Rounseville II Preserve - Rochester, MA
Winifred Rounseville, 1994 - in memory of her sons, Ralph “Mike” Rounseville Jr. and Alden Rounseville
Located at Rochester Center, this once-active historic farm was passed down through the generations of the Rounseville family. The property was originally owned by Andrew Fearing and then passed to his daughter, Catherine Fearing Rounseville, who grew up on the family homestead. She, in turn, passed the property to her son, Ralph Lloyd Rounseville, who transferred it to his wife, Winifred Rounseville. This much loved preserve is protected in perpetuity through her generosity. Winifred’s son Lincoln carried out his mother’s wishes that this property would be preserved in its natural state as conservation.
A loop trail follows wide cart paths through an upland forest of white pines, typical of the Rochester area, and provides a walk of about a half an hour on mostly level terrain, although the preserve includes rolling hills. The trail enters pine-oak woodlands from the ball fields. Watch for a bog on your left, much of which is within the property. The bog drains across the preserve into Doggett’s Brook. The trail then crosses this drainage area as it ascends gradually up a hill. Near the base of the hill on the left, you will see a vernal pool.
The trail curves around to the right and parallels Sherman Brook, which is the northern boundary of the preserve. Walk on through an upland that includes a few pitch pines, then through a wetland created by Doggett’s Brook and the drainage from the bog. The wetland area is filled with sweet pepperbush, and the tall clusters of small white flowers release a wonderful fragrance in late July and early August. The trail continues briefly uphill into an area dominated by white pines before the loop ends near the property’s entrance.
The Rounseville property is almost completely wooded consisting of a mixed forest. Although predominant species on this property is white pine, several stands of hemlock trees and several isolated American holly trees also grow here.