Try a trail close to home — Osprey Point Trail
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The Osprey Point Trail is in the Headwaters Conservation Area in Westborough. The trail head is at the end of Andrews Street. There is a small parking area. Dogs are welcome!

Discovering the Osprey Point Trail

By Kelly Reilly
At the beginning of this summer, I ventured along the Osprey Point Trail for the first time.  There is a vast network of intersecting trails to be explored in the Headwaters Conservation Area (HCA), but my destination was specifically Osprey Point, where I hoped to glimpse the famed osprey nest. 
The trail begins at a small parking area on Andrews Street, and from there follows the signs for Osprey Point.  I was immediately plunged into a dense and beautiful wooded area that was lush and green in the hazy, shaded sunlight.  Within minutes I heard the harmonious songs of the many birds flitting through the treetops.

At each of the three trail intersections along Osprey Point Trail, I followed the trail straight ahead, instead of veering off to the left or right.  Soon I was able to see the edges of Mill Pond through the trees and crossed a small plank bridge that extends over the swampy section of the shore where there is a vernal pool.  After the total of a half-mile walk, I arrived at Osprey Point, and I could see a spectacular view of Mill Pond and the dead trees standing upright in the water where the osprey nest was perched on a platform. 
The scene was captivating, not only to myself but also to a few other hikers and a person fishing silently in the sunny, still morning.  I decided to head back to my car by way of the Pumphouse Trail, which runs along the pond shore, and then I followed straight along an old road that leads back to Andrews Street.   This area held such beauty that I was inspired to explore deeper into the network of trails that crisscross the Headwater Conservation Area again and again.
Kelly Reilly has been walking local trails since she moved to Westborough in 1996.  She recently graduated from Colorado College with a degree in environmental policy.
Many thanks to Kelly Reilly for the Mill Pond and Osprey Point sign photos and to Garry Kessler for the osprey photo.
Discovering the Osprey Point Trail at Headwaters Conservation Area
The Osprey Point trail is as lovely in autumn as it is in the rest of the year. This easy trail is popular in all four seasons, as you can tell on a winter morning after a snowfall when you find the trail already packed down by the feet of previous walkers.  The 100-acre Headwaters Conservation Area (HCA) became Westborough’s second conservation area in 2003, after the Town purchased the property in 1998.  The HCA protects the headwaters of the Assabet River and also contains Town wells supplying drinking water to Westborough.  Mill Pond School is adjacent to the southwestern portion of the HCA. Mill Pond itself is a state flood control reservoir created in 1968 to help regulate fluctuating water levels that affect towns downstream on the Assabet and Concord Rivers.
Trail information
Location: From Westborough center, follow West Main Street (Route 30) west towards Grafton. Just past the Lutheran Church, take a right onto Old Nourse Street; then a right onto Andrews Street to the end where there is a small parking lot.
Length: About a half-mile to Osprey Point; the round trip to and from the Andrews Street parking lot is about one mile.
Terrain: mostly flat, with a mild hill near the Andrews Street entrance (downhill on the way out, uphill on the way back). Near the vernal pool, the trail can be muddy or wet in spring or after heavy fall rains.
Trail map: Headwaters Conservation Area Trail Map
A description of this trail walk from the trail map brochure: From Andrews Street, walk into the sand pit area and past the kiosk to enjoy the views of Mill Pond. Continue on the Osprey Point Trail past a large vernal pool on your left to Osprey Point, one-half mile from the start. Stop here to catch a view of the osprey nest. Then return the way you came, or vary your route on the way back by turning left onto the Pumphouse Trail to loop along the shoreline on your way back to the parking lot.

  • In summer, look for butterflies at the Butterfly Garden near the beginning of the trail, shortly after the kiosk.  The garden has a wild look and is planted primarily with native plants that serve either as nectar sources for butterflies or as host plants for their eggs and caterpillars.
  • A stone bench (in memory of John and Jacob Nunley) offers a quiet place to sit and enjoy the natural surroundings. Find it a few yards off the trail on your right, just before you enter the woods.
  • Notice the vernal pool (a “spring pool” that often dries up by the end of summer or early fall) is about half-way to Osprey Point. In late March or early April, listen for the quacking calls of wood frogs that come to the pool to breed.
  • At Osprey Point, look out over the water for the distant osprey nest on a platform (installed to replace the disintegrating tree that used to hold the osprey nest). Watch for the pair of osprey that usually inhabit the area from early April to September.
  • Look also for some of the many mute swans – sometimes more than a hundred in the fall – on the waters of Mill Pond.  In spring and fall, notice the large, dark great crested cormorants perched silently in the dead trees in the water.
Click the links below to read previous editions of WCLT’s “Try A Trail Close to Home”:
Bowman Conservation Area
Gilmore Pond in Upper Jackstraw Brook Reservation

To download all the Charm Bracelet Trail Maps click here.
WCLT members and friends:  Tell us about your own favorite trail in town! 
Email us about it (300 words or less) at so we can add some trail information and share it with others.  Photos welcome!
Copyright © 2016, Westborough Community Land Trust, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 838, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

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Westborough Community Land Trust · PO Box 383 · Westborough, Ma 01581 · USA

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