The trail in this 130-acre conservation area skirts gorgeous examples of two rare, contrasting natural community types: an extensive boreal swamp that dominates the eastern half of the property, and a woodland on steep talus slopes with huge old sugar maples, ash trees, and red oaks. Fern Glenn's name honors Glenn Freden, Mount Grace's forester when the trust began to manage the land, and recognizes the incredibly lush growth of ferns that give the forest understory and wetland a soft, feathery feel in the summer. Clubmosses including groundcedar, running pine, shining fir moss, and Hickey’s tree clubmoss run everywhere along the ground, looking from above like a miniature forest within a forest. Plant enthusiasts will find much to marvel at here, particularly along the fringes of the spruce-tamarack swamp where rose pogonia orchids bloom profusely in July.
Fern Glenn Conservation Area is open to the public for non-motorized outdoor recreation including hiking, bird watching, nature study, and hunting.
645 Teel Rd, Winchendon, MA 01475
From Route 140 in Winchendon, turn west onto Teel Road. 1/4 mile from this turn, see an inconspicuous dirt drive on the left between two houses. Turn south on this gravel road and proceed another quarter mile to the large clearing and parking area.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Nathan J. Olson (1996)
Fern Glenn abuts the Town of Winchendon’s 490-acre Nineteenth Hill Conservation Area, which contains the headwaters of Bailey Brook. The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game has conservation restrictions on both Fern Glenn and Nineteenth Hill which are part of one of the biggest interior forest blocks in Massachusetts.