Opacum Woods

Click here for a printable copy of the Opacum Woods Trail Map

Opacum Woods has two Geocaches:

Have you found Playing at the Rock or Opacum Land Trust Cache?

Additional Opacum Land Trust Properties within Podunk Woods:

First Acres Swamp
Herve & Mary Jane Gaumond Memorial Sanctuary

Opacum Woods is a permanently protected conservation area owned and stewarded by the Opacum Land Trust. There are about four miles of hiking trails on this 266-acre property, named after the colors with which they are marked: Blue, Red, Yellow and Green. The walking trails at Opacum Woods traverse a variety of habitats as well as some interesting historical features, please view our trail map, and enjoy a hike at Opacum Woods.

To get to Opacum Woods, take New Boston Road from Route 20 in Sturbridge, just east of the 131 intersection. Take your fourth right into The Preserve subdivison, and then your second left on to Old Brook Circle. The Trailhead is at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Please note that parking is not permitted along Forest Lane. If you would like more information, please call 508-347-9144 or e-mail.

If you are interested in volunteering at Opacum Woods,or for Opacum Land Trust, please e-mail or call (508) 347-9144.

A female belted kingfisher keeps a close eye Opacum pond. Photo by a visitor to Opacum Woods, Richard Johnson

John Cloutier, of Globe Sign Company in Southbridge, stands in front of the kiosk he built at the trailhead of Opacum Woods.

Opacum Woods was donated to Opacum Land Trust in June of 2003 by Robert Moss & Brendon Properties. It contains 266 acres of forested land including woodland ponds, swamps, vernal pools, historic and prehistoric sites, and habitat for some rare and some not-so-rare species. It is a true gem, and a recreational asset for the community.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, holds a Conservation Easement on Opacum Woods

Thank You for your Continued Support!

A visitor enjoys a walk along old Walker Road, located within Opacum Woods

Rules for Opacum Woods

1) Land Trust property is open to public use from 1 hour before sunrise to 8 pm, from May 1 through August 31st. And from _ hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset, from September 1 through April 30.

2) Any person who by his or her actions violates any provision of these Rules, or any personal who fails to comply with any reasonable request of any duly authorized representative of Opacum Land Trust, may be subject to ejection by public authorities.

3) No person shall injure or remove any flora or fauna on the property. Pulling/picking/cutting wildflowers or other vegetation is strictly prohibited, as is catching, trapping, or injuring wildlife of any kind, other than those subject to legal hunting.

4) No person shall kindle, build, maintain or use a fire for any reason on Land Trust property.

5) No person shall consume or possess alcoholic beverages on Land Trust property.

6) No person shall in any way leave, dispose of or place, refuse, debris, solid or liquid waste or other material in or on the lands or waters of the Land Trust.

7) No person shall bring a dog, cat or other animal onto Land Trust property except on established trails designated by the Land Trust. All animals should be properly leashed on leads not exceeding ten (10’) feet in length. All animals shall be kept under control at all times.

8) No person shall bathe, swim, dive or wade from a shoreline of any Land Trust property.

9) The launching or use of water craft of any nature or type, whether motor-powered or not, is prohibited on the Land Trust waters.

10) No person shall enter upon the frozen waters of the Land Trust property for the purpose of ice-skating, ice-fishing or any other purpose including walking, skiing or sledding.

11) No person shall camp, pitch tents, or use any type of cooking gear on Land Trust property.

12) No person shall formally or informally create or construct new walking trails or mountain-bike trails on the property. Trails may be closed for rehabilitation and/or revegetation at the discretion of the Land Trust, or upon recommendation of DCR, or the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.

13) No person shall operate motorized vehicles of any kind, including but not limited to: snowmobiles, ATV’s, 4-wheel drive vehicles, dirt-bikes or motorcycles.

14) Land Trust trails signed with markers are for pedestrian and peddle-powered bicycle use only. Pedestrian use includes but is not limited to hiking, walking, jogging, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.

15) Hunting, fishing and trapping are subject to all applicable state and local laws including regulations of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW). Temporary and permanent hunting blinds or structures are prohibited.

WEARING A BLAZE ORANGE JACKET AND HAT DURING HUNTING SEASON IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Hunting Abstracts are available from Sturbridge municipal offices or DFW.

The Opacum Land Trust promulgates these Rules pursuant to the authority granted it under Massachusetts General Laws. The Rules govern the conduct of activities on all properties under the care, custody or control of Opacum Land Trust. They have been promulgated for the safety and enjoyment of users and the protection of valuable natural resources.

No trash barrels are located on the property. When visiting, be prepared to carry out all trash. Please call 508 347-9144 if you see violations of these rules and remember, motorized vehicles of all kinds are strictly prohibited. Adhering to these rules will allow continued access for the public, and keep the property open and available for

An ancient rock shelter in Opacum Woods.

We are currently fundraising to purchase additional land within Podunk Woods, pay legal fees, and create an essential stewardship fund to see that this property remains as it is in perpetuity. Please send your contribution to:

Opacum Land Trust, Inc.
PO Box 233
Sturbridge, MA 01566