Williamsburg Woodland Trails
Located off the south side of O'Neil Road, the HALL PROPERTY was donated by George and Tina Hall to the Town of Williamsburg as conservation land in 1997. The “Hall Conservation Area” Halls were lovers of nature, wildflowers and wildlife, and managed this land as a woodland reserve. The Williamsburg Conservation Commission has owned it since 1997. An Eagle Scout project originally developed a set of loop trails on the property in the late 1990’s. The Williamsburg Woodland Trails Committee, several volunteers, and the Student Conservation Association - MassParks - AmeriCorps Program re-established the trail system, extended it, and added two bridges in 2006-2007. This sloping mixed forest of oak, beech, hemlock and pine covers approximately 17 acres, and is bisected by a patient, meandering stream. Please stay on the marked trails and respect the land and the nearby neighbors.
O’NEIL HILL AND VALONE PARCELS: The O’Neil Hill and Valone parcels are owned by Mass Audubon and considered part of their larger Graves Farm Sanctuary in Williamsburg. Margot and Carlo Valone originally donated about 80 acres of land to Mass Audubon to help protect the landscape and wildlife of Williamsburg. In 2005, Mass Audubon and many residents of Williamsburg contributed to successfully purchase and protect 26 acres of land on Depot Road known as O’Neil Hill. Together these parcels connect directly to the larger Graves Farm Sanctuary and contribute to a growing corridor of protected land that runs from near Williamsburg center up to the Conway State Forest. The O’Neil Hill property formerly belonged to the Northampton State Hospital and was used for grazing livestock into the middle of the last century. In 2007-2008, Girl Scout Troop 228, the Williamsburg Woodland Trails Committee, Mass Audubon and private landowners partnered to create a trail that connects these various parcels of land. As you walk this trail you will notice the changes from stream bank to wet lowland areas to mixed deciduous and evergreen forest to more shaded hemlock forests to woodland emerging from an old pasture. Keep your eyes out for various species of flora and fauna. Deer, moose, black bear, salamanders, trillium, trout lily, fox, bobcat, barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, and the many birds that love thickets may all be near. Bitternut Hickory can be found in the former pasture, as well as many invasive species like barberry and bittersweet.
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Click HERE for the O'Neil Hill Quest (Junior Girl Scout Troop 228)