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 Patrill Hollow Preserve.
Patrill Hollow Preserve is a beautiful 136-acre woodland preserve situated just southwest of Hardwick center. The Preserve supports a variety of interesting habitats including oak, white pine, red maple, and hemlock forest. An exemplary vernal pool is found along the Preserve’s northern boundary and a perennial stream flows southerly through the red maple swamp and eventually into Danforth Brook off site. A small hayfield is actively farmed along the preserve’s eastern boundary. Topography is variable, rising from central low wetlands to rocky woodland summits in the northeast and southwest.
Blue diamond markers delineate the Preserve’s woodland trails. The trails meander through mixed oak and pine forest, circle around the vernal pool, and pass near stone walls and old foundations before climbing in elevation. Several large beech, oak, and white pine trees are found along the dry ridge trail to the east. These large canopied trees and the remnant stone walls remind us that animals once grazed these woodland slopes and sought shade under the very same trees. A large boulder left by the glacier is found along the woodland trail as it winds down slope toward the stone bridge and stream crossing. In the spring, these wetlands are alive with the chorus of spring peepers and wood frogs and a glow with the bright yellow flowers of marsh marigolds. After crossing the stream along the southern border, the trail climbs uphill through oak forest to a lovely hemlock grove on a rocky woodland summit. The main loop trail is a leisurely two hour hike.
The Patrill Hollow Preserve was given to the East Quabbin Land Trust in 2006 by the Thoma Family. With its quiet surroundings and natural beauty, the Preserve offers visitors wonderful opportunities for hiking, picnicking, nature study, photography, bird watching, cross country skiing, and mountain biking.
Directions: Patrill Hollow Preserve is located ½ mile southwest of Hardwick Center. An information kiosk is found at the entrance to the Preserve on Patrill Hollow Road. Follow Greenwich Road from the town common for approximately ¼ mile west to Patrill Hollow Road. Follow Patrill Hollow Road southwesterly for another ¼ mile. Watch for the Preserve entrance and information kiosk on the left side of the road, approximately 400 feet north of the intersection of Patrill Hollow and Czeski Roads. Another Preserve entrance is located along the Gilbertville Road, just ½ mile south of the center of town. Watch for the Preserve entrance sign and trail markers at the bar way to the stone wall and the hayfield.