Shepley Hills Conservation Area Offers, Multiple Access Points, Old Soapstone Quarry, Drumlins, Extensive Trails
Shepley Hills is one of the oldest and largest conservation properties in Groton. It has long been used for equestrian events and many of the equestrian "jumps" are still visible along the trails which, at first glance, look intimidating to the human hiker but are there for equestrians who occasionally share the trails through the property.
Shepley Hills has an extensive trail network and hikers are encouraged to check Groton Trail Committee trail map before embarking. There are multiple entrances to the property but the most popular is adjacent to the rail trail parking lot on Sand Hill Road. The trailhead is hidden behind some trees and brush but it can be discovered by following the front edge of the paved parking area.
The geography is dominated by two "drumlins" (little hills) which means that much of your walk you will be going either uphill or down. Slopes are fairly gentle but they do offer a bit of a workout. The entire area is heavily forested and populated with a number of birds and other wildlife.
The best known feature on a Shepley Hills hike is the old soapstone quarry at the southern end of the property. From the Sand Hill entrance keep bearing right on the trail to reach the quarry. The old soapstone quarry played an important role in the early history of Groton--you can consult the video link below for details.