Rochester Lands Trust unveils Doggett's Brook Trail

Sep 13, 2014

Rochester’s new Doggett’s Brook Trail officially opened Saturday – 10 years after a pair of local hikers stumbled upon the idea of such a path.

Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon and resident Susan Teal walked the area back then and wondered how to connect the public with a 29-acre parcel owned by the Wildlands Trust. The trust is a nonprofit that seeks to protect land in southeastern Massachusetts.

“This is really a success story of three groups, the Rochester Land Trust, the town, and the Wildlands Trust working together,” Farinon said Saturday.

About 30 people arrived at the trailhead, located at the Dexter Lane playing fields, to walk the 1.6-mile loop.

Following the purchase of a key piece of land in 2011 between the Wildlands property and the ball fields, the greenway now encompasses 41 acres of playing fields, 29 acres of town property and 29 acres of Wildlands property.

In March 2013, the Selectmen agreed to grant a conservation restriction to the property. Among other things, the restriction prevents access for dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Signs along the trail were purchased with a $5,000 grant from the A.D. Makepeace Neighborhood Fund. Volunteers installed them along the trail.

Land Trust President Halima Tiffany said the effort to purchase the land began in earnest about four years ago.

“This was a great collaboration,” Tiffany said. “We’re grateful the town is open to preserving open space and keeping Rochester rural.”

Farinon said with the new trail and the recent opening of a canoe launch on Leonard’s Pond the town and trust have a lot of property to maintain.

“We’re entering a stewardship position right now,” she said.

A map of the Doggett’s Brook Trail is posted at the Dexter Field for those interested in walking the property.

For more information on open space in Rochester, click here.