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NORTH QUABBIN TOWNS

Athol
Erving
New Salem
Orange
Petersham
Phillipston
Royalston
Warwick
Wendell

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   Locations
X-Country Skiing

From your parking spot, take the sharp right turn (west) and hike up the logging road approximately 200 yards. At the fork either go left onto Flag Rd. (no sign) for a 5-minute walk to Stevens Swamp, or continue a few hundred yards along the logging road to the trail leading to Indian Cave. Go left at a blue-blazed trail and in 15-20 minutes watch for the face of a long granite ledge on the right. Wander up to find the cave (actually a tunnel about 30 feet long) and a large porcupine denning area. Be gentle with the beautiful rock tripe lichen on the walls of the ledge and the delicate mosses on the ground.

Return by the same trail, or continue on the blue trail around the entire swamp, approximately 3 miles total. To the west this trail will pass a wonderful bog (watch for bog cotton, bog rosemary, leatherleaf and pitcher plants), and to the south a magnificent rock outcrop that provides a serenely beautiful vantage point before ending on Flag Rd.

Stevens Swamp lies in a basin surrounded by low, forested hills and is really a mosaic of wetlands – ephemeral streams, open pond, red maple swamp, grassy marsh, peat moss bog – and so provides habitat for a great variety of plants and animals. That pond was created by a dam on a brook, the original version of which dates to the late 1700s.

Note too that Flag Rd. links portions of Mount Grace and Erving State Forests and that at 0.9-mile point on White Rd. there is a crossing of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, to the west heading toward Stratton Mountain in Northfield and to the east toward the Round-the-Mountain trail at Mount Grace.

Directions:

From Rte. 2, take Exit 15 and follow Rte. 122 north into Orange center. Turn left onto West Main St. (Rte. 2A) and continue to Rte. 78. Turn right and proceed into Warwick center. Turn left onto Wendell Rd. and then right onto Northfield Rd. Go about 2.3 miles to Bass Rd. (formerly part of White Rd.) and turn left. Go 1.2 miles and park at corner of sharp right turn.

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Contact:

c/o Erving State Forest
200 East Main St.
Erving, MA 01344
978-544-3939
erving.forest@state.ma.us