Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield

4.6
The Rock House Reservation is a 196acre open space preserve located in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. The property, acquired in 1993 by the land conservation non-profit organization The Trustees of Reservations, is named for a natural rock shelter once used as a winter camp by Native Americans.Its location near two, long Native American footpaths suggests that it may also have been a trail camp and meeting place.The Rock House Reservation is located off Massachusetts Route 9 and offers 3mi of hiking trails, an interpretive center, a butterfly garden, and scenic vistas. Boulder strewn Carter Pond occupies the center of the property. The reservation is open to hiking, picnicking, and cross country skiing. Horseback riding and mountain biking are allowed on certain parts of the property.HistoryDuring the last ice age when the southern movement of the Wisconsin Glacier transformed the landscape producing unique rock formations and outcroppings. Today two glacially formed outcroppings are still present on the property. These formations are known as Balance Rock and the Rock House Shelter. After the ice age, archaeologists believe Native Americans used the Rock House Shelter as a winter camp, trail camp and/or meeting place.In the mid 17th century, the forests of West Brookfield were cleared by colonists 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. During the first two decades of the 20th Century, Rock House was a popular stop on the "Copper Line", an electric trolley that ran between West Brookfield and Ware.
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Rock House Reservation Reviews
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41 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The Rock House Reservation is very near to my home so I go there often. There are a number of beautiful dimensions to the Rock House Reservation including a small pond, a rocky area that forms a prote...  more »
  • Love going here for a hike, although be prepared for ticks especially if you plan to bring Rover with you.  more »
  • Easy roadside stop. Free. Easy for family and kids (no strollers). Not a serious hike, but well worth the time. The rocks are amazing. Toilet available near the trail-head. We heard there would be lot...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place, really cool rock formations, and a number of fun short hikes that are ideal to do with young kids. My son and his cousin were both just a little over three years old the last time we were there and it was perfect for them - gave them just enough of a challenge for their age and ability with lots of rewarding things to discover. They really loved the rock formations and we look forward to returning this coming year.
  • My wife and I live close by to this place. But it had been years since we had taken a walk here. What a treat. And at the end of our walk, we found out that the Rock House formation is just a few steps up the hill from the beginning of the trail. It is worth the visit. Wear sturdy shoes
  • Great trail network, some hikers could spend 6 hours here probably looking at everything, I've had numerous trips and I keep going back. If you're going to bring your dog, watch out for other off leash dogs. I want there to be some signs hung on the trail map posts and near the parking area that ask for leashed dogs only. I know the neighboring town of ware has a leash law. The woman I saw yesterday had her dog off leash, and she had no idea that it was a problem at all. All around great place to hike though.
  • Good place for family hiking, kid friendly.
  • Great place for a quick or not-so-quick walk/hike through the forest. Lots of families and dogs
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