Barett Reservation is distinguished among Greenbelt properties for its ecologically rich forested upland, high quality vernal pools and the number of state-listed rare species. Its one-time rolling pastureland is now mature mixed forest, with woody paths, hills and valleys crisscrossed with old stone walls. An old mill used to stand just upstream of the boardwalk over Boston Brook. Contiguous to New England Forestry Foundation property and near the Bald Hill Conservation Area, Barett Reservation contributes to a “greenbelt” of several thousand conserved acres.
This property has a trail loop system that offers a short but rigorous hike, is often used for Boy Scout activities, and has been known to be popular with geocache enthusiasts.
Indigenous people from Algonquians of the Woodland Period to the Pawtucket or Agawam of the Contact Period prized the natural resources they found here, for example the oaks and pines.
They fished for bass and trout in Boston Brook and from its headwaters followed it south to mine soapstone in the Skug River and northeast to reach Indigenous villages on the Ipswich River. In the spring, shamans and healers gathered skunk cabbage shoots for ceremonial use.
There are a handful of geocaches here! Start your search here, here, and here.
0.5 miles of moderate terrain
Louis Barett, chairman of the Middleton Conservation Commission and ardent open space advocate, donated the property to Greenbelt in 1965 with the intention to provide a place of nature education and exploration.
Flora & Fauna
Boston Brook flows through the property, offering pristine riparian habitat. Wooded uplands of oak and pine dominate; the trail skirts a large wetland full of high- bush blueberry and skunk cabbage.
Discover rare, listed salamanders, turtles and dragonflies. Excellent location for bird watching during spring and fall migration, particularly for woodland warblers. Deer and other small woodland creatures are plentiful but elusive.
Go west on Endicott Road/ Middleton Road. In 0.9 miles, turn right onto Peabody Street. In 1.2 miles, turn right onto Liberty Street/North Liberty Street. Trailhead and parking area are 0.6 miles ahead on the left.
Town: Middleton Total Acres: 83 Year Conserved: 1965 Difficulty: Medium