Barett Reservation is distinguished among Greenbelt properties for its ecologically rich forested upland, high quality vernal pools and its number of state-listed rare species. A loop trail system offers a short but rigorous hiking opportunity.
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.
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.
There are a handful of geocaches here! Start your search here, here, and here.
Flora & Fauna
Just as today, when the Indigenous people lived here there were groves of chestnut trees and expanses of lowbush and highbush blueberries that spread along Boston Brook. In the spring, shamans and healers gathered skunk cabbage shoots emerging around the vernal ponds. The plant is poisonous but was specially prepared as a hallucinogen for ceremonial use or as an aid in vision quests. Skunk cabbage still grows today in the wetlands along the trail.
Boston Brook offers a pristine riparian habitat. 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.
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Town: Middleton Total Acres: 83 Year Conserved: 1965 Difficulty: Medium