The site rises gradually from Newtown Road with an elevation of about 260 feet to the hilltop, midway to the rear where the elevation is about 360 feet. From this hilltop, the site slopes downward toward the north with the northerly property line being Long Lake.
Adjacent to the acquired land on the west side are 75 acres of existing conservation land. This land has been acquired through the years by gifts or tax foreclosures. It includes several thousand feet of undeveloped shoreline of Long Lake and the lake’s outflow brook. This land is now administered under this same management plan for the acquired Long Lake Conservation Land. This creates 180 acres of conservation land.
Long Lake Park hosts a wide variety of natural habitats including bordering vegetated wetlands, forested wetlands, conifers, hardwoods, grasslands, and edge habitat.
The southernmost portion of the parcel consists of a wet meadow which contains a stream, a vernal pool, and an upland meadow. This area extends several hundred feet north along the eastern half of the property, eventually giving way to a very thick briar patch and a red maple wetland. This wetland continues north for several hundred more feet, decreasing in width, until it ends in a narrow “finger”. Here originates the apparently spring-fed stream which flows to Newtown Road. To the east of the “finger” is a mixed hardwood forest of maple, oak, and ash, while to the west is located a several decades old white pine forest. Both forests continue north to the AT&T easement, the area north of that appearing to have been logged in the past and consisting of scattered red pine, white pine, and hardwood species, all of varying degrees of maturity. In the extreme northwest corner is a small hemlock grove and a portion of an unusual wet bottom forest actually growing in the shoreline waters of Long Lake.
Wildlife, Lake Shore, Hill, restored old grasslands,
lake and hill views.
Flora: The diversity of habitat is again responsible for the tremendous inventory of vegetative cover. Throughout the parcel can be found typical woodland, grassland, and wetland vegetation as well as some unusual species.
Some examples of the grassland vegetation: Queen Anne’s lace, mullein, bedstraw, bladder campion, evening lychnis, deptford pinks, milkweed, crown vetch, yarrow, cow parsnip, asters, onion grass, timothy and bottlebrush grass. These species offer visual beauty as well as other functions necessary for the life cycle of butterflies and other important insects.
The edge habitat consists of multi flora rose, grape vines, barberry, bittersweet, blackberries, thimble berries, apple trees, dogwood, choke cherry, and other mixed shrubs that offer critical shelter and food supply for the many species of wildlife.
The wetland vegetation includes royal fern, cinnamon fern, soapwort, sedge hummocks, swamp azalea, skunk cabbage, highbush and lowbush blueberry, and other wetland vegetation one would expect to find, including many types of mosses, all which have various functions and values. Some rather unusual wetland wildflowers are scattered throughout the wetlands such as cardinal flowers, pitcher plants, white turtlehead, jacob’s ladder, and the uncommon bloodroot. There are emergent plants in the lake such as pickerel weed and pond lilies.
Woodland vegetation contains the typical ground covers, shrubs and flowers such as mayflower, Solomon’s seal, ginseng, pokeweed, starflower, wood anemone, Japanese honeysuckle, sheep laurel, mountain laurel, and jack-in-the-pulpit. Some uncommon wildflowers are also scattered throughout such as lady slipper and nodding trillium. The canopy layer consists of trees of varying degrees of maturity including pines, a small hemlock grove, ash, poplar, elm, maple, sumac, pear trees and black birch. Scattered here and there one can still stumble upon plants which have escaped cultivation such as a patch of asparagus or naturalized day lillies; reminders of a time gone by.
Fauna: This parcel of land is located within a critical natural greenbelt and wildlife corridor running from the town of Acton to the town of Groton.
Among the woodland mammals spotted throughout the years are otters, coyote, deer, fox, opossum, fishers and, raccoon. Sightings include purple martins, pileated woodpeckers, warblers, wood thrush, scarlet tanager, wild turkeys, northern oriole, oven birds, rose breasted grosbeak, bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, bobolinks, meadowlarks, and other birds of the undisturbed forest. The great blue heron frequents the undeveloped shoreline of Long Lake in search of food for their young. There are also red-tail hawks and other birds of prey which circle the grasslands. You can find many owl pellets along the pine forest trails.
There are several vernal pools located on the property, which serve the reptiles and amphibians dependent upon this habitat. There have been reports of several species of turtles along the shoreline of Long Lake. Moose tracks have also been spotted throughout the woodland. In addition to these species, the many wildflowers and other vegetation supports very diverse species of butterflies and many other important insects.Acreage: 180
Long Lake Conservation land is formerly the location of cow pastures and apple orchards, with some remaining apple trees.
The land is criss-crossed with numerous stonewalls which are not, in most cases, boundary lines. Some stonewalls eventually lead into the water. Over 7 miles of 200 year old stone walls have been mapped on this property.
The property was most likely used by Native Americans as a campsite through the centuries. The property abuts land that was once part of the Nashobah Praying Village, the last Christian Indian village in the area established by John Eliot. Newtown Road, which is one border of the property, was the border of the 500 acre Nashobah Indian Reserve mentioned in the original deed of the Town of Littleton. Near the shoreline of this parcel arrowheads have been found. There are stone mounds in several places on the parcel which may have significant Native American meanings.
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