Foss Farm

Brief History

Foss Farm is a 57-acre parcel purchased in 1971 for conservation and recreation purposes. Mr. Foss farmed the land growing asparagus and other crops. The house that Mr. Foss owned at 981 Bedford Road, was built in 1739 by one of Robert Blood's grandsons, Simon Blood. Today, parts of Foss Farm continue to be used for agriculture. There are community gardens and a local farmer grows feed for his dairy cows.

Evidence of Native American settlements have been found at Foss Farm. Artifacts from 3600 to 4100 years ago have been retrieved and there is a documented Native American site registered with the State of Massachusetts.

Interesting Features

Foss farm has two large open areas. One offers a beautiful open vista from the parking lot and is home to many species of birds, including woodcock, bluebirds, indigo buntings, owls, rough-legged and red-tailed hawks, and killdeer. The other field, not visible from the parking lot, is beyond the small stream and surrounding wetland to the south of the parking lot. A trail linking this other field to the main Foss Farm field in being planned.

The diverse habitats present at Foss Farm-fields, upland woods, damp woods, wetlands and edge habitat, provide excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife. Proximity to the river also attracts a variety of species-herons and an occasional osprey can be spotted flying overhead. Many species of turtles make their home at Foss Farm - Blanding's turtles, wood turtles, painted turtles, and snapping turtles have been spotted. Blue-spotted salamanders have been found near the public garden area.

Hiking Trails

Many trails wind through the property. There are trails that meander through the upland forest and there are also trails that ring the perimeter of the fields. Foss Farm links to a large trail network in the Great Meadows National Wildlife land as well as the adjacent O'Rourke and Greenough conservation parcels. Hikers can enjoy several long loop routes through this wonderful reserve of protected land.

Trail maps are available online on the Trails Committee website and can be purchased in hard copy at Town Hall and at Ferns Country Store.

Getting There

Foss Farm is located on Bedford Road between the intersections with River Road and Skelton Road, about 2 miles east of Town center. There is an unpaved parking lot.

Planning Documents