Spring is here! - hike Crane Swamp and Cedar Hill

A nice hike to celebrate Spring!

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.  Wildlife species known to inhabit the conservation area include bobcat, coyote, Red fox, Eastern Cottontail rabbits, Snowshoe hare, White-tailed deer, Barred Owl, Ruffed Grouse, American Woodcock, Spotted turtles and Monarch butterflies.

TRAIL MAP and INFO HERE!

Distance: About 3 miles
Tortoise time: About 2 hours
Some ups and downs...nothing too steep.

GET YOUR TORTOISE CAP!  CLICK HERE!

Please wear sturdy shoes or boots and wool socks.  Some of the land is boggy, so waterproof shoes are best. Poles highly recommended. Bring a hat, a snack and water.  Be sure to wear layers.  Also...please be sure to have a flashlight or headlamp with you!

DIRECTIONS: take Route 495 to exit 23C (Simarano Drive exit). Continue to the lights at the end of the exit ramp. Take a left at the lights onto Simarano Drive. Continue to another set of lights and take a right onto Cedar Hill Street. Parking for the reservation is at 360 Cedar Hill Street. The entrance will be on your left across from Forest Street. There is ample parking, labeled with SVT signs, immediately on your right. A trail easement, marked by posts and SVT markers leads around the wetlands and to a kiosk behind the buildings.

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  • Karen Washington 4.

    Why do parking and meeting issues follow me? Other than that it was a great hike and I have an idea for one next week too. Met some cool new people too.

    March 26, 2013

  • Carol S

    Very nice hike with a good group. I enjoyed seeing the bluebirds and the skunk cabbage flowers. Plus the work of the industrious beavers!

    1 · March 26, 2013

    • Karen Washington 4.

      When I get myself together, I will post for Tuesday night. Thanks for the idea.

      1 · March 26, 2013

  • Nancy H

    Karen, Cindy, Carol, Susan (my plus 1) and I left the parking area at 4:15. We had a very nice hike and saw beautiful bluebirds on top of the hill. We took a detour to the beaver pond to see the dam and lodge. It was a beautiful afternoon. We wondered what happened to everyone else.

    1 · March 26, 2013

    • Julie C.

      Obviously we must have been in different places...Lee and I started from the kiosk behind the industrial park, right before the RR tracks! We had a nice hike too...and wondered what had happened to everyone else! Wish someone had called my cell! Oh well...next time!

      1 · March 26, 2013

    • Karen Washington 4.

      Teacher Tortoise fail. I had your number in my old phone. Luckily the other ladies knew where they were going cause I forgot a map too.

      March 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    crisis at work; I have to miss today

    March 26, 2013

  • Lee Att L.

    PLEASE NOTE - the other days directions map is not what i'm seeing today - the written is accurate - the map shows AIRPORT LOCATION to me today

    March 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have to cancel. Woke up with terrible sore throat. Need to nap.

    March 26, 2013

  • Karen Washington 4.

    I was a bit worried I missed the fun, but forgot it got changed this morning. Now if I can just get some energy, it will be awesome.

    March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oh shoot, I obviously did not notice that delay! Sorry I missed you all. Trail was very slushy; the boards leading through the swamp are a bit slippery from water and a little bit of ice. Trail leading up to Cedar Hill quite slushy, a little slippery. Yaktraks are in order for sure. Walking sticks for sure too. The hill itself is bare ground, grassy.

    March 25, 2013

  • Lee Att L.

    Well Joy - the good news is you get to tell us all the trail conditions and do it again tomorrow - Julie postponed hike this AM - until tomorrow - see header above - the bad news - there is none that i see - exercise is good everyday - yt, Lee

    March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Did anyone go to this today besides me? I didn't read the directions carefully so although I pulled into 350 Cedar Hill Street I turned around thinking that I had the wrong address. By the time I found the SVT markers and trailhead it was 4:25. Sorry if I missed you all! I hiked up to the Cedar hill summit, and down another trail, but did not see any signs of other hikers.

    March 25, 2013

    • Julie C.

      That's cause it was postponed until tomorrow! Glad you had a good hike, though and see you on another hike!

      March 25, 2013

  • BrendaC18

    Last minute work schedule change, won't be out until 7pm...sorry

    March 25, 2013

  • BrendaC18

    Julie, if you could let us know which direction you will be heading towards that would be great. If you know specifically what trails you intend on hiking, etc...so us"later tortoises" can find you. Thank you!!

    March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am not able to go Tuesday. I hope you will offer this location again.

    March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can make this hike! So excited to get out again. I loved the last meet up hike with the other Tortoises!

    1 · March 25, 2013

  • Cindy G.

    I'm still in and looking forward to my first hike with you.

    March 25, 2013

  • Deb 0.

    Thank you for the update, however I need to change my RSVP since I will be working Tuesday.....Regards

    March 25, 2013

  • Karen Washington 4.

    Depends on the Pike. I think I might have to play catchup like Brenda.

    1 · March 25, 2013

  • Andrea C.

    Sorry cant do Tuesday afternoon. Sshould be a great place if some of the spring birds have started to arrive.

    March 25, 2013

  • BrendaC18

    I get out of work at 3:30. Will catch up with the group

    1 · March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I thought it was 4 to 5! Sorry, schedule too tight' Enjoy!

    March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    ;I'd love to go but it's too early. I leave work at 5pm :(

    March 24, 2013

  • Jeannine F

    I don't think I can make this hike at this time. Sorry, Jeannine

    March 21, 2013

  • Nancy H

    I hiked in this location a few days ago and there was still snow and ice in many areas, especially in the woods. With the snow we're getting today and the warm day temps with cold night temps I expect the trails to be slippery in spots on Monday. Traction devices for your boots might not be a bad idea. I have never seen SVT signs immediately on the right after entering the parking lot at 360 Cedar Hill St. I've always parked behind the building at the start of the trail by the kiosk, but I'll just look for your black Yaris to find you.

    March 19, 2013

  • Debra S

    sounds/looks like a beautiful spot, hope you replay this hike on a weekend day.

    March 5, 2013

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