Crane Swamp Conservation Area

Crane Swamp Conservation Area

Northborough, Massachusetts 01532

Crane Swamp Conservation Area brochure and map

About this Location

The Crane Swamp Conservation Area includes 2,225 acres of open space straddling the borders of Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, and Marlborough. The centerpiece is a high-quality 400-acre red maple swamp. The swamp is surrounded by a complex of open fields, wet meadows, ponds, pine plantations, and oak-pine forests, with Cedar Hill to the west and Walnut Hill to the northeast. Such a diverse, high-quality, and expansive conservation area is a unique treasure in Metrowest Boston.

The properties are owned by a variety of Massachusetts state agencies as well as the Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT). SVT protected 101 acres of Sawink Farm Reservation at the border of Northborough and Westborough in 1992 and the 88-acre drumlin of Cedar Hill in Northborough in 1993. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns Crane Swamp, Little Crane Swamp, and much of Walnut Hill, just north of Sawink Farm Reservation. Westborough State Hospital land extends from Lyman Street to Chauncy Pond, and the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Game owns land that runs west to the Assabet River. Furthermore, the protected watershed helps to preserve the public water supply for 2.5 million people.

This mosaic of different habitats provides for a rich array of plants and animals, including state-listed species, interior-sensitive forest birds, and species that need to range some distance throughout the year for survival. Wildlife species known to inhabit the conservation area include bobcats, coyotes, Red foxes, Eastern Cottontail rabbits, Snowshoe hares, White-tailed deer, Barred Owls, Ruffed Grouse, American Woodcocks, Spotted turtles, and Monarch butterflies.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Crane Swamp Conservation Area.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Crane Swamp Conservation Area brochure and map

Last updated December 9, 2023