Smith Conservation Land
The Smith Property consists of 61 acres of forest, open fields, wetlands, and old farm fields. Located on Whitcomb Avenue in Littleton, it boasts expansive views from the shores of both Beaver Brook Marsh and Black Pond. Trails take visitors past farm fields, water features, and caverns where bobcat, bear, coyote, and porcupine have been spotted!
With all of these features as well as with a ridge running along its western border and with caverns and caves scattered throughout, it is no surprise that the Smith Property has become a beloved community asset, well-known for its spectacular views, its unique wildlife habitat, and its agricultural history.
The property, which is entirely designated as a BioMap 2 Core Habitat, provides vital habitat for three Species of Conservation Concern, as determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale), Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina), and Blanding’s turtle (Emidoidea blandingii). It is also designated as BioMap2 Critical Natural Landscape for a Landscape Block, an area that will remain resilient in the face of climate change because of its ability to buffer hazards, provide connectivity for wide-ranging species, allow for natural disturbances that are needed to sustain certain species, and ensure the protection of existing water resources. It is used by a variety of wide-ranging species, including black bear, deer, coyote, fisher, and turkey, while also providing habitat to rare species. In an area in which natural lands are fragmented by development, wildlife need corridors connecting larger blocks of conservation land to keep their populations healthy and genetically diverse. Such a corridor is critical to ecosystem health, allows wildlife to move safely through the landscape, and allows plants and animals to adapt and relocate as the climate changes.
Additionally, the property lies at the headwaters of three major river basins: the Nashua River Watershed; the Sudbury, Assabet, Concord River Watershed (SuAsCo); and the Stony Brook Watershed, through Elizabeth Brook, Bennet’s Brook, and Black Pond Brook. The latter two watersheds are both sub-watersheds of the Merrimack River Watershed, which is now listed as one of the most imperiled in the nation due to development pressures.
The Smith Property offers unspoiled views of forest on both sides of Whitcomb Avenue, spectacular views of Black Pond from the top of its ridge, and expansive views of Beaver Brook. Its varying terrain has enabled SVT to create diverse trails, suitable for hiking, horseback riding, and skiing, as well as provide opportunities for environmental education.
Please note: Dog walking is allowed, however dogs must be on a leash.
Information about this property is from SVT. Visit https://www.svtweb.org/properties/page/smith-conservation-land-littleton-and-harvard to see their original content and to check for updates that may be newer than our copy here.
Look for tracks and signs of bobcat, porcupine, and even bear along your walk. The yellow trail along the ridge overlooking Black Pond and its stream offers wonderful birding opportunities in the spring. Continue onto additional Town of Harvard Conservation lands for a longer walk or return to the parking area via the blue trail.
A red trail departs the yellow trail shortly after its beginning, and will lead you across the road, by an old farm field, and to Beaver Brook Marsh. Look across the marsh for several great blue heron nests, which promise great sights in the springtime nesting season. Look for remains of a glacial esker on your return.
The property is easily accessed from Whitcomb Avenue in Littleton, having significant frontage on both sides of the road.
With mapping software, search for this address: 199 Whitcomb Avenue, Littleton, MA
If driving from Route 2, take Exit 39 for Taylor Street, and turn left onto Taylor Street toward Littleton. Take a left immediately after the Route 2 ramps, onto Porter Road. Drive for 0.5 mile and turn left onto Whitcomb Avenue. After approximately 0.8 mile, the Smith Conservation Land parking area will be on your right, marked with an SVT sign and kiosk. The barn across the road from the parking area is private property. Please do not park on that side.