The HALT Board of Directors is an active, hands-on team, collaborating with many volunteers to maintain trails and properties, and reaching out to the community to promote land conservation values. This page lists events and projects underway or recently completed.
Trails and Properties
Former Liberty Mutual Property
Seaboard Solar has been issued a permit to develop a large solar farm on the former Liberty Mutual property on Frankland Road. This property borders on HALT’s Deer Run conservation area and contains parts of the Andersen Memorial Trail. Seaboard has offered to preserve that trail, among others, donating all the remaining open space, up to 54 acres, to HALT. HALT is in discussions with the company, as well as the Planning Board and Conservation Commission, to ensure that the trails and open space are adequately protected and open to the public. Be aware that currently the Seaboard property is closed to the public, so please obey No Trespassing signs.
Deer Ridge Open Space Land Protection Development (OSLPD)
HALT is working with the developer to secure access to 9.3 acres of open space at the Deer Ridge development off of Lincoln Street and Cedar Street Extension that was approved by the Hopkinton Planning Board in December 2020.
Meadow Restoration at Whitehall Conservation Area
The Town of Hopkinton, through the Open Space Preservation Commission, has started and is planning to finish restoring a meadow that has become overgrown with invasives.
Trail Development at Fruit Street
Work on several new connecting segments is ongoing.
Rerouting at Douglas Sands Trail
The trail is being moved to be more isolated and further from homes and to provide a nicer view of the nearby ravine.
New Boardwalks at Brook Hollow
The Hopkinton Conservation Commission has approved construction of a number of new boardwalks to improve often wet and rocky trail portions. Construction hopefully in spring 2021.
New Bridge at Sands Conservation Area
HALT members constructed a boardwalk, the first of several planned, at the first stream crossing on the new Greenwood Trail.
New Trails at Fruit Street
Trails under construction for much of the year were completed: a significant extension to the Mary Pratt South Trail and the new Whitehall Brook Trail. Work on smaller trail segments is ongoing.
Braim Farm Expansion
HALT is closed on a conservation restriction for 4.9 acres of land at 4 Valentine Circle abutting Braim Farm, increasing the contiguous conservation area to 44.7 acres.
A new ⅓-mile trail has been built, providing access to a large area of the forest on high ground on the western portion of the property. Now it is possible to walk a nearly 1-mile loop beginning and ending at the North Mill Street entrance.
Storm Damage of August 4, 2020
A storm with up to 50 mph winds pummeled Hopkinton, resulting in numerous downed branches and trees across our trails. Thanks to our dedicated trail stewards, most of the small debris was quickly moved, and HALT volunteers worked to clear the larger trees. Fortunately, only minor neighboring property damage was reported.
Sands Conservation Area New Trail Development
A number of significant new trails in the Highland Park neighborhood have been built, providing access to land few have seen. This includes the new Greenwood Trail that provides up to a 4-mile loop, and new approaches to Hopkinton State Park from Greenwood Road. HALT has also received permission from the adjacent Highland Park Association to create connecting trails on their open space, greatly improving access to these trails.
Cameron Woods New Trails
A new loop trail with a great view was added to the Cameron Woods trail network.
Peloquin Woods Bridges and Boardwalks
The loop trail around the property has been enhanced with bridges and a long boardwalk over a wetland, so it is possible to walk the trail without getting muddy feet, even in wet times.
Brook Hollow trail and sign enhancements
The interpretive signs along the trail have been relocated to more appropriate locations, the Margot Foster Overlook, badly overgrown, was cleared, and a short spur to a field habitat view was added.
Peloquin Woods Trailhead Sign
After a successful fund drive for the Marjorie Peloquin Memorial Trail, a trailhead sign was installed.
Cameron Woods Bridges
Boy Scout Eagle candidate Casey Pratt and his crew have built two replacement bridges.
Peloquin Woods Trail Extension
HALT members built a ½-mile extension to existing trail, completing a ¾-mile loop.
Fruit Street Trail Clearing
HALT members removed recent blow-downs and debris from Mary Pratt trails, clearing them for cross country skiing.
Brook Hollow New Trail and Bridges
Boy Scout Eagle candidate Nick DePatie doubled the existing trail network to 1.5 miles with a new loop and bridge in the eastern portion of property.
Deneen Conservation Area Boardwalk
HALT members built a boardwalk over wet crossing on the Maspenock Connector trail.
Wiley Woods Fallen Tree Clearing
HALT members removed numerous fallen trees across trails that accumulated over the years. Most trails now suitable for cross country skiing.
Braim Farm New Trail
HALT members opened up access from South Mill Street to ¾-mile trail through the property.
Whitehall Conservation Area Reopening Trail
HALT members reopened overgrown connector from main trial to Piazza Lane across former meadow.
Hopkinton Meadows Trail Reopening and Bridge
HALT members cleared a long-overgrown section of trail and installed a bridge, adding another ½ mile to the existing trail.
Fruit Street Trail Clearing
HALT members and volunteers created a new connection from Mary Pratt North loop to town land on old Pratt Farm property. HALT members also cleared a blow-down.
Peloquin Woods New Trail
HALT members built connecting trail from Front Street to existing trail network.
Ora Cheney Conservation Area New Trail
Boy Scout Eagle candidate Aditya Kaushik built new 0.3-mile trail in spring 2019. Trail was dedicated as Dave Goldman Trail in honor of HALT founder, with trailhead sign installed in September.
Cameron Woods Kiosk Maps
HALT members created new trail maps and installed them in long-neglected kiosks at Whisper Way and Sylvan Way.
Fruit Street New trail and Cleanup
As a community service project, Boy Scout Troop 1 leader Alton Chen and his scouts built a new link from the parking area to northern trails, and did significant cleanup.
Events and Announcements
Bird of Prey Presentation
HALT and the Hopkinton Public Library jointly sponsored a Mass. Audubon Bird of Prey presentation on January 25, 2020.
Hopkinton Holiday Stroll
Board of Directors set up and manned display booth at Masonic Hall, December 7, 2019.
HALT and Upton Conservation Commission organized a joint inaugural trail walk on December 8, 2019.
HALT opened trails to mountain biking October 2019 after meeting with the New England Mountain Biking Association. SVT revisited their bicycling policy and followed suit at neighboring Saddle Hill Conservation Area.
2019 Annual Meeting and New President
Board of Directors held annual member meeting at HCAM studios September 25, 2019 and subsequently elected Morrie Gasser as new president.
Polyarts Festival and Family Day
Board of Directors set up and manned display booths on September 14, 2019.
In April 2019 HALT began a project to develop a new, completely redesigned website. After 6 months of development, website went live on September 7, 2019.