Whitney Road & Marvell Family Conservation Areas

Whitney Road & Marvell Family Conservation Areas

The Whitney Road and Marvel Family Conservation Area are north of Rattlesnake Gutter and abut the forty-acre, town-owned Rattlesnake Gutter Conservation Area that preserves the Gutter’s heart. These two properties border Old Cave Hill and Whitney Roads that provide a pleasant hiking trail to the Loop Trail connecting to the Rattlesnake Gutter Road. There are also with side excursions to the two trails on the Marvel Family Conservation Area


Rattlesnake Gutter Trust owns two properties above the Rattlesnake Gutter cliffs:

  • Whitney Road Conservation Area was part of housing development plan then known as Hidden Acres. The plan included a strip of land behind the house lots that bordered the discontinued Old Cave Hill and Whitney Roads. That land, amounting to over 26 acres, was donated to RGT in 1999. It includes the foundation of the Whitney family home.
  • Marvell Family Conservation Area, an abutting 20-acre property, was purchased by the Trust in 2000 from Pascal Marvell whose family had owned the property for 125 years. The property, used as a woodlot by the Marvell family, borders Whitney Road and the cliffs above Rattlesnake Gutter.

RGT also holds a Conservation Restriction that abuts the discontinued Old Cave Hill Road. In addition, the town owns three properties that, together with the The Paul C. Jones Working Forest (Conservation Restriction held by Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game), provide a vast and diverse range of habitats.

Driving Directions

  • From the Leverett Town Hall go north on Montague Road for 1.7 miles.
  • Turn right/east on Rattlesnake Gutter Road.
  • Parking is along Rattlesnake Gutter Road near the gate (road closed to vehicles beyond the gate).
  • OR from North Leverett Road, take Rattlesnake Hill past the Village Co-op to the kiosk for the Paul C. Jones Working Forest. Walk up the Rattlesnake Gutter Road taking the Loop Trail at the top to Whitney Road.


Whitney Road, which is no longer a town road, provides a fine trail that runs between these two properties. There are other old wood roads criss-crossing the properties, reminders, along with stone walls and the cellar hole, that this land was once farmed. The two newer trails on the Marvel Family Conservation Area provide hikers with close views of the spectacular rocks above the Gutter. Farther along Whitney Road are trails to the left/north to Rattlesnake Hill and to the right/south a trail connecting Whitney Road with Rattlesnake Gutter Road.