Bates Land

This property consists or two connected parcels, one of 38.5 acres given by Natica Bates in 1968, and the other of approximately 10 acres donated by Arthur and Camilla Blackman in 1984.

The entrance is on Old Ayer Road, a short distance from Route 119 and an easy walk or bicycle ride from the Town center. There is off-road parking for several cars. After crossing James Brook , the trail proceeds on level land past two fields, the Harvey Whitehill Memorial picnic area in a pine grove, and Cady Pond Brook. After a sharp tum to the right. the trail skirts the edge of a vernal pool before entering a steep climb of 180 feel to the top of Indian Hill. There a spectacular view opens up towards the west across fields and orchards, affording a clear view of Mt. Wachusett on a good day. As the trail progresses, views open to Temple Mountain and Monadnock in the northwest.

AL the top. the trail opens to the south as well, affording one of the finest panoramas in eastern Massachusetts with views spanning from Monadnock to the ridges in Harvard and toward Boston in the south east. The trail then opens into a broad field and continues on the southerly slope along markers down a mowed path through the field. pa t a few old growth peach and apple trees to Indian Hill Road. To return to the entrance, one can turn right and walk along Indian Hill Road 10 the intersection with Old Ayer Road and, turning right. follow that road back Lo the parking place.

The distance from the parking area to the top of the hill is 0.8 miles; a circuit walk returning via Indian Hill and Old Ayer Road is a total of 1.8 miles. The Bates / Blackman lands, with their variations in elevation, exposure and openness, support a wide range of animals, birds, reptiles and vegetation. Deer, coyote, fox, porcupine, hawk, heron and spotted salamander are just a few of the possible wildlife sightings.

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