Bearsden Forest Conservation Area

Bearsden Forest Conservation Area

Athol, Massachusetts 01331

Official Website
Bearsden Forest Conservation Area map

About this Location

Bearsden Conservation Area has ten miles of trails crisscrossing 1,568 acres of forest, some climbing hills with views of the Millers River and of mountains near and far; some leading down to the river itself; some, like those that parallel stone walls and traverse a cut through rock ledge, revealing human history; all of this and more await visitors to the premier conservation area of the town of Athol.

Since the 1970s, the 950-acre Bearsden Conservation Area has provided the core of an extensive interior forest reserve from South Royalston and Phillipston to Athol along a remote section of the Millers River. The area is composed of 14 parcels over 951 acres permanently protected and under the control of the Athol Conservation Commission.

Notable Trails

A strenuous climb takes visitors to Round Top, at 1,278 feet Athol’s second-highest hill, and to Warren’s Vista, each with panoramic views of the valleys around. Other trails lead to the Newton Reservoir. No longer a water supply but still a lovely pond; to Duck Pond, a haven for waterfowl; to the Ox-Bow, a curve in the river and a popular picnic spot; and a magnificent wetland known as Thousand-Acre Swamp. Visitors can listen to the songs of myriad birds and find evidence of other wildlife that frequents Bearsden.

The AllTrails website has descriptions and maps of hikes at Bearsden Forest Conservation Area.


  • Roadside viewing

  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website

Last updated December 7, 2023