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 Policy, Hunting and Fishing Policy and Recreational Trail Use Policy. We encourage you to go explore the Hyde Woodland Preserve.
This 100-acre forested parcel along the southern flank of the Dougal Range was acquired by the East Quabbin Land Trust in 2009. Click here for a map of the property. The Town of Ware holds the conservation restriction on the Hyde Woodland Preserve. The property is located in the northerly part of Ware along the easterly edge of the Muddy Brook Valley. The forest is dominated by white pine and a mixture of hardwoods. The property is divided in two by the heavily eroded and abandoned Old Stagecoach Road which is currently overtaken by a host of invasive plants. This old town road once connected Old Gilbertville Road to Hardwick Pond Road.
The Hyde Woodland is part of the Dougal Range, a large nearly unfragmented forested area recognized regionally as a significant wildlife habitat and important regional landscape by three major ecological metrics: BioMap 2, the Living Waters Program, and the Important Bird Area Project. This property plays an important role as part of a larger open space matrix with significant wildlife habitat value.
The property includes frontage on Muddy Brook and supports a farm pond, two certified vernal pools, an intermittent stream, and a freshwater marsh. The Hyde Woodland is located within the Town of Ware’s water supply protection area for drinking water wells located downstream. A beaver dam is located along Muddy Brook proper. The Preserve is an integral part of a significant wildlife corridor extending along Muddy Brook which is delineated as rare species habitat by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. The southwesterly facing forested slopes above Muddy Brook support rich hardwood forests of red oak, sugar maple, and white ash and high concentration of unusual spring wildflowers. Interesting stone walls, cellar holes, and unique landscape features such as steep talus slopes are found throughout. Some of the wildlife occurring in the area include white-tailed deer, beaver, black bear, bobcat, gray and red fox, coyote, moose, turkey, bald eagle, and a large variety of migratory birds including interior nesting songbirds.
The property is currently open for hunting, fishing, and passive recreation. Access is from existing trails along the Dougal Range, such as through the Ware Town Forest parcel or from Hardwick Pond Road to the abandoned section of Old Stagecoach Road.