Patch Hill, Robinson Carriage Trail Conservation Area

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Patch Hill

Patch Hill Conservation Area is the largest conservation parcel owned by the Town of Boxborough. Patch Hill Conservation Area also likely ranks highest for wildlife habitat and overall bio-diversity, supporting numerous vernal pools, rare species, several types of forest community, and protecting the headwaters of Guggins Brook. Patch Hill itself, also known as Goat Hill, is a glacial drumlin, the summit of which is either the second or third highest point in Boxborough, depending on the source of information consulted.

Recreational Uses - Hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, bird watching and other nature study. Liberty Fields provides opportunities for active recreation, including soccer and Little League baseball.

Parking - There are three parking areas. One is located on Liberty Square Road midway between Waite Road and Benjamin Drive, on the opposite side of the road from the latter two. The second is located on Hill Road approximately two-tenths mile beyond Tokatawan Spring Lane in the direction of the Boxborough-Littleton town line. The third is at Liberty Fields, however, the Recreation Commission requests that the Liberty Fields parking area not be used for access to conservation land during major sporting events.

Trails - There are several miles of trails within the preserve, all of which are marked and easily accessible. Hikers can travel between widely spaced trailheads on Depot Road, Liberty Square Road, Avebury Circle, Hill Road, and Tokatwan Spring Lane. All trailheads are identified with signs.

Cautions – Some sections of trails are a bit wet in Spring, and poison ivy is common off the trails.

Land Area - 283.31 acres.

History - Patch Hill Conservation Area was created through a series of gifts and purchases over the course of nearly three decades, beginning with Anne Steele Atwood’s generous gift of 16.7 acres in 1975. Ms. Atwood donated another 5.17 acres, called “The Birchwoods”, in 1980. The Town’s first purchase was the 64.58 acre Wallace A. Robinson Conservation Land in 1976, while the largest single purchase was 103 acres in 2002. Both the 1976 and 2002 purchases received financial aid from Self-Help Grants awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Patch Hill was named after Nathan Patch and his family, who lived in the immediate area in the nineteenth century. In the eighteenth century the Robinson Land was the site of a limestone quarry and kiln, and a portion of a carriage (stagecoach) road to Groton, a frontier town in early colonial times. The old fieldstone foundation of the homestead of Phineas Weatherbee, a pioneer settler of Boxborough, is still easily visible next to the trail.