SOLF Trail Use Policy for Beals Preserve
Beals Preserve is privately owned and maintained by SOLF.
We welcome public use from dawn to dusk.
Please respect our Trail Use Policy.
• Trails are for walking, jogging, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
• Dogs are permitted but must be on leash; dog waste must be picked up.
• No motorized vehicles are permitted except for maintenance by SOLF.
• No bicycles are permitted.
About the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve
The Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve is a 58.5 acre parcel of open space gifted to the Southborough Open Land Foundation by Elaine and Philip Beals. Located in Southborough on Main Street across from Chestnut Hill Road, the property features a diverse ecosystem including Wachusett channel frontage, a pond, meadows, woodlands, and trails that link to the Sudbury Reservoir Trail and Boroughs Loop Trail. Beals Preserve is privately owned and maintained by SOLF. Please respect our Trail Use Policy. We welcome you to explore the property in all of its seasonal guises.
Beals Preserve hosts the annual Art on the Trails event featuring art installations throughout the forest from June through September of the year.
Read the transcript of Whit Beals’ October 2022 History Walk and Talk.
Watch a 2018 video by Southborough Access Media, Sights in Southborough: Beals Preserve. Thank you Southborough Access Media.
Visiting Beals Preserve
Beals Preserve Trail Map. Click here or on the image for a large map.
Click here to view the Beals Preserve Blog.
Click here to view the Beals Preserve page and brochure on the Sudbury Valley Trustees website. The Sudbury Valley Trustees holds the Conservation Restriction on Beals Preserve.
The primary entrance to the preserve is at a kiosk along the open channel of the Wachusett Aqueduct. From the kiosk the main trail heads south down an old farm lane lined with beautiful stone walls. It passes a small “ice pond” dating back to when the land was a working farm. The farm lane ends at the cul-de-sac at Red Gate Lane.
About halfway down the lane, there is an intersection with the Lone Wolf Trail to the right and the Riding Ring Trail to the left. The Lone Wolf Trail is a short loop that passes the top of the Upper Meadow with a nice view to the north. The Riding Ring Trail passes through a quiet, old pine forest that once was a totally open horse-riding ring. If one looks closely, there are still remnants of fencing around the ring. The Hickory Trail is a loop off the Riding Ring Trail, with a spur that leads to the Hickory Road cul-de-sac.
Access to Beals Preserve
Access to Beals Preserve is from Route 30 (Main Street), Red Gate Lane, Hickory Road, or the Sudbury Reservoir Trail. Please be respectful of our neighbors.
Route 30 (Main Street): There are three areas in which you may park for this access:
1) at the Beals Preserve Main Street Field parking area, on the south side of Main Street, east of Northborough Road and west of Chestnut Hill Road. (See the pictures below.) Park perpendicular to the road at the stone wall, walk down the field to the lane and then across the bridge over the Wachusett channel; 2) at the triangle of Northborough Road and Main Street – walk across the street to the Main Street Field parking area and proceed from there; 3) in the parking area on Chestnut Hill Road for the trails for Chestnut Hill Farm. Please do not park in the areas reserved for the Farm Stand at Chestnut Hill Farm. Walk down Chestnut Hill Road, cross the street to a paved driveway, go through the gate (please close it after you), walk down the lane and then across the bridge over the Wachusett channel.
Red Gate Lane: Park on Red Gate Lane and enter the marked access at the end of the cul-de-sac. Please do not block any driveways or mailboxes. Red Gate is off Flagg Road.
Hickory Road: Park on Hickory Road and enter the marked access trail. Please do not block any driveways or mailboxes.
Sudbury Reservoir Trail coming from the east: Follow the Sudbury Reservoir Trail across Deerfoot Road. Access Beals Preserve at one of the two alternate paths on the left along the trail or at the main entrance approximately one-half mile on the left at the bridge over the Wachusett channel.
Sudbury Reservoir Trail coming from the west: Access the Sudbury Reservoir Trail at Lynbrook Road and follow east until you reach the main entrance to Beals Preserve at the bridge over the Wachusett channel.
In 2011, approximately six acres of Beals Preserve were committed to the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The WHIP area is on the left of the trail if you enter from the lane on Main Street. To protect wildlife, please do not enter or walk in this area.
The following activities are prohibited: motorized vehicles, hunting or trapping (except by permission by SOLF), unauthorized camping, fires, dumping of trash or yard waste, and unauthorized cutting or removal of plants.