Public Land & Trails
Lexington has over 1,400 acres of conservation land, including 26 conservation areas with trail access and over 50 miles of trails, many with boardwalks through wet areas. This conservation land creates a patchwork of forests, fields, and wetlands that provides important habitat for plants and wildlife, ecosystem services such as air and water filtration, and adds to the quality of life for Lexington residents. On Lexington's conservation land, visitors have many opportunities for nature enjoyment and passive recreation, including jogging, picnicking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, and bicycling.
Volunteers of the Lexington Conservation Stewards help to care for Lexington's conservation land and keep the trails open for everyone to enjoy.
More information about Lexington's Conservation Areas:
- Conservation Land Trails
- Walking your Dog on Conservation Land (PDF)
- 2015 Open Space and Recreation Plan (PDF) (Hard copies available for viewing in the Conservation office, the Recreation office, and at Cary Memorial Library)
- Conservation Land Regulations
- Land Management Planning
Other Lexington-based trails:
(Please note: these trails are not maintained by the Lexington Conservation Division)
- ACROSS Lexington (ACROSS Lexington brochure (PDF), also available at the Visitor's Center and Land Use, Health and Development Department)
- Arlington's Great Meadow (PDF) (Provided by the Friends of Arlington's Great Meadow)
- Middlesex County Hospital Lands (PDF)
- Beaver Brook North Reservation (PDF)
Please consider supporting the work of the Conservation Stewards and Conservation Division through a donation to the Lexington Nature Trust
Want to request the use of one of Lexington's Conservation areas for passive recreational events such as overnight camping at Willard's Woods, the use of fire pits, or an educational event? Please submit a Conservation Land Use Permit through the online permitting system, ViewPoint Cloud.
Land Management Planning
The Lexington Conservation Commission, Conservation Division staff, and volunteer Conservation Stewards are committed to managing Lexington's conservation land for:
- passive recreation and education programs
- protection of habitat for plants and animals;
- provision of ecosystem services such as flood protection, nutrient cycling, and purification of air and water;
- open space connectivity for both wildlife and trail users; and
- preservation of community character including scenic views and historic features.
Managing our conservation resources responsibly over time requires careful planning, on both the town-wide and individual property scale. In 2014, the Lexington Conservation Commission worked closely with the Massachusetts Audubon Ecological Extension to develop a comprehensive conservation management guide, Principles and Policies for Management of Lexington Conservation Land. The Commission formally approved this guide in February 2015.
Town of Lexington Conservation Land Management Plans
- Cotton Farm (PDF)
- Cotton Farm Orchard Management Plan (PDF)
- Idylwilde Conservation Area (PDF)
- Land Management and Design Plan for Wright Farm (PDF)
- Leary Parcel (part of Lower Vine Brook) (PDF)
- Principles and Policies for the Management of Lexington Conservation Land (PDF)
- Willards Woods Ecological Land Management and Design Plan (PDF)
Conservation Trust Funds
Trust funds have been established to help with the care and maintenance of Lexington's conservation areas. Donations to these funds are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated at any time of the year.
Donations can be made to:
Lexington Nature Trust
C/O Conservation Division
1625 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA 02420
Look for signs like these at the major entrances to our conservation areas.