Sturbridge, Massachusetts 01566
Sturbridge Trail Guide booklet with maps
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The 84-acre Heins Conservation Land was originally part of the neighboring Heins Family Farm (private property), which operated as a family farm. The open fields have been recovered from invasive species like Oriental Bittersweet, and Honeysuckle, and left alone, would have filled with White Pine and other woody shrubs. However, the Town sought funds to clear invasive species like Bittersweet, and Honeysuckle, and recreate the “Early Successional Habitat”, which is grassland and shrubland habitat, a habitat endangered in Massachusetts, as are many of the species that utilize them. Hunting is not permitted on this property. With just over 2 miles of trail, this property is great for that quick hike or bike ride.
Heins Farm trails begin and end at the parking lot at 197 Leadmine Road, which allows for 12 cars, including a designated handicapped spot.
The Stafford Turnpike Loop is named for a remnant of a 19th century Worcester-Stafford Turnpike on this trail. Opened in 1810, the Turnpike was one of a number of toll roads built by private investors. Used primarily for commercial travel, passengers along the turnpike were charged 25 cents per coach and 4 cents for each man and horse at tollhouses built approximately 10 miles apart where horses would have to be changed during the 12-hour ride from Worcester to Hartford. One such tollhouse, the Publick House, still stands and continues to serve the public daily. This trail bears bearing a historic marker documenting this important town landmark.
From Sturbridge Trail Guide booklet