Sheep Hill

Location

Map Legend

Sheep Hill and WRL Offices
Secondary Parking on Bee Hill Road

Icons on the map can be clicked to get directions on Google Maps (works best for Parking Icons).
Meadow Walk
Rosenburg Ramble

Directions

From Field Park (the roundabout) in Williamstown, drive south on Route 7.
After 1.4 miles, Sheep Hill is on the right.

Overview

Sheep Hill is the home of Williamstown Rural Lands.

Once-upon-a-time, it was a 50-acre dairy farm known as Sunny Brook Farm. Art and Ella Rosenburg, and their son “young Art,” moved to the farm in 1933. They maintained a milking herd for more than 50 years and lived in the picturesque farmhouse just off of Cold Spring Road.

The Mary & Craig Lewis Center for Nature and Rural Heritage

Today, the 19th-century farmhouse is the home base for WRL. It holds our offices, as well as a small lending library, meeting spaces, and a classroom. It is the jumping-off point for seasonal programming like Full Moon and Firefly Hikes, Kids Nature Programs, and public lectures on topics ranging from the American Chestnut to Winter Tracking to Bikepacking. You can also start your own adventures here: the classroom is stocked with binoculars, field guides, and other materials that you can use while exploring Sheep Hill.

The Barns & Sheds

Sheep Hill has a variety of barns and outbuildings, all of which are still in use. But don’t worry: instead of horses and cows milling about, you’ll find interpretive exhibits that will enrich your visit to Sheep Hill and Williamstown.

The Tool Shed, Milk House, and Horse Barn feature displays about the farm’s history. The Nature Cabin is always open, with frog nets and other nature exploration materials.

The Dairy Barn, our largest space, now houses the Dietze Interpretive Center. Inside, you’ll find interactive nature and history displays, maps, and other information to enhance your visit to Sheep Hill and WRL’s other properties.

Sheep Hill

The stunning backdrop to all of this is Sheep Hill. At one point, this steep slope was commonly grazed by sheep. Today, it is maintained by annual mowing. Walking loops tour the field, and the view of Mt. Greylock to the east is about as good as it gets.

There are several wooded areas — hedgerows and forest edges — throughout the hillside. One stand of trees at the field’s south end adjoins a steep-sided, forested gorge through which a perennial stream flows. At the base of the hill, there is a wetland and pond (Josiah’s Pond), and a small seepage marsh.

The farmhouse and grounds are open year-round to the public. Picnicking, hiking, and bird watching are just some of the activities possible at Sheep Hill. (Sledding is a wintertime favorite!)

Size: 52.5 acres

Longest Walk: 1.5 miles

Acquired: 2000

Photo Gallery


History

Sheep Hill has primarily been used as agricultural land since the early 19th century. The slopes were grazed by cows and sheep, and some crops were harvested during the mid-to-late 20th century.

In addition to farming, Sheep Hill was also used as a local ski area. The Williams Outing Club operated a rope ski tow here during the 1930s-1950s.

Check out the WRL YouTube playlist for videos about Sheep Hill’s past.


Download Maps and Other Documents for Sheep Hill

Activities

Backcountry skiing, Dog walking, Hiking, Nature Study, Picnicking, Sledding

Additional Information

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