DNRT Reserves are natural areas and not inspected or maintained for public safety. Please be aware of your surroundings and take responsibility for your own safety. If you choose to enter, you assume all risk of injury and release anyone holding an interest in the area from all liability for your injury.
General Safety Tips
- Bring a map with you or take a photo of a map at the kiosk. Make yourself familiar with the route you plan on taking before heading out. Blazes (trail markers) are located on trees throughout the trails.
- Bring food and water and stop to take breaks if you are tired.
- Be aware of your surroundings, including the forest floor. Rocks, roots, and other obstructions are bound to be encountered in the woods.
- Wear appropriate footwear. Sneakers and boots are best. We do not recommend any open toe shoes.
- Dress for the weather. Wearing layers that can be shed or added are always helpful.
- Wear insect repellent to deter mosquitos and ticks.
- DNRT Reserves are very safe, but if you encounter anything strange, have a run-in with a dog, or any other out of the ordinary circumstance, please let us know and contact the police if it is an emergency.
- Wear a whistle or alarm in case you become lost or are injured and need assistance.
Hunting, tree stands, trapping, and firearms are not allowed on DNRT property. However hunting is allowed on several properties that are adjacent to DNRT reserves. As a safety precaution we recommend that during the hunting season our reserve visitors wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange clothing or material on the head, back or chest. The Massachusetts hunting season schedule ("Seasons Summary") can be found here.
Ticks and Lyme Disease
Deer ticks and dog ticks are tiny insects found throughout natural and residential areas of Massachusetts. Ticks can bite humans, dogs, and other animals, and spread a variety of very serious infectious diseases, including Lyme Disease and babesiosis. In general ticks are most active in spring, summer, and fall, but can be active during warm winter days with temperatures above freezing. Ticks attach to people or animals that come into direct contact with them, and once contact is made will usually travel around the surface of the clothing and body for hours before finding a spot to bite. The best way to prevent tick bites is to prevent them from getting access to your skin.
- Wear long sleeves and pants tucked into socks.
- Consider applying DEET or Permethrin repellent to clothing/shoes.
- After being outdoors check entire body carefully for ticks, as well as children, clothing, and pets.
- Change clothing and machine dry your outdoor clothes for 20 minutes at high heat.
Should you find a tick that has bitten you, remove by pulling gently at head with tweezers.
Place the tick in a plastic bag or jar for diagnosis should you become ill. Ticks can be tested here. Consult you physician for further medical care.
Have a safe and enjoyable visit!