L.A. Foster Wildlife Refuge

L.A. Foster Wildlife Refuge

Norton, Massachusetts 02766

Official Website
L.A. Foster Wildlife Refuge map

About this Location

A walk in the L.A. Foster Wildlife Refuge is a walk back into history. The land, donated by Marjorie and Barbara Foster, can be reached from both sides of Taunton Avenue (MA-140) at the Wading River Bridge. The path to the east of the bridge leads into woodlands along the river and eventually joins the Woodward Forest Land, also owned by the Land Preservation Society (LPS) of Norton. The Foster Refuge is the site of the former Crocker Brothers Copper Works. To the west, the path leads to ruins of copper works. Still visible is a canal that carried water from the Wading River to the pond and remnants of the old industrial site. The Crocker Brothers Copper Works rivaled the Revere Copper Works in Canton and in the early days produced a rolled copper that was used to plate ship bottoms. Copper prevented shipworms and barnacle build-up, keeping the hulls of the ships clean and reducing the time needed for servicing. Eventually, in the 19th century, the Norton copperworks gained fame as the source of planchets or round metal disks used for the minting of the large cent. Even today you can find the occasional old penny blank in the woods. Copper came first from England as ballast on ships, and then from Chile. By1850 most of the workers at the mill were immigrants skilled in metal refining. There is a path from a small parking area north of the bridge over the Wading River on MA-140. The area is clearly marked with signs and the trails are open to the public. Occasionally the entrance is over-grown with cat or green briar (Smilax sp.). Persevere and it will open onto an easily managed trail. It eventually leads to the old pond that supplied the copper works with water, and a canal that transported water from the Wading River to the pond. This is a lovely walk following the Wading River through mixed forest and wetland.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at L.A. Foster Wildlife Refuge.

Content from Official Website