Ordway Reservation, located along the edge of the historic Common Pasture in West Newbury, supports a diverse habitat including open fields, upland forest and extensive freshwater marshlands.
A woodland loop trail begins at the parking area and goes through an open successional field with goldenrod, juniper and chokecherry, and then through hardwoods. There are excellent opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing and birding
The area was the site of an Algonquian agricultural village. In addition to corn, the Indigenous people grew squash, beans, pumpkins, and sunflowers, which are native to New England and have edible tubers. The Algonquians used juniper berries in fermentation, poultices, and medicines, and they flavored and colored their corn mashes with goldenrod flowers.
Among the protected properties that make up the 333-acre Indian Hill Conservation Area, Ordway represents a significant part of Greenbelt’s decades-long effort to create a ribbon of open space that showcases the region’s natural beauty.
0.7 miles of easy terrain.
The Ordway property was donated to Greenbelt in 2002 with a conservation restriction in memory of Samuel and Lauretta Ordway. In 2021, this conservation area was expanded with the protection of the Colby property, 25 acres of scenic fields and important watershed land bordering the Upper Artichoke Reservoir.
In 2004, the Greenbelt stewardship staff prepared the property for public use. Fields beginning to grow in with cherry, small cedars and sumac were cleared and mowed, and a split rail fence was installed along the street frontage on Turkey Hill Road. The parking area was improved in 2021.
The Ordway Reservation has been identified as a core habitat for rare plant and animal species and it adds a corridor of protected open space in the Pikes Bridge Road area.
Visitors are greeted by an open field filled with late summer-blooming goldenrod. A beautiful hardwood forest sits on the edge of a massive wetland. Remnant red cedar trees, now in the understory, were the early invades of this once open landscape.
Migrant warblers and songbirds are abundant in spring. Look for raptors soaring above Indian Hill. Stop and listen from field edges at dawn and dusk in spring for the Woodcock courtship fight. Deer and turkey are common.
From Route 95, take the Scotland Road Exit (Exit 83) toward West Newbury. This becomes South Street. Take the first right onto Turkey Hill Road. Ordway Reservation is less than one-quarter mile on your right.
Town: West Newbury Total Acres: 55 Year Conserved: 2002 - 2003 Difficulty: Easy