The General Field


The General Field is located on the west side of Farmers Row just north of the Ayer town line. Parking is available at the top of the driveway. Dogs are not permitted.


Trails and Parking: Dawn to Dusk


In 2006, the Groton Conservation Trust acquired 143 acres of agricultural land as their portion of a successful joint venture with the Town of Groton to protect from development the 265-acre Surrenden Farm property along Farmers Row. Research conducted on the history of the area reveals that the early inhabitants of Groton referred to land in that general vicinity- near Farmers Row and south of the current site of Groton School- as “the General Field.” In keeping with the historical use of the land for agriculture and acknowledging those early references, the Trust named its portion of the Surrenden Farm land The General Field.

Two local sources of Groton history led the Trust to select the name. In her book titled A Plantation Called Petapawag, Virginia May includes a rough map of the area that indicates The General Field. Dr. Samuel Green reports in his book, The Early Records of Groton, Massachusetts 1662-1707, that in 1670, soon after Groton was established, the Selectmen of Groton voted to lay out a road leading to Lancaster, which was an earlier, more established settlement in the area. He describes that road (which ran alongside the now-protected area) as being laid out next to the “general field lots.” He also notes that, “The ‘general field,’ frequently mentioned in [certain land grants], refers to land owned in severalty by a number of persons, who turned it into one field, for reasons of mutual advantage.”

In 2022 the Friends of the Tree Warden gifted the Groton Conservation Trust with a white oak tree, which was planted on the west side of the mowed area.


The General Field consists of cultivated farmland, a wildflower garden, trails, driveway, paved parking, and a mowed area for recreation. Large trees overlook sweeping views to the west. The location is a popular site for picnicking, hiking, and snowshoeing. The Trust hosts an annual Sunset Party to enjoy the wildflower garden and kick off the summer.


The General Field hosts an active farm and a meadow ecosystem with diverse wildlife. As such, dogs are not permitted, and vehicles are strictly limited to the driveway and parking lot. Stay on marked trails and pack out all waste.

Trail Maps

GF Map

Many thanks to Bob Gessing for sharing his beautiful wildlife photos taken at The General Field:

American Kestrel
Black Swallowtail
Brown-belted bumblebee
Wavy-lined Emerald Caterpillar
Halloween Pennant
Hummingbird Clearwing
Lobed Plume Moth
Northern Crescent
Pearl Crescent
Two Moons Beewolf