At Woodland Acres, remnants of the Massachusetts sheep industry abandoned in the 1800s can be observed in the numerous stonewalls running through the woods. Vernal Pools, pitch pine regeneration and geological formations are just a few of the natural features to experience. Hikers can explore trail connections to conserved land.
The agricultural practice of sheep grazing left Pigeon Cove mostly deforested, and because the abandonment of the sheep industry came before the time of non-native invasive species that we know today, revegetation came back in the form of pitch pines and native shrubs, making this an unusual example of native renegeration.
In the mid-1990s, permits were granted that would have allowed 75 homes to be constructed on this land. Map programs may still show the proposed Juniper and Briarwood Roads; the remnants of these subdivisions roads form the base of the loop trail. Piles of dirt and rock -- now covered in vegetation -- are left over from the initial site work.
Through the work of many people over the years, and with funding from the Town of Rockport and Greenbelt, the land was acquired and permanently protected in 2017.
There is parking and trail entrances on both Hillside Road and Woodland Road.
Near the Pigeon Cove Post Office in Rockport and the intersection of Route 127 and Curtis Road, turn onto Curtis Road. Go a short distance on Curtis Road and turn left onto Pigeon Hill Road. Go one-third of a mile and turn right onto Stockholm Road. Take the next left onto Hillside Road. The parking area is about one-tenth of a mile on your right.
Near the Pigeon Cove Post Office in Rockport and the intersection of Route 127 and Curtis Road, turn onto Curtis Road. Go one-half mile to Stockholm Road and take a left. Follow that to Woodland Road and take a right.
There are spaces for five cars on Hillside Road and two cars at Woodland Road.
Tell us about your visit.
Town: Rockport Total Acres: 47 Year Conserved: 2017 Difficulty: Medium
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.