West Bedford: North Road to Davis Road
The lands west of North Road between the Billerica boundary and Davis Road are within the watershed to the Concord River, draining via Mill Brook and Peppergrass Brook. Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and the Huckins Farm Conservation Restriction dominate the protected landscape, which includes numerous contiguous conservation areas.
- Minnie Reid
- Coffin, Altmann
- Lillian Carlson
- Carlisle Road
- Pine Grove Farm
- White Cedar Swamp
Located at the intersection of North and Chelmsford Roads, this 21-acre parcel was purchased in 1986. There is a small parking lot and kiosk at the entrance. The property contains a variety of habitats, including open field, white pine forest, mixed hardwoods and wetlands. A distinguishing feature is its position as the starting point for a long trail system extending through the Huckins Farm Conservation Restriction to Carlisle and Davis Roads. The main blue trail passes by vernal pool habitat, and leads to a tributary of Mill Brook near the property boundary with Huckins Farm. Management objectives include annual mowing of the upper and lower fields.
The Coffin land lies along the Billerica boundary north of Minnie Reid. It contains 11.6 acres and was purchased in 2004 from the Community Preservation Fund, with a conservation restriction conveyed by the Town to Sudbury Valley Trustees. Mill Brook flows through the property, and is bordered by a wooded swamp and shallow marsh. To the east, there is a white pine forest at a higher elevation.
The 15.9-acre Altmann parcels were purchased in 2002 with State and Community Preservation Funds. A conservation restriction is held by the Department of Fish and Game, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Located approximately 200 feet from the Concord River and Two Brothers Rocks, the land abuts the Huckins Farm conservation restriction and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Its diverse habitats include wooded swamp, upland forest, open field, pine plantations, unusual native plantings and a vernal pool. A shrub-scrub view corridor is managed with the assistance of the New England Wild Flower Society for the control of glossy buckthorn, a non-native, invasive species. The northern part of Altmann is designated as a priority and estimated habitat for rare species by the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.
Lillian Carlson & Anthony
These adjacent parcels were donated by the Carlson and Anthony families in 2004 and 2009. They abut the Huckins Farm conservation restriction in the Mill Brook drainage area. These lands contain wooded swamp, interior streams and shallow marsh. The Anthony parcel contains a small white pine area on an elevated knoll overlooking the wetlands.
Carlisle Road Conservation Areas Over a period of 20 years, nine separate parcels of land have been acquired in this area, resulting in 75 acres of land protected for natural resources. The 1991 Redmond-Anderson gift included access from Old Causeway Road; the land is primarily a white pine grove, with American beech saplings and a variety of understory shrubs. At all times of the year, it appears to serve as active habitat for white-tailed deer. At the southerly boundary of this land, the Brown and Page parcels consist of long narrow strips of land, remnants of the colonial practice of dividing cedar swamp and river meadows. The Carlson conservation area was acquired in 1993, and connected this growing protected corridor to Carlisle Road. The land contains areas of red maple swamp and open marsh. Sweet pepperbush, highbush blueberry and swamp azalea form a dense understory Cinnamon ferns in this wetland can grow to five feet. The area has been made more accessible by the installation of bog bridges. In 1995 the Town acquired the Comley and Brennan parcels, gaining both streamside habitats by Peppergrass Brook and upland pine, oak and yellow birch forest by Harvard Drive. The 1995 Letizi purchase, while not contiguous with the other areas, has frontage on Carlisle Road and common boundaries with Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. In 2002 the Peppergrass Brook conservation area was acquired with State funding and in cooperation with Sudbury Valley Trustees, who hold a conservation restriction on the property. This important area includes valuable upland and wetland habitats directly adjacent to Peppergrass Brook. In the same year, the Wellington conservation area was donated to the Town, providing access to Comley and Brennan from Harvard Drive.
Langone & Pine Grove Farm
Directly across Carlisle Road from the Carlson conservation area, the Langone conservation area and Bedford Meadows conservation restriction continue the protected corridor and the public access trails. Donated to the Town in 1995, Langone is unusual for the stand of Atlantic white cedar within the internal wetland area. In 2002 the five parcels of the Pine Grove Farm conservation area were donated to the Town in memory of the Lewellen family. These gifts and restrictions completed a long-planned system of continuous trails, conservation areas and restrictions, and wildlife habitat corridors. The system comprises approximately 350 acres of protected land and 5 miles of trails between North and Davis Roads, a significant extension to the adjacent 692 acres at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. A primary management objective in these areas is to improve public access and publicize the long trail system.
White Cedar Swamp The 24.1-acre White Cedar Swamp conservation area consists of two parcels on either side of Davis Road, purchased in 1978 with State Self-Help funding. The northwestern parcel is distinguished by a stand of Atlantic White Cedar, remnants of a cedar swamp that once extended over a large area during colonial times and was called the "Sancta Domingo Swamp", or "Sacred Dominion". Several white cedar stands remain in the wetlands between Davis and Dudley Roads. The swamp is most accessible when the ground is frozen, or during dry summers. The construction of a short boardwalk would make the area accessible for educational purposes.