Rules for Use of Canton Conservation Lands

Adopted September 25, 2019

The Canton Conservation Commission owns and manages several hundred acres of conservation land. The Conservation Commission Act (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40, Section 8C) describes how that land can be managed. As conservation land, by law, only passive recreation activities are permitted to take place. Passive recreation includes hiking, walking, road biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, animal tracking, nature study, photography, camping, and picnicking. Most land is specifically protected for natural resource protection, wildlife habitat preservation, and passive recreation. 

1.    Hours of use are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. 

2.    All dogs must be on a leash in accordance with Canton’s Leash Law. Violators are subject to fines.

3.    Cars, trucks, ATVs, ORVs and other motorized vehicles or tools are not permitted except for authorized Town of Canton staff. Metal detectors are prohibited. 

4.    Hunting, fishing, and trapping are prohibited. Catch and release recreation fishing is allowed ONLY at the Earl Newhouse Waterfront Conservation Area on the Canton Reservoir – you must have proper freshwater license. 

5.    On lands with water access, canoes, kayaks, and rowboats are welcome. The launching or docking of motorized boats is prohibited. 

6.    No person shall cut, break, remove, deface, defile or ill-use any structure, fence, sign or have possession of any part thereof.

7.    Trees, bushes, flowers, and plants shall not be cut or removed. No trails shall be cut nor marked, nor any structure constructed, without prior permission from the Canton Conservation Commission. Mining and metal detectors are prohibited. 

8.    Structures such as a lean-to, bridge,  or tower, shall not be constructed without prior permission. All structures found will be promptly removed and violators subject to penalties.  

9.    No person shall have in his or her possession or drink any intoxicating liquor, beverage, or substance and there is no smoking allowed on Conservation Lands. 

10.    No person shall engage in business, sell or expose for sale or give away any goods, wares or circulars without prior permission from the Canton Conservation Commission and a permit from the Select Board. 

11.    Use “Leave No Trace” principals. Trash shall not be left by any visitor on Conservation lands. The dumping or leaving of litter is prohibited. The dumping of grass clippings, leaves, and brush is prohibited.  Glass containers are prohibited. 

12.    Open fires are prohibited. The one exception is the designated fire pit at Pequitside Farm and a permit from the Fire Department is required. On lands where grills are provided, grill fires must be fully extinguished before users leave the grounds. 

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. Enjoy!