East Leverett Area

East Leverett Area and Trails

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The Town owns four contiguous properties and holds one Conservation Restriction that together border both sides of Doolittle Brook between Shutesbury Road and Teawaddle Hill Road. These properties, along with the Rattlesnake Gutter Trust’s East Leverett Meadow at the southeast corner, form a remarkably varied habitat and are linked by a network of trails:

4-H Forest: In 1964, the 35-acre 4-H Forest was given to the town by the leaders and members of the 4-H club, the Leverett Rangers. Many Leverett residents remember getting their Christmas trees here. A few Douglas fir can still be seen, if you look way up, along the east side of the Upper Trail. There is a new trail linking the upper trail to the Ed Field Trail and Depot Road. The stone walls tell even older stories of land use. The Lower Trail provides views of the active and inactive beaver ponds along Doolittle Brook.

Woodard’s Corner: This 9-acre property was purchased in 2010 by the Town of Leverett from Ken and Ann Woodard, “In fond memory of our parents Chester S. and Elizabeth L. Woodard for their contributions to the town and their love of land, this property is preserved as open space and recreation land for the citizens of Leverett.”

Gordon King Life Estate: In August 2001, Gordon and his son deeded 3 tracts of land to the Leverett Conservation Commission for “the preservation of the Town’s natural aesthetic and ecological resources in perpetuity.” This 31-acre property bordering Doolittle Brook is one of those three pieces. (The others are north of Shutesbury Road.) More about Gordon King and this property. The property include a blueberry patch maintained by volunteers (donations from the berry pickers fund land maintenance). Near Doolittle Brook are bog bridges linking the Gordon King Life Estate with the 4-H Forest. The bog bridge area is constantly changing, thanks to the industry and creativity of the resident beavers. The trail provides an opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife and native plants as well as the changing water flow patterns.

Adams Family and Williams Family Conservation Areas: In 1973, the Williams Family gave the Town of Leverett 16 acres bordering the west side Doolittle Brook along the edge of their Teawaddle Hill Farm. In 1984, the Adams Family gave the town 22 acres bordering the east side of Doolittle Brook along the edge of their property. Together these properties form the large beaver dam area south of the 4-H Forest and the Gordon King Life Estate. The wildlife in this wetland can be observed from the trails on either side.

Teawaddle Hill Farm Conservation Restriction: In 2012, the Leverett town meeting voted to use Community Preservation Act funding to contribute to the purchase a Conservation Restriction on 147 acres of the Teawaddle Hill Farm. Funding was also provided by the state and private contributors. The Conservation Restriction is held jointly by the Town of Leverett and the Kestrel Land Trust. The diverse habitats of this working farm include open meadows, forest and sugar bush.

directions map East Leverett Area

Directions

To the 4-H Forest Parking Lot and Trail Entrance:

  • From the Leverett Town Hall turn left/south and then bear left on Shutesbury Road.
  • The 4-H sign and the parking lot just beyond it are on your right about 0.5 miles from the Town Hall.

To the Woodards’ Corner Trail Entrance:

  • Follow the directions to the 4-H Forest parking lot. Park there.
  • Walk along Shutesbury Road over Doolittle Brook to the trail on your right/south. Watch for cars!

To the Teawaddle Hill Farm Parking Lot and Trail Entrance:

  • From the Leverett Town Hall turn left/south and then bear right on Depot Road. You will pass Leverett Pond on your right.
  • At the stop sign at the corner of Depot and Long Hill Roads, turn left (you are still on Depot Road)
  • Continue straight ahead (Depot Road turns right, you are now on Amherst Road). In 1 mile you will come to the stop sign at the corner with Juggler Meadow Road (to the right) and Teawaddle Hill Road to the left. Turn left.
  • Continue 1 mile on Teawaddle Hill Road passing the farm at the top of the hill. The parking area is on the left about half-way down the hill.

To the East Leverett Meadow Parking Area and Trail Entrance:

  • From Leverett Town Hall turn left/south, bear left onto Shutesbury Road at the Leverett Family Museum (old library).
  • After 1.4 miles, bear right onto Cushman Road where Shutesbury Road turns sharply left/uphill.
  • At the next corner, bear right, staying on Cushman Road.
  • The sign and parking pull-off is on your right, 1.7 miles from Town Hall (between mailboxes #42 and #20).

Trails

The East Leverett Trails are the cornerstone of the Leverett Trail Network. It was the writing of a proposal to DCR for funds from the federally-funded Recreational Trails Program, that created the Leverett Trails Committee, co-sponsored by the Leverett Conservation Commission and the Rattlesnake Gutter Trust. Work parties restored the old Upper Trail, created the Lower Trail and built the Bog Bridge trail connecting 4-H to the trails on the east side of Doolittle Brook, designed and cleared trails to connect the Gordon King Life estate to the East Leverett Meadow, and connect Teawaddle Hill Farm to the Leverett Pond area so that hikers could continue around the pond to Long Hill. Amazing. East Leverett Area Trail Map

Photos

Special thanks to the land owners who have given us permission to develop trails through their property and to the many volunteers who created and maintain these trails – and who occasionally took a short break to take these photographs. There are more photographs archived in Trails/LTC events from almost every work day.

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