Friday November 24, 2023
Meet at the Mason Gate on Old Dunstable Road
Walk off the turkey and stuffing – and avoid the shopping malls – on a beautiful morning walk with trustee Michelle Ruby. This hike explores the Mason Back 40 with interesting forest views, wetlands and even homestead remains. Park at the Gamlin Crystal Springs parking lot on Old Dunstable Road (additional parking across the street in the neighborhood) and meet at the Mason gate just down the road.
This all ages event is free!* All are welcome!
First Day Hike
Monday January 1, 2024
Join trustees Susan Hughes and Chuck Vander Linden in another GCT tradition, hiking on the first day of the year. We will begin and end at Williams Barn and explore Fitch-Woods in a 4 mile hike. Start your year off right! All are welcome!
Moors Schoolhouse Site Walking History Tour: November 4, 1:00 PM
The General Field
We are happy to bring back this popular history walking tour. The Moors family was prominent in Groton in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and lent their name to one of the town’s district schoolhouses, which sat on land now stewarded by the Groton Conservation Trust. However, two generations of the family enslaved humans.
As the country grapples with systemic racism, it is important to acknowledge and discuss local threads in the national history of racism and enslavement. Led by local historian Joshua Vollmar, this program will travel from The General Field to the Moors House and Moors School as we seek to bring light to this forgotten piece of Groton history. At the Schoolhouse site, you will learn the history of plantings in the area (see the photo above), and the people who worked the land. This is a walking tour, please dress appropriately. This event is free, but registration is required.
Explore Groton by Moonlight: Saturday October 28 at 7 PM
The full, hunters’ moon will be visible the last week of October. The peak is October 28. The Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s Moon are unique in that they are not directly related to this folklore or restricted to a single month. Instead, they are tied to an astronomical event: the autumnal equinox.
Mark Gerath and Ed McNierney will lead a hike to enjoy the moonlight and to see our landscape in a totally different way. The walk will be about two miles through two of the Town’s conservation areas located on the Chestnut Hills. We will walk up to an open meadow on one of the hills then do a loop past two of the beaver ponds. Registration is required.
2023 Groton Traverse, Sunday October 15, 2023 10:00 AM
This year’s fall Traverse will be on Sunday October 15 beginning at 10 AM. We will pass over the new Casella Conservation Land and its brand new trails. As we get closer to the village, we will revisit some of the original traverse course including Scarlett and Gibbet Hills. As is our tradition with the traverse, we plan on pot luck food and drink to celebrate the finish. Register here to attend.
Pictured: A view of Shattuck Farm from the trail on a 2021 fall traverse.
Autumnal Equinox Celebration with GPL 9/21/23 at The General Field
The Groton Conservation Trust and the Groton Public Library invite you to join us for a free family event at The General Field on Farmers Row to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox and the coming of fall with s’mores and good company.
There will be fire pits, s’mores supplies, hot chocolate, and more. BYO camp chairs and dress for the weather. Bring a picnic dinner too if you would like! Rain date is Thursday, September 28 at the same time and place. This event is sponsored, in part, by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.
Thursday September 21, 2023 at 6:30 PM at The General Field (off Farmers Row near Shirley Road). Registration is required for this event through the GPL website.
Walk and Wine: A GCT Endowment Fundraiser August 20, 2023 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM at Lost Lake/Skitapet
Thanks to the generosity of GCT member Sue Nordberg, we are offering a very special fundraiser to support the GCT Endowment Fund.
Sue is a certified specialist in wine with the Martignelli Companies, the 6th largest distributor in the country. A Cornell graduate from the School of Hotel Management, she is the third generation of her family in this career.
Sue is excited to partner with the GCT for a walk through Skitapet, her neighborhood since 1998. We then join Sue in her home to taste wines and share appetizers.
This is a limited opportunity, with space available for 20 guests. We will hike first, about 2.5 miles, ending with the wine tasting. The donation for this one-of-a-kind event is $50.00 per person.
Letting the Land Lead: Summer in the Field, August 26th, 2023 5:00PM
The General Field, Groton, MA
The final performance of the partnership between Croucher Arts and the Groton Conservation Trust!
Summer in the Field is a meditative dance performance that celebrates the ways in which we are nourished by the land. The last in a four-part series in partnership with the Groton Conservation Trust, this performance is the culmination of the explorations that Letting the Land Lead has undertaken since the autumn. Click here for more details and registration info.
Tree ID Walk with Michelle Ruby
Saturday June 24, 2023, 3:00- 5:00 PM
Register through Prescott Community Center
Groton is unique in that nearly 1/3 of the land in town is protected conservation land, and most of that is forested. GCT Trustee and Lawrence Academy science teacher Michelle Ruby will teach you tricks to recognizing many of the most common species around Groton, as well as how to use traditional field guides and/or the app iNaturalist to identify unfamiliar species.
Current GCT members register for FREE with a unique code provided by the GCT. Please contact Katy to check your membership status and to receive your code.
Walk on June’s Wood
Sunday, June 4, 2023 10:00 AM
Join the Groton Conservation Trust for a walk at June’s Wood in West Groton. GCT friend and neighbor Jeff Box will lead us on a walk through the beautiful woodlands, meadow, and diverse wetlands that comprise this unique conservation area. Jeff will highlight the wildlife, evidence of past use, and other interesting characteristics including a vernal pool and one of Groton’s only waterfalls. Please plan for a 90 minute walk leaving at 10:00 AM.
Registration is required. All are welcome!
Letting the Land Lead: At the River’s Edge, Groton Place/Sabine Memorial Woods, Sunday, June 4
We are very pleased to welcome back C Croucher Arts for a new performance in the Letting the Land Lead seasonal series of nature-inspired dance. “At the River’s Edge” celebrates the coming of spring with a focus on water and its relationship with the land on the banks of the Nashua River. This event is free and open to all, but may not be suitable for very small children. Find more information and register at the C Croucher Arts website. This performance is generously supported by private donors through the fiscal sponsor of C Croucher Arts, Monkeyhouse, and is funded in part by the Groton Cultural Council, the Leominster Cultural Council, and the Westford Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Sunset Wildflower Party at The General Field! June 8 at 6:30 PM
If you’re new to Groton, or new to the GCT, this is a fun and relaxing event to meet new friends and neighbors. The General Field, located on Farmers Row across from Culver Road, is one of the most beautiful spots in Groton, with a big open sky and a spectacular view over acres of green fields. The Sunset Party is our thank you to our friends, neighbors and members for your ongoing support. We look forward to celebrating with you. We supply the music, you bring your own picnic! This is an all ages event. All are welcome!
Groton Conservation Trust Annual Meeting Monday, May 8, 2023 at 6:30 PM
The Groton Conservation Trust welcomes you to a special presentation featuring updates from our last year of land conservation and programming, and special guest speaker Sally Naser. Social media followers might know Sally better through CR Wildlife Cams, her Facebook and Instagram accounts that feature fantastic images and footage of Massachusetts wildlife. We’ve been great fans of Sally’s work for years and we are thrilled to welcome Sally to learn more about the use of trail cams and wildlife observation. This event is free but registration is required. All are welcome!
This event is funded by a grant from the Town of Groton Lecture Fund
Spring Loop Traverse
Sunday April 30, 2023 10:00 AM
This mini traverse is always a popular way to see the first signs of spring. Join us for a five mile hike across gorgeous Groton scenery.
This year we will all hike together in one excursion. This is how we experienced the trek pre-COVID and is still our favorite way. Please note: that since we are allowed access to private property at Autumn Hills Orchard, it is important that we all hike the traverse on the same day.
Registration is required so we know to expect you. All are welcome!
Spring Equinox Celebration
Tuesday March 21, 2023 at 6:30 PM at The General Field (off Farmers Row near Shirley Road
We are thrilled to co-host an all ages Spring Equinox Celebration with the Groton Public Library as part of the Groton Reads and Gardens programming.
There will be firepits, s’mores supplies, hot chocolate, and more at The General Field. BYO camp chairs and dress for the weather. Registration required at the Groton Public Library website. All are welcome!
This event is sponsored in part by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.
Dr. Scott Edwards Birding and Biking Across America
Friday March 17, 2023
Media Center at Lawrence Academy
Dr. Edwards spent the COVID shutdown riding his bike across America to study the birds he loves and to do something after George Floyd was murdered. His story of who he met, what he saw and how he engaged in America during COVID is one you will want to hear. This is a free event, made possible by the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds. All are welcome! This is a free event but registration is required.
The first full moon hike of the year!
NEW DATE! Monday, March 6, 2023
The General Field
Join trustees Mark Gerath and Ed McNierney on an adventure by moonlight. We will gather at 6:30 PM for a moderate hike of 3 miles for a loop from The General Field by the Nashua River. Please register so we can keep you updated. All are welcome!
Eyes On Owls
Sunday February 5, 2023
Live at Prescott, beautiful owls rescued from danger and loving protected by Mark and Marcia Wilson of Dunstable. This event, offered with our partners at The Prescott School Community Center, is free for kids and for GCT members. Current GCT members can email us before registering to receive a code for the free registration. Registration is required at the Prescott website here.
Explore a new GCT trail!
Sunday January 22, 2023
Join Susan Hughes to discover the newest trail on GCT land: the Giant Rock Loop on Perry Land. The hike starts at 2:00 PM. meeting at the Williams Barn. We travel through Fitch-Woods, and over the Giant Rock Loop. Total time: 1.5 hours, 3 miles. Please register for this free hike so we know to expect you.
First Day Hike
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Join trustees Susan Hughes and Chuck Vander Linden in another GCT tradition, hiking on the first day of the year. We will return to The Throne for a 4 mile hike in the woods to start your year off right. All are welcome!
Town Forest at 100: Two December Hikes with GCT
Trustees Mark Gerath and Susan Hughes will lead walks through the Town Forest to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this fantastic place. The Groton Town Forest is the 2nd oldest town forest in Massachusetts, do you know the first one? Come learn about this gem right in the middle of town.
TOWN FOREST HIKE: Saturday December 10, 10 AM, 4 miles, approximately 2 hours
Join Groton Conservation Trust president Mark Gerath on a walk to explore the glacial remnants in the Groton Town Forest. Dress for the weather and bring a snack and water. All are welcome!
TOWN FOREST HIKE: Sunday December 18, 10 AM, 5 miles, approximately 2 hours
Join Groton Conservation Trust vice president Susan Hughes on a hike around the perimeter of Town Forest and visit the three rivers. Dress for the weather and bring a snack and water. All are welcome!
Natural History Walk with Trustee Michelle Ruby
Friday, November 25,10:00 AM, 1 mile, 2 hours
Join GCT trustee Michelle Ruby for an exploration of Groton’s natural areas that takes a deeper dive, where we share insights and knowledge about the changing landscape to help you find an even greater appreciation on your walks on the trails. We will hike in the Throne Hill complex, a matrix of properties owned by several conservation organizations. Discover the foundations of former farm houses, various types of stone walls, and signs of the ecology and biology of a forest in transition. Learn how to use the forest itself to estimate how long ago human activities and disturbances occurred. If you’ve previously enjoyed our Black Friday walks with ecologist Tom Wessels, this is the event for you. This is a great all ages event for the entire family. All are welcome!
Explore Wharton Plantation
Saturday October 29, 10:00 AM
Join trustees Holly Estes and Susan Hughes as we roam Wharton Plantation and beyond. We have area history to share, interesting vistas, erratics, swamps, and beautiful hardwood forests to walk in. We will meet at the Wharton Plantation entrance on Rocky Hill Road. Parking is tight, so carpool if you can. The route is about 4 miles, allow 2 hours. This is a free hike, but please register so we know who to expect.
Letting the Land Lead Dance Performance
Sunday October 23 2022 3:45-5:00 PM
The General Field
Letting the Land Lead is an immersive meditative dance performance and workshop experience that encourages audience members to contemplate their relationship with themselves and with the land. Based on a movement practice that combines modern dance, ballet and improvisational choreography, this work takes movement out of the studio, off the stage and into the landscape, allowing for the land to change the structure of the piece and creating a unique and ever-changing display. We are thrilled to present a fall performance of Letting the Land Lead entitled “The Quietus of Autumn” at The General Field on Farmers Row. The performance will last approximately 45 minutes during the mid to late afternoon and will feature two to four dancers dressed in earth tones and black. The style of the dance will be a mix of modern dance and ballet, guided by the landscape. In addition, we will unveil a new history sign for The General Field, created by Eagle Scout Ryan Fish. This is a free event! All are welcome.
Please click here to learn more about the Letting the Land Lead performance.
Annual Goton Traverse October 15 – 16 2022
Hike independently on Saturday 10/15 OR Join our group hike at 9:00 AM Sunday 10/16
The Groton Conservation Trust is organizing a fourth Groton Traverse for the middle of October. To allow for more schedule flexibility, there will be an organized group traverse on Sunday 10/16 at 9 AM at the General Field off Farmer’s Row, or folks are free to guide themselves on Saturday. The course will be marked on Friday, October 14. Note that we will be using a different marking method this year. A GPS route will be shared with registrants Friday evening. The route is a new one that will start at the General Field, duck into Ayer, pass through the Town Forest, and cross the Nashua at Fitch’s Bridge. The route will end at Mark Gerath’s and Sheila Julien’s house at 45 West St. Note that you will get to our house from the rail trail. The access to the yard will be marked and we will have some refreshments including snacks and some adult beverages. The route is about 10 miles and there are a few opportunities to shorten it. We will go by The General Field, Surrenden Farm, the kettle holes in the Town Forest, and touch on the Nashua at a few locations. Please take photos and share them with us if you can. This is a free event!
A Traverse route map and logistics will be shared with registrants on Friday October 14th.
June’s Wood Work Party
Sunday May 22, 2022 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Pepperell Road, Groton, MA
Join us for a work party at our beautiful June’s Wood land in the Throne area of West Groton. Meet new friends and neighbors, and help with local conservation. No special skills are required, we will have plenty of leaders on hand to show you how to help open the trail and clear invasives. Wear your gloves, and bring loppers, clippers, and weed wrenches if you have them.
Look for the brown June’s Wood sign on the right hand side of Pepperell Road, about 1/4 mile from Castle Drive as you head south from Rt. 119.
All are welcome!
Sunset Party, June 9, 2022 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
The General Field
Join us as we gather to picnic, hear music from the Hickory Horned Devils featuring Groton’s own iron man Ray Ciemny. Chris Frothingham from The Great Road Kitchen is bringing back his oyster trailer and will shuck fresh oysters for you. Bring your picnic and beverage of your choice, lawn chairs and enjoy the evening. And we provide the flowers and the sunset!