman, Dorothy Monnelly, Adrian Scholes, David Alden St. Pierre & Neil Ungerleider