Published on March 1, 2020

Rattlesnake Hill Receives Permanent Protection

Aerial view of Rattlesnake Hill in Sharon © MPD
Rattlesnake Hill © MPD

In February 2020, the Town of Sharon and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), with the financial support and encouragement of Mass Audubon, protected the iconic Rattlesnake Hill property—an exciting, rewarding conclusion to a decades-long conservation effort.

Located in Sharon, Rattlesnake Hill is a vast 330-acre property that encompasses beautiful pine and oak forest, streams, and vernal pools. Just a short distance from Mass Audubon's Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, it's a celebrated local landmark with a spectacular view at its highest point. 

And as one of the largest undeveloped natural properties in the Greater Boston area, it was also highly vulnerable to development.

In a tremendous effort by Mass Audubon's partners, the Massachusetts DCR was able to acquire a permanent Conservation Restriction (CR) on the land, which was purchased by the Town of Sharon. Our sincere gratitude also goes out to all the donors who helped Mass Audubon raise the final $150,000 needed to complete the sale.

Map of Rattlesnake Hill & surrounding properties
Click for larger image

Benefits of Conservation

With this stunning landscape under permanent protection, both wildlife and people can enjoy its many benefits in perpetuity.

  • Rattlesnake Hill abuts DCR's Borderlands State Park, and conserving it creates a 2,398-acre protected area and wildlife corridor less than 10 miles from Route 128. 
  • Large areas of conservation land allow for the movement of plants and wildlife as habitats change due to climate change—especially important in this area of urban sprawl.
  • The extensive, healthy forests and wetlands store carbon, making them important natural tools to counter the effects of climate change.
  • The property contains rare wildlife habitat, including 7 certified vernal pools and a unique mosaic of wetlands and forest types. 
  • The land offers miles of trails for passive recreation and spectacular views from the rocky summit.

A Unique & Diverse Landscape

If you have the chance to visit Rattlesnake Hill, it won't take you long to realize that it's a pretty special place, particularly given its location in a relatively densely populated area of eastern Massachusetts. Beautiful forests, exquisite savannahs, and rocky ledges all intermingle with scattered vernal pools throughout the landscape. The land is home to a startling array of plants and animals—some of which are rare or endangered.

It's tremendous fun to traipse around this property. Soon, trails will be officially opened to the top of Rattlesnake Hill, where you can take in all the lovely views it has to offer. 

And in case you're wondering—no, rattlesnakes have NOT been seen on the property for quite some time. However, it would make excellent habitat for them, which explains how the property got its name!