Fox Valley (which was given its name by students of the Phillipston Memorial Elementary School at its dedication in 1990) is 103 acres of mixed New England hardwoods and conifers. The mile-long loop trail winds through the property, highlighting the diversity of habitats, specifically Popple Camp Brook and associated wetlands, which are headwaters for the Quabbin Reservoir. The trail goes through relatively steep, rocky hillsides that are riddled with seeps. These moist, cool conditions create good habitat for plants like Christmas fern, and the west portion of the trail follows a stone wall where crossing perpendicular stone walls mark old pastures and homesteads.
Fox Valley is the site of Mount Grace’s 2010 sustainable forestry project funded by the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. The project, compliant with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines, was planned and reviewed as part of Mount Grace’s application for green certification at Fox Valley.
Fox Valley is open to the public for non-motorized outdoor recreation including hiking, bird watching, and nature study. Fox Valley is an amalgamation of different parcels donated to Mount Grace by different landowners, therefore hunting and fishing are allowed only on the Hazeltine parcel (~ the northern 50 acres).
From Phillipston Common (junctions of Templeton and Petersham Roads), drive west on Petersham Rd and in less than 0.2 mile, bear right (east) onto Lincoln Rd. Pass the sign for the Popple Camp Brook Wildlife Management Area. The entrance to Fox Valley is on the right side of Lincoln Rd (less than 1 mile).
Parking is available in the parking area by the kiosk.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Helvi Frilander (1989) and the Hazeltine Family (1998)
In 1989, Helvi Frilander gifted a 52-acre parcel of land in memory of her husband, Toivo. In 1998, Dr. Barrett and Mary Hazeltine chose to make a conservation gift of the landlocked parcel adjoining Mount Grace’s Fox Valley Wildlife Sanctury on Lincoln Rd. Mount Grace manages the area for forestry, water quality protection, and passive recreation using science-based stewardship practices in order to enhance the extensive MassWildlife Management Area located just downstream.