This large preserve contains a diverse assortment of topographies and wildlife. The east side of the preserve is covered by a series of wetland areas including a red maple swamp, and shrub swamp, a march, a stream, and a series of linked ponds that were formed by earlier gravel mining in Ashford.
To the west of the wetlands, land rises steeply to exposed bedrock ledges, and continues on a more gently slope through an oak-hickory forest with mature trees and a largely closed canopy. The stone walls that dot the forest provide clues to the land’s past life as a pasture, most likely used in colonial times and until World War II. Intermittent streams run from the forest in the west to the wetlands in the east.
The Rankin Property abuts a large town-owned parcel. Both parcels play an important role in protecting a part of the Mt. Hope River watershed, as well as the many wetland habitats associated with it.
About the Property
Location: Ashford, west of Route 89 and north of Route 44.
Donor: Julie Rankin Trust
Acreage: 81 acres
Stewards: Dave Sherman, Wally Robinson and Valerie Oliver