Reed Brook Preserve

Why You Should Visit
Reed Brook Preserve is nestled in a picturesque hemlock ravine with the brook running down from the west to the northeast to the Deerfield River. Spectacular views of the Deerfield River Valley can be won by climbing the summit trail to the eastern overlook.

Florida, Massachusetts

101 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Nature Conservancy purchased the Reed Brook Preserve in 1982 through the generosity of Winifred Irwin Clapp and her family to protect one of the most unusual bedrock geologic features in Massachusetts: a serpentine outcrop. Serpentine is a grayish-green to dark-greenish-gray rock that has high levels of magnesium and heavy metals like chromium. This outcrop forms a cliff-face running east to west for several hundred yards. It harbors a specialized natural community that has adapted to the extremely nutrient-poor harsh soil conditions. This natural community type is globally rare and an ecoregional conservation priority.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
We have reconstructed a walking trail to replace one that was destroyed during a severe windstorm several years ago. We continue to monitor the rare species here and are  recommending that Reed Brook be added to the Lower New England/Northern Piedmont Ecorgegional Portfolio because of its serpentine community.


Trail is open

What to See: Plants
The hardy plants that grow in open areas here include many unusual species, such as mouse-ear chickweed and maidenhair spleenwort.

What to See: Animals
Black Bear are frequently encountered on the preserve. A porcupine also has made its den here.

All reasonable requests for special accommodations will be made with ample notice.


Access to the preserve is provided from Whitcomb Hill Road to the north of Florida, MA. Travel 2.4 miles out of Florida, on Whitcomb Hill Road, keeping right at the fork and parking at the sign for Torrey Mountain Road on the right. This dirt road is marked with a green street sign and appears as a drivable road on most state maps, but is not.  Park on the side of the road and proceed by foot up the dirt road. To find the start preserve’s hiking trail hike up Torrey Mountain Road and pass the first culvert over Reed Brook. After the next switchback the trail will be on the right. The trail is short but difficult with lots of rocks, steep climbs, a stream crossing, and slippery steps to maneuver.  

The preserve may also be accessed by taking Zoar Rd off of Rt 2 a few miles west of Charlemont, then taking a left onto River Rd and following that until Whitcomb Hill Rd is seen on the left. Torrey Mt Rd will be just up on the left.



Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

comments powered by Disqus

Read our guidelines on posting comments

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings