The East Quabbin Land Trust encourages visitors to all of its preserves. Please be respectful of the land and other visitors. EQLT has several policies that guide use of the land, including a Dog Walking PolicyHunting and Fishing Policy and Recreational Trail Use Policy. We encourage you to go explore the Frohloff Farm and Accessible Rail Trail.

The Frohloff farm is approximately 95 acres on Church Street in Ware, and is along one of the main access roads in the north part of town.  The East Quabbin Land Trust purchased the farm in 2010 and is keeping the barn, agricultural land and associated woods to promote local agriculture and wildlife habitat. The public is invited to walk the trail to the Ware River. In 2013 we purchased the farmhouse and began renovations to lease as living space for a farmer. The house is currently leased and the farm operations are focusing on small livestock.

On January 25, 2015 Susan Gainley and Ed Hood shared their research into the farm and house. Here are a few of their findings and click here to see a few slides on the house architecture:

1. For a period exceeding two hundred and seventy-five years, the property known as the Frohloff farm changed hands more than fifteen times.

2. The only family to own the farm through multiple generations was the Frohloff family. It was lived in by three generations for nearly one hundred years, from 1913 until 2007, before being sold to the EQLT.

3. Three times the farm was sold from one brother to another.

4. The longest any one family owned the farm before the Frohloff family was twenty-three years.

5. Eight men who once owned the farm died while in possession of it.

6. Two owners came into possession of the farm through marrying the widow of the previous owner.

7. According to census records the greatest number of people living in the house at one time was thirteen in 1840.

8. At least twice there occurred a shared ownership of the property, including the house.

9. Except for the last two generations of Frohloffs, all who owned the farm were farmers by occupation.

The main farm is a critical piece for conservation because:

  • The land is at the southern end of the Dougal Range, a wildlife and recreation focus area;
  • The property abuts the Lincoln property (175 acres) to the north that is conserved with a conservation restriction (held by EQLT) and an Agricultural Preservation Restriction;
  • The property includes frontage along the Ware River, which is designated as priority habitat by the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program;
  • The land encompasses a large portion of the Zone 2 watershed for the Town of Ware’s Dismal Swamp well head, which supplies approximately 25% of the Towns water daily;
  • The property includes a quarter mile section of the rail bed for the Mass Central Rail Trail;
  • Over twenty acres of abandoned farmland will be rejuvenated with assistance from local farmers and the community to provide local food; and
  • Conservation of the farm will maintain the rural character of Church Street, a major entranceway to the Town of Ware.

In early December 2013, a timber harvest was completed on a twenty acre portion of Frohloff Farm in Ware. This harvest helps to restore old fields, young forest, and a declining riverside community on the property. The project, funded in part by the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, will improve wildlife habitat and restore the regionally declining pitch pine and oak woodland along the Ware River.

We’re pleased to invite people of all ages and abilities to explore the newest segment of the Mass Central Rail Trail, including a short loop to the bank of the Ware River where visitors will find an accessible picnic table. The accessible 1/2 mile of Mass Central Rail Trail features a firm stone-dust surface, little grade change, and interesting natural features to explore. The trail provides a safe space for people to recreate with their family and friends in strollers or wheelchairs, walk their dogs, ride their horses, or cross country ski in the winter. 

Visitors catch this 1/2 mile section of rail trail from Church Street (#250 Church Street for GPS navigation purposes) just on the west side of the Ware River. There is a seven car parking lot and crosswalk with alerting lights to alert drivers to people using the crosswalk.

We are currently in the permitting and permission request phase to expand the rail trail on either side. We hope to move this process along so that construction of the next phase can begin in 2020.