Three adjacent parcels on the easterly side of North Street and one parcel on the west hosting a parking area and kiosk join with DFW-owned land and the Trout Brook Reservation to form an expansive wilderness and recreation area.
The White Oak Trail begins on the eastern side of North Street, loops around to the north and west, and emerges 4 miles later, returning to the North St. parking lot. It connects with the trail system in Trout Brook. The trails are open to hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. There is an active geocache and letter boxes hidden on the property. The lands, including the abutting state-owned properties are open for hunting.
The North Street property, consisting of the Harrington, Slave, Davis, and Stubblebine lots, is characterized by mostly forested land, with several streams and a spring. There are signs of glacial activity, including an area that may have been the site of a glacial drop, and two large upright stones known anecdotally as Dinosaur Rock.
Of the four lots, the so-called Slave Lot reveals an unpleasant story. The original landowner, Mason, enslaved people on this lot, though we do not know their names. The lot is bordered at one place by a stone wall of very small stones, presumably indicating that this was cleared land used for growing vegetables. Much of the rest of the land along North Street would have been historically used for grazing. Few of the existing trees are old, and the eponymous white oak is a “wolf” tree, meaning it grew up in open pasture.
White Oak Land Conservation Society is named for a large white oak tree located on state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) land just adjacent to the Harrington lot. When measured in 2010, this white oak stood approximately 75 feet tall and had a crown spread of around 50 feet. It was estimated to be approximately 160 years old. In the winter of 2013, it succumbed to age.
Mountain Biking links
Town of Holden Parcel IDs 13-4, 13-6 and 19-4.