Rock Village Preserve- Middleborough, MA
Edward Medeiros, 1994
Named for a small village within the town of Middleborough, Rock Village Preserve is small but unique in character. Both the village and preserve were named for the presence of magnificent granite outcrops, which are unusual in this area of Southeastern Massachusetts. They were quarried in the late 19th century. The east-west pattern of the longer outcrops suggests that the preserve is located on an ancient fault, no longer active. The larger of the rock outcrops provides scenic views of the woodlands. Other natural attractions here are a seasonal stream, wetlands, and uplands, a variety of plants and animals, and ancient stone walls along the preserve’s boundary.
Follow the old cart path, which begins at the parking area on Walnut Street next to a large outcrop, for a short but interesting walk through the preserve’s rocky woodlands of evergreens and deciduous trees. Before the path rises to higher ground, watch for the wide variety of trees, shrubs, ferns, and mosses growing in the forest wetland. Turkey scratchings and deer scat indicate that both frequent the preserve. A short side trail leads to a great white oak, perhaps the largest and oldest tree in the area. At the end of the cart path, a trail rises to the top of a prominent rocky knoll and passes a small abandoned quarry cut into the side of the knoll.
The nearby Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area on Rocky Gutter Street is worth a visit to see its beautiful holly trees. It is almost 4,000 acres owned by the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.