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Long referred to as "Beverly Commons," this area is a mosaic of protected land that includes an extensive trail network under a serene forest canopy. During colonial times the "Commons" was a major thoroughfare from Salem to Gloucester, and during the witchcraft hysteria of 1692, the area became known as "Witches' Woods" after a number of families took refuge here.
A popular spot for year-round recreation. Open dirt roads and trails crossing hills and forest make this an excellent destination to mountain bike, run and snowshoe. Impressive rock outcroppings and glacial boulders dominate much of the landscape.
Vernal pools and amphibian breeding can be seen in early spring.
This reservation boasts one of the best stands of eastern hemlock, a majestic tree species that lives up to 800 years. Hemlock’s tolerance of low light enables it to form dense canopies that provide a unique habitat for many plant and animal species.
Look for wild columbine, violets, lady slippers, and jack-in-the-pulpits. In later summer, you’ll find native orchid species. Ferns and mosses love the cool, acid environment.
The dense forest provides shelter for a variety of woodland birds such as the winter wren, scarlet tanager and broad-winged hawk. On the ground, watch for the semi-aquatic eastern ribbon snake.
Latitude 42.568435, Longitude -70.822107
From Route 128/Exit 17/Grapevine Road
Go south on Grapevine Road/Hart Street toward Beverly Farms. In 1.25 miles, turn right onto Greenwood Avenue. Trailhead and parking are 0.3 miles ahead.
Park to the right on Stone Ridge Road. Please do not block the gate.
82 Eastern Avenue, Essex,
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.