Total Acres: 126
Year Conserved: Multiple years
This area has long been referred to as the Beverly Commons, and during colonial times was a major thoroughfare between Salem and Gloucester, an important source of firewood as woodlots, and later, a common pasture area for grazing sheep. This woodlot is a rare asset for any town of city to own. It is very scenic and offers serenity for both people and wildlife.
In the early spring you can find vernal pools and evidence of amphibian breeding. As the season progresses, you can find many wildflowers, including wild columbine and various kinds of violets, lady slippers, and jack-in-the-pulpits. You’ll also find many ferns, mosses and club mosses here, which flourish in a cool, acidic environment. A hemlock maple forest provides shelter for a variety of woodland birds such as the Winter Wren, Scarlet Tanager and Broad-winged Hawk.
During the witchcraft hysteria of 1692, Beverly Commons was also known as “Witches Woods” after a number of families took refuge here.
Vernal pools, also called vernal ponds are temporary pools of water, which tend to reach their greatest depth in spring, due to snow melt. They are usually devoid of fish, and therefore allow the safe development of newly hatched amphibians, like tadpoles, toads and salamanders.
For more information about vernal pools, consult the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team at www.capeannvernalpond.org
Hiking, birding & nature study, cross-country skiing & snowshoeing, Trail running, Mountain biking
Park to the right on Stone Ridge Road. Please do not block the gate.
From Route 128:
Take exit 17 and turn south on Grapevine Road toward Beverly Farms. Follow Grapevine Road 1.5 miles to Chapman's Nursery on the right. Turn right just before the nursery onto Greenwood Avenue, and proceed to the point where Greenwood Avenue ends at a cable gate and Stone Ridge Road heads off to the right.