Once a place where the Nipmucks planted maize and European settlers raised hay, the site of one of the last remnants of a toll road, The 5th Massachusetts Turnpike chartered in 1799, linked Leominster to Northfield with connections to Brattleboro Vt. and Boston.
Cass Meadow today is being maintained as an example of early successional habitat – grasses and wildflowers that provide a home for butterflies, dragonflies, birds, and animals with a yen for the sun. It includes 36 acres owned by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife abutting 8.5 owned by the town, both lying along the north shore of the Millers River and eastern shore of the Tully River. Strong cooperation between the two levels of government made the preservation of this increasingly rare habitat possible.
From Athol Center, go north at traffic light onto Exchange St. , cross bridge, and turn left onto Pequoig Ave. Continue about 0.5 mi. to entrance on left.
The Entrance to the town conservation property is marked by this entrance sign. Note the horizontal bar. This bar was intentionally placed as a perch for raptors. Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels have been observed using the perch. In winter and early spring watch under the pole for Owl Pellets left by Great Horned Owls that hunt the meadow by night.
Looking back across the wet portion of the meadow The rich birdlife quickly becomes apparent. Listen for the calls Common Yellowthroat and Alder Flycatchers which can be found in summer.
Contact: For Millers River Wildlife Management Area
Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
Central Wildlife District, Temple St.
West Boylston, MA 01583