Whitney Memorial Forest covers the northeast slopes of Benjamin Hill, overlooking downtown Winchendon from across the Millers River. The 90-acre forest is our only conservation area that is easily walkable from a downtown. It abuts a section of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Winchendon Springs Wildlife Management Area which was also protected with assistance from Mount Grace. The property contains perennial streams, one created by overflow from a disused well, flowing into the Millers River. The Oak-Hemlock-White Pine Forest supports a variety of wildlife species.
Mount Grace manages the forest for multiple uses including wildlife habitat, sustainable forestry and recreation. Mount Grace has conducted sustainable forestry tours on the property for natural resource classes at Mount Wachusett Community College and for the general public.
Whitney Memorial Forest is open to the public for non-motorized outdoor recreation including hiking, bird watching, nature study, and hunting.
In 2020, Mount Grace received support from the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation and the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts to improve recreational opportunities in Winchendon. One of the first projects Mount Grace took on thanks to this new funding was the creation of a formal public trail at Whitney Memorial Forest. In partnership with community volunteers, including local scouts, Mount Grace held a series of events, including clean up days, trail building days, and public hikes which led to the creation of the new .7-mile trail connecting the new kiosk on Benjamin Street with a new access point on Prospect Street.
201 Benjamin Street, Winchendon, MA 01475
From Route 2 take exit 19 onto Route 202 north towards Winchendon. Travel approximately 12 miles and turn right onto Benjamin Street and go up the hill to the top of road. There is an information kiosk where the property begins at the unmaintained road. The trail to Prospect Street is reached by walking up the discontinued road.
Parking is available at the end of Benjamin Street. There is no parking at the Prospect Street entrance, but that entrance is a few minutes walk from plentiful parking downtown.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Adelaide Whitney (2002)
In 2002, the land was donated to Mount Grace in memory of Adelaide Whitney through the efforts of Margaret Urquhart. A tireless advocate for Winchendon, Margaret served on the Winchendon Planning Commission, the Historical Commission, the Historical Society, the Toy Town Partnership, and the Northern Heritage Mills Project.
Photos from the fairy house building workshop with Winchendon Scouts: