In July 2006, the BCTrust acquired the Beaver Brook Valley Preserve, an 73 acre conservation parcel that runs along the western side of I-495, between the Route 111 and Route 2 exits. The BCTrust received ownership and stewardship of this property from the Nature Conservancy, which had acquired the property for conservation through five separate land transactions between 1965 and 1975.
The Beaver Brook Valley Preserve, sometimes called the “Boxborough Esker”, offers unique and interesting geological features. Eskers form when a stream flows beneath a glacier. The Beaver Brook esker was deposited by one of the glaciers that covered much of New England during the last Ice Age. As this glacier melted and receded north, the stream underneath deposited sand and boulders. This sediment remained even after the ice completely melted, providing the dramatic ridge that we can walk on today.
The Beaver Brook Valley esker covers almost the entire 73 acres. Much of the conservation trail runs along the top of the esker and offers spectacular views of Beaver Brook to the west and other forested and glacial landscape features to the east.
To visit the Beaver Brook Valley Preserve, follow Route 111 West (from Boxborough toward Harvard), turn right on Swanson Road and right again to a parking area at the end of Whitcomb Road, where you will find the access trail. Wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes, as some sections of the trail can be rugged and wet.
The following map illustrates this parcel’s unique features.