Squam Farm consists of nine separate parcels totaling 210 acres that have been pieced together over the last twenty years through the hard work and generosity of a number of individuals and organizations. These properties are directly contiguous with the Foundation’s 294 acre Squam Swamp property to the north.
The property consists of approximately 200 acres and is circled by a 1.5 mile trail over dirt roads and paths. Squam Farm was formerly used for agricultural purposes, so it is mostly meadows and fields unlike the surrounding areas which are thickly treed. A walk through Squam Farm will showcase its great views, rolling terrain and unique woodlands.
Between 2005 – 2015, we utilized targeted sheep grazing as a land management tool to help maintain open grassland habitats on this property. For more information about this project, please click here.
Squam Farm is accessed via Squidnet Road off of Quidnet Road. From the Rotary, follow Milestone Road ¼ mile and turn left onto Polpis Road. Follow Polpis Road 6 miles and turn left on Quidnet Road. Take the first left onto Squidnet Road and follow it approximately 1 mile to the large parking area at the end. Visitors should enter through the gate located on the left and not enter the property through the gate on the right. The large barn and the area around it are off limits to visitors.
Much of the upland areas in Squam Farm have been mowed by a previous owner. These sites provide excellent examples of the process of vegetative succession: the change in plant species composition over time, where one natural community slowly replaces another until a stable system develops. Mowed meadows on the property currently support an abundance of grasses and perennial wildflowers such as ox-eye daisy, yarrow, hawkweed, and pasture thistle. However, interspersed among the grasses are low shrubs and vines including beaked hazelnut, bayberry, fox grape, and northern arrowwood. If annual mowing were to cease in these areas, they would quickly revert to shrub thickets – the next, intermediate stage of plant succession. In time, seedlings of taller tree species would establish themselves and eventually grow to out-shade the shrubs, thus making way for a hardwood forest community to develop.
The existing hardwood forests on this property contain 40 to 50-foot high stands of black tupelo, red maple, sassafras, red oak, white oak, and American beech trees. Forests such as this are relatively rare on Nantucket. Settlers that arrived in the early 1600’s reported that the island was covered with large trees. However, this quickly changed as they were harvested for home construction, ship building, and firewood. Large areas were also cleared for growing crops and use as pasture land, resulting in the depletion of nutrients from the shallow soils. Since the decline and eventual elimination of livestock grazing in the late 1800’s, taller shrubs have gradually become established in many parts of the island. The Foundation used sheep grazing at Squam Farm between 2005 – 2015 as a means of preventing shrub encroachment into some of the open fields on the property.
Purchased by NCF; includes the fee interest in the restricted property listed as No. 188
Nantucket Land Council, Inc.
Nantucket Land Council, Inc.
Purchased by NCF from the Nantucket Land Council
Gloria J. Grimshaw (this 9.4 acre property is included in No. 202)
The Foundation’s hardwood forests at Squam Farm (as well as our adjoining property at Squam Swamp) were designated as part of the Old-Growth Forest Network in June 2021. The Old Growth Forest Network seeks to create a national network of protected exemplary old growth and secondary growth forests by working towards the designation of one exemplary forest within every U.S. County. Although the concept of “old-growth” forest is not applicable to Nantucket due to its relatively recent glaciation and past land use history, the Foundation’s forests at Squam are some of the oldest and most pristine on the island. This designation is afforded to landowners that have permanently protected their forest sites and have policies in place that prohibit commercial logging.