Lexington has over 1,300 acres of conservation land, including 26 conservation areas with trail access. This conservation land creates a patchwork of forests, fields, and wetlands that provides habitat for plants and wildlife and adds to the quality of life for Lexington residents.
On Lexington's conservation land, visitors find the opportunity to walk, jog, picnic, birdwatch, cross-country ski, bicycle, and garden. Over 50 miles of trails cross our conservation land, many with boardwalks over wet areas.
Volunteers of the Lexington Conservation Stewards help to care for Lexington's conservation land and keep the trails open for everyone to enjoy.
More information about Lexington's Conservation areas can be found below:
Conservation Areas Maps >>
Walking your Dog on Conservation Land >>
Open Space and Recreation Plan >>
Conservation Trust Funds >>
Conservation Land Regulations >>
Trail Guide to Lexington
Our newest publication, Trail Guide to Lexington's Conservation Land, is selling fast!
Get yours today for a $10 donation at the main desk at Cary Memorial Library as well as in the Community Development Office in the Lexington Town Offices Building.
Highlights of the guide include:
- 60 pages, 8.5" x 5.5" spiral-bound guide
- covers 25 of Lexington's conservation areas
- color trail maps of nearly 30 miles of trail
- descriptions and historical information
- fits easily in your backpack or even a coat pocket when you head out to explore the town
- the cover is water-resistant for use in all seasons
Proceeds benefit the Lexington Nature Trust Fund, which helps to care for our 1300 acres of public conservation land.
Conservation Area Maps
2015 Public Open and Recreation Space Map >>
The 2015 Open and Recreation Space Map provides an overview of the public open and recreation space in Lexington, including municipal, state, and federal land.
Specific trail maps for Lexington's conservation areas with trail access are available in PDF form below.
Other Lexington-based trails (please note: these trails are NOT maintained by the Lexington Conservation Division)
“Middlesex County Hospital Lands”
“Beaver Brook North Reservation"
Please respect these regulations while enjoying your time on our conservation land.
Land Management Planning
The Lexington Conservation Commission, Conservation Division staff, and volunteer Conservation Stewards are committed to managing Lexington’s conservation land for:
- passive recreation and education programs
- protection of habitat for plants and animals;
- provision of ecosystem services such as flood protection, nutrient cycling, and purification of air and water;
- open space connectivity for both wildlife and trail users; and
- preservation of community character including scenic views and historic features.
Managing these elements responsibly over time requires careful planning, on both the town-wide and individual property scale. In 2014, the Lexington Conservation Commission worked closely with the Massachusetts Audubon Ecological Extension to develop a comprehensive conservation management guide, Principles and Policies for Management of Lexington Conservation Land. The Commission formally approved this guide in February 2015.
This guide, as well as all individual conservation property land management plans approved by the Commission, can be found HERE. Currently, the Commission has approved land management plans for Cotton Farm, the Leary Parcel, and Idylwilde Conservation Area.
Walking your Dog on Conservation Land
The Conservation Commission has passed regulations regarding the walking of dogs on conservation land. These regulations are in place to ensure that all visitors have a safe and comfortable visit to Lexington's conservation areas. For more information, read the press release>>
On all conservation areas:
- Dogs must be under the immediate restraint and control of a guardian, either by leash, or by sight and voice command. Sight and voice command means that dog(s):
- are within the guardian’s sight at all times;
- come to the guardian immediately when called;
- stay at the guardian’s command;
- do not charge or chase any person, dog or wildlife, nor engage in any aggressive behavior;
- do not cause damage to any conservation land, or any land used to gain access to conservation land.
- No more than 2 dogs per person are permitted
- Guardians must carry a waste bag for each dog in their care and pick up and properly dispose of their dogs' waste
- Guardians must carry a leash for each dog in their care
At Willard's Woods: Dogs must be on leash on Saturdays and Sundays at all times
Dogs may be walked off leash on weekdays, but they must remain under the immediate restraint and control of their walker, either by leash, or voice and sight command
Dogs must always be leashed in the On-Leash Zones at the major entryways
Signage for the On-Leash Zones and new regulations will be posted at Willard's Woods in mid-December.
Violations to the regulations are punishable by fines and can be reported to the Police Department at 781-862-1212.
Land Use Subcommittee Report - February 2011
Willard's Woods Regulation Change Decision - June 2010
Open Space and Recreation Plan
Lexington's 2009 Open Space and Recreation Plan is now complete. A PDF of the document is available on the Recreation webpage>>
Hard copies of the document are available for viewing in the Conservation office, the Recreation office, and at Cary Memorial Library.
Conservation Trust Funds
Trust funds have been established to help with the care and maintenance of Lexington's conservation areas. Donations to these funds are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated at any time of the year.
Donations can be made to:
Lexington Nature Trust
c/o Conservation Division
1625 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA 02420
Look for signs like these at the major entrances to our conservation areas.