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Shaker Glen
 Shaker Glen Guided Hike - June 2, 2007
WREN organized a guided hike of the Shaker Glen Conservation Area on Sat., June 2. The glen is located in the region between Lexington and Russell St., just west of 4 Corners, with a trail head located on Summit St. Click here for a map of the location. The trail parallels a small ravine and Shaker Glen Brook, crossing over three bridges, two of which were rebuilt in 2005, as detailed here.

The hike–led by WREN co-chair Gerry Kehoe–lasted just over one hour. Gerry helped to point out several of the wide variety of plants and flowers lining the trail, along with key features. The latter included a huge boulder in the ravine, a hemlock grove, Colonial era stone walls, and the Indian Bowl.

Prior to the hike, Marie Coady presented a brief history of the glen. The trails were well groomed, thanks to Rodney Flynn who raked the trails earlier in the week. About 15 people participated in the event.

Following are additional images from the hike. Photos by Mark Rosenblum.

 Shaker Glen Walk Photos - June 4, 2005
CLICK HERE to VIEW PHOTOS of the June 4, 2005 Shaker Glen Walk

CLICK HERE for a SATELLITE VIEW of the Shaker Glen Conservation Area. You can Zoom In and Out and move around to other areas of Woburn.

 Shaker Glen Bridge Rebuilding Completed!
After spending eight plus hours in Shaken Glen today our weary crew has now completed the construction portion of the Shaker Glen Project 2005. In this portion of the Project two bridges in the Glen, that were in disrepair, were disassembled and all materials were remove from the Glen. Two completely new bridges were constructed at these same locations. This was no easy task as there is no access into the Glen other than by foot trails. So everything: tools for the job, construction materials (including four 800+ pound utility poles) and all demolition materials and debris had to be hand carried both in and out of the glen.

Along with the bridge work, every trail in the Glen was cleaned and remarked; several 'snags' were cleared and removed from Shaker Glen Brook and even some tree work was completed.

Today's crew once again under the leadership of Tom Brady & John Tancredi included (in no particular order) Paul Carpenter, Ed Quinn, Bill Maher, Ed Cooney, Mike Harriman, Lisa Weiss, Fel Medeiros, Paul Huckfeldt, Rod Flynn, Gerry Kehoe, Bob Gonsalves, Jack and Sam McElhinney. And special thanks to a neighbor of the Glen, Jack Callahan, who was out walking the Glen with his dog, Toby. Jack pitched in and spent more than an hour helping us pull the final two old utility poles out of the gorge and after they were cut up helped lug the chunks the several hundred yards out to our refuse pile on Summit St.

So the Glen is now in top shape, with all new bridges, all visible trash removed and all trails cleaned and marked. New Informational trail maps will soon go to press. Some things to come in the future are new informational trail makers that will correspond to the stations listed in the new brochure.

If you get a chance take advantage of WREN's Nature Walk planned to step off at 1 PM on June 4th from the Summit St entrance. This walk will be lead by a Botanist, a Historian and a Geologist

 Rebuilding Bridges at Shaker Glen Conservation Land - May 14 & 21, 2005
At the direction of Tom Brady and John Tancredi and with a grant obtained by a Planing and Education Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Urban Forestry Program, a group of volunteers started the rebuilding of two foot bridges in the Shaker Glen Conservation Area.

Volunteers are needed to help with the project on the following dates:

Saturday, April 2, 2005.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Saturday, May 21, 2005

We will meet at 9:00am at the old Tarkey School parking lot on Russell St. (directly accross form Silver Mine Road)

We need several volunteers to help with the following:

A. Dismantle and remove the two old bridges
B. Carry tools, lumber and other building materials into the Glen
C. Remove some fallen Hemlocks from the trails near the bridges
(This will be an 'all day' project)

Lunch and cold drinks and water will be provided to volunteers. Bring and wear work gloves and work boots or sturdy foot wear.

Please help us spread the word. If you are interested in helping with this project, please send an email to:

Fel Medeiros: FSMedeiros@aol.com

 Photos of Recent Preparation Work at Shaker Glen
The group of volunteers included: Mike Bennett, Charlie Culhane, Dick Farr, Rod Flynn, Evan Galante, Mike Harriman, Paul Huckfeldt, Dave Kehoe, Gerry Kehoe, Kate Kehoe, Sarah Kehoe, Fel Medeiros, Paul Medeiros, John Morton, Ed Quinn, Anders Rathley, Marcl Rodrigues, Lisa Weiss and Ed Cooney.

More stages of the bridge reconstruction will continue over the coming Saturdays. Tools and materials to rebuild the bridges will be brought into the glen and the dismantling of the old bridges will be completed and construction new bridges will be performed
Using ropes, pulleys and man-power, the huge utility pole was dragged across the forest floor to just above the bridge location.
The group worked with ropes and pulleys to bring two huge utility poles down into the glen to their final resting place spanning across Shaker Glen Brook. The poles will be the support structure for bridges number 2 and 3 in the Glen.
More info will follow about the bridge rebuilding project. The actual reconstruction of the two bridges is still scheduled for May 14th and 21st, so keep those dates free.
October 3, 2004

Took a walk along the Shaker Glen Conservation trail today and the downside was that it was muddy---even went in up to my ankle at one point. But the upside was the Shaker Glen Brook which was bubbling along and making beautiful music as it made it's way along the gorge.

If you decide to go walking there please keep in mind that it is slippery this time of year as the leaves are falling and with all the rain they can make it very slippery at points especially where they cover rocks. It is also a good idea to wear a good pair of hiking boots as it is a demanding walk. And whatever you do avoid the bridges. They are unsafe although someone has been making an effort to have them be at least passable, but I avoided them as I had a small dog with me on a leash and didn't want him to fall through the cracks. If it was Sadie it would have been a different story as she is an old pro along the trail. Also keep in mind the trails are no longer well marked and there is a lot of overgrowth and fallen trees blocking them.

But nothing can match the unspoiled natural beauty of the Shaker Glen.

Marie Coady

 One of Woburn's Most Beautiful Conservation Areas
Shaker Glen is a densely wooded area on the Shaker Glen Brook. A pond and cattail marsh are located at the lower portion of the glen and an evergreen forest with eastern hemlocks, red cedars, and white pines runs along the northern bank.

Shaker Glen is considered by many to have the finest hemlock grove in Massachusetts. The trees soar to heights of over seventy-five feet. Their graceful branches form a canopy, filtering out noise and shading the forest floor which is covered with velvety green moss and a cushion of pine needles. British Soldiers, a lichen so named for its bright red color, and coral fungus, grow in the moist, rich soil. Along the southern bank of the brook is a hardwood forest with towering oaks and sycamores, black birches, and red maples. The low bushes and shrubs which grow here attract many species of birds and woodland creatures such as squirrels, woodchucks, and foxes. The Shaker Glen Brook has carved its path through the rocks, creating a spectacular ravine. Two footbridges cross the brook at either end.

A marked nature trail extends past the pond and marsh and through the forest on either side of the Shaker Glen Brook. A printed brochure describing fourteen nature stations along the way is available free of charge from the Conservation Commission office. The upper portion of the glen is quite steep and presents itself as a challenging climb for hikers. An Indian Bowl has been discovered in the rocks. Excellent fishing is available in the brook and one can picnic or camp (with written permission of the Woburn Conservation Commission) along the banks.

Planned Activities: The Woburn Conservation Commission would like to encourage rustic group camping at Shaker Glen and plans to set up a picnic area along the northern bank of the brook. The footbridge at the upper portion of the glen will be rebuilt. Conservation will continue to offer guided field trips and hopes to encourage greater use of Shaker Glen by schools, scout groups, and others seeking to explore and enjoy a wilderness area right in their own city.

The Shakers were a religious sect in England which fled to America during the late eighteenth century and established a community at New Lebanon, New York. Shortly thereafter, a small group, led by Ann Lee, came to Woburn to start a Shaker “family”. They set up a farm along what is today Lexington Street. Woburn soon proved unfavorable to their settlement so they returned to New York. In 1853 the area where they had lived was given the name Shaker’s Glen. In 1977 a descriptive stone marker was erected at the Summit Street entrance of Shaker Glen to commemorate the Shaker settlement.

Remaining portions of an old stone wall serve to remind one that the area was once farmland.

 Some History of Shaker Glen


By Marie Coady

                There’s a marker as you enter the Shaker Glen Conservation Area at the bottom of Summit  Street in Woburn that reads in part: Inhabited about 1781 by the Shakers, The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming.

                Well, as you may have already guessed, the Shaker religion never really caught on. In fact, there is only one Shaker Community remaining.  It’s located at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, ME.  That remaining Shaker Community believes that the

 Where is the Shaker Glen Conservation Area?
Map courtesy of Gene Vogt
 Shaker Glen's Indian Bowl
Photo by Mark Rosenblum