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Vale Reservation

Birding in Massachusetts

Vale Reservation
Andover, Massachusetts 01810
Vale Reservation webpage
Vale Reservation map

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Vale Reservation
Coordinates: 42.6335364, -71.1591205
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About Vale Reservation
Meandering northward through the middle of Andover, the Shawsheen River offers canoeists and walkers a chance to observe wildlife and water plants at close range. The river is shallow between Ballardvale dam and Abbot Bridge, but still canoeable in all except the driest times. Extensive cattail marshes make walking difficult along the east side of the river. However, they provide excellent habitat for geese, ducks and occasional herons, muskrat, and painted turtles. The AVIS reservations on the west side of the river offer fields, woodlands, and excellent views of the river.

The Shawsheen River rises gently from a Bedford meadow, eventually flowing into the Merrimack River. Its name comes from the Indian words for “Great Spring” and “Beauty’s Pathway.” The Vale Reservation was purchased from James Doyle, president of Northeastern Scale Models Corporation and an avid conservationist, who acquired the land along with buildings he had purchased for his business. The land was initially named the Doyle Reservation but was renamed Vale Reservation in 1960.
From Vale Reservation webpage