Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield

4.6
#50 of 73 in Wildlife in Massachusetts
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
38 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • June 29, 2017
    We have lived less than 5 miles from Rock House Reservation for over 35 years. Our children and grandchildren are still enjoying it. We have hiked the trails and participated in geo-caching, letter bo...  more »
  • May 17, 2017
    My wife and i go here if we want a nice walk. Thru the woods and climbing on the rocks overlooking the pond.Many interesting facts about this place.  more »
  • May 16, 2017
    a fun hike through the woods. a bit uphill. can be buggy because it is shady so bring repellent. right off the state road.  more »
Google
  • October 4, 2016
    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.
  • April 5, 2017
    Great place for a quick or not-so-quick walk/hike through the forest. Lots of families and dogs
  • March 6, 2017
    Fun place right on the side of the road hiked all the trails in about an hour and a half
  • July 1, 2017
    Love trail running here.
  • July 1, 2017
    Great place to walk.

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