Congratulations! You’ve found the Rocky Woods Quest.
You are on the summit of Cedar Hill, looking out southwest above all the trees. Cedar Hill is the highest point at Rocky Woods putting you at 435 feet above sea level. From here you can see over 10 miles away. Can you spot Gillette Stadium?
There’s more to do and see! Keep scrolling…
Take a bird’s eye view from Cedar Hill. Scan the horizon using binoculars if you have a pair. What feature do you see? Do you notice different types of trees – pine vs. broad leaf? Which are taller?
Do you see any birds in the sky or among the trees nearby? You can often see hawks or vultures riding the thermals above the trees from here. As the air heats up off the land, it rises creating thermals. Hawks and vultures will use these to gain elevation. You will notice them soaring in a circular pattern.
Try to spot a squirrel or chipmunk on the forest floor, using binoculars if you have them. Hawks have binocular vision like you, but their eyesight is 8 times sharper than ours. They can spot dinner from a mile away. For Turkey Vultures it’s all about the smell. They can smell carrion up to a mile away. How sharp is your nose?
This is a perfect spot to sit quietly and observe what is around you. What do you hear, see, smell, or feel? How does this compare with other Trustees Quest sites you’ve visited? What are you experiencing that you don’t where you live?
Visit the nearby Hemlock Knoll trail to feel like you’re hiking in a small canyon, past huge boulders and rock faces on either side.
Take the Yellow Trail – Ridge Trail to find Whale Rock and Echo Pond where the beavers have made their home.
The summit was once the site of a viewing tower, constructed by the Trustees in the 1950s. Can you find what remains of the structure?
In the 18th century, Rocky Woods was land that the Town of Medfield divided into woodlots and gave to residents. Residents who owned these woodlots used sleds to haul out trees for chopping into firewood and building timber. In the early 19th century, a network of logging roads was used to move high-grade slabs of granite that were quarried from a hillside west of Chickering Pond. Rocky Woods granite was reportedly used to build the 1825-26 Dedham Courthouse. In the late 1920s, Dr. Joel Goldthwait began buying woodlots in Rocky Woods and created riding and walking trails through some 300 acres of woodland, which he donated in 1942.