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Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield

Birding in Massachusetts

Rock House Reservation
The Trustees of Reservations
West Brookfield, Massachusetts 01585
Rock House Reservation webpage
Rock House Reservation map

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eBird Hotspot

Worcester County

Rock House Reservation (TTOR), West Brookfield
Coordinates: 42.2688937, -72.1975565
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About Rock House Reservation
The cave-like Rock House Reservation and its surroundings offer an intriguing blend of geologic and human history. Glaciers once pushed, pulled, and scraped over New England, forming the landscape and leaving behind boulders in improbable places. Forests transformed into farmlands; ponds and streams powered mills. And now, the landscape is reverting to what it once was.

Rock House’s mammoth proportions and southern exposure made it an excellent winter camp for Native Americans. In the mid-17th century, colonists cleared the forests of West Brookfield for farming. In 1866, pastures around the Rock House were added to a 281-acre farm on Ragged Hill Road owned by William Adams, whose family would tend the land for more than 125 years. And in the early 20th century, Rock House became a popular stop on the “Copper Line,” an electric trolley that ran between West Brookfield and Ware.

Discover the nooks and crannies of this 296-acre tract via three miles of trails and woods roads. The centerpiece is the 20-to-30-foot-high rock enclosure that stands guard over man-made Carter Pond. Along the way, savor the wildflowers, hardwood forests, and pine groves, and watch for a wide variety of animals, from wild turkeys to painted turtles. Look for a striking example of glacial erratics in Balance Rock, perched atop a large stone outcrop.

From the Massachusetts Turnpike (Exit 8), take MA-32 North toward Ware where it joins MA-9. Stay on combined MA-32 and MA-9. When the routes separate, follow MA-9 East for 1.1 miles to the entrance and parking (12 cars) on left.
From Rock House Reservation webpage