Bare Meadow Conservation Area

  • Bare Meadow Conservation Area
  • Walkable Reading
  • Bare Meadow is a 125-acre site located in the northeast area of Reading. Bare Meadow was acquired from three major sources between 1972 and 1973. The largest parcel was a gift from Miriam Corey. More acreage was acquired from Reading residents, Mr. Bachelor and Mr. Zilano. The remainder of the land was acquired through smaller purchases. An additional 30 acres was added to Bare Meadow in 1983 by swapping a smaller parcel of highland with a citizen for a desired area. In 2007, the town purchased the abutting Mattera property at 1481 N. Main St., including a cabin. There are four entrances to Bare Meadow, all marked by large brown signs. The two primary entrances are off Pearl St. next to #717 and at the Mattera Cabin at 1481 North Main St. Both have ample off-street parking. The third is off Haverhill St. north of Batchelder Road. Parking is available on Batchelder Rd. The fourth is off Franklin Street next to the Wood End Cemetery. Parking is available in the cemetery and on Partridge Road. Bare Meadow includes a wonderful variety of terrain and plant communities. At the western end there are two small open meadows with long grasses, remnants of an apple orchard. In the center there are beautiful wooded areas and rocky hills with a network of trails that connect with the Northern Area Greenway. The property spans from Main Street to Haverhill Street. Many stone walls mark earlier farming uses of this land. Bare Meadow Brook flows through red maple swamps and open marshes on the western side and joins the Ipswich River at the northern end of the conservation lands. There are six certified vernal pools in Bare Meadow. Many plant species can be found here including lady slippers, partridge berry, marsh marigold, prince s pine, trout lily, witch hazel, and others. Wildlife is plentiful. There are white-tailed deer, red fox, coyote, raccoon, and others. It is a great area for bird-watching. The American woodcock nests here, and in the early spring it performs an amazing courtship flight over the two meadows. Great horned owls nest here and recently, Bluebirds have nested in the bluebird boxes installed in the meadow that can be viewed from a platform at the high spot of the meadow. Recent improvements to Bare Meadow have included the construction of a handicapped accessible trail running approximately 150 yards from the parking lot at the Mattera cabin to a new viewing platform constructed at the highest point overlooking the meadow. In addition, the trails have been cleared and improved with new blazes, boardwalks, signage, and maps. Bare Meadow is a wonderful place to visit year round. Spring brings the advent of wild flowers, nesting birds, and a chorus of frogs calling from the vernal pools. The beautiful oak and pine forest offer a respite from the hot summer days, while in the autumn, Bare Meadow comes alive with the colors of fall. During the winter, folks can enjoy sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing along the well-marked trails.
  • 03-2010
  • Reading, Mass : Walkable Reading



Walkable Reading, “Bare Meadow Conservation Area,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed May 8, 2021,


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