Franklin Land Trust manages Guyette Farm with active agriculture, wildlife habitat, and community enjoyment as its primary goals for the property.
Birding, Fishing, Hiking, Hunting, Photography, Picnicking
Completed on April 22, 2008
In the spring of 2008, Evelyn Guyette gifted her 107-acre Plainfield farm to the Franklin Land Trust in honor of her late husband Harry Guyette, and his brother, Merrill, and father, Arthur. With this gift, Evelyn ended her family’s 78-year ownership of the property and ensured that good stewardship of its pastures and woodlots which characterized their tenure on the land would be continued, forever.
Today, the Franklin Land Trust manages Guyette Farm with active agriculture, wildlife habitat, and community enjoyment as its primary goals for the property. Just beyond the intersection of Gloyd Rd. and Old South St., a small parking area abuts the site of old Guyette Barn and the Raspberry Hill Community Garden, as well as a trailhead for the 1-mile network of rugged footpaths that span the property. This trail is accompanied by a series of interpretive signs which highlight the land use, natural history and management of the property. Following these through the farm’s northern pastures offers access to early successional habitat managed for woodcock, the hemlock-shaded Meadow Brook, and stands of northern hardwood forest that once supported maple sugaring.
Hiking Difficulty: moderate
Access Guyette Farm at the intersection of Gloyd Rd. and Old South St. parking and trailhead, Plainfield MA. Guyette Farm is about 2¼ miles south-southwest of the center of Plainfield, with the southern boundary of the property sharing the town border with Cummington. The property lies at the intersection of SouthCentral Street and Gloyd Road, with approximately 2500’ of frontage along the northeast boundary of Gloyd Road and approximately 1900’ of frontage along the western boundary of South Central Street.
Topography of Guyette Farm is similar to that of the surrounding landscape, and is characterized by rolling hills and occasionally steeper slopes. The property elevation ranges from 1170 to 1340 feet above sea level, with declining elevation and grades occurring towards the southeast corner of the property. Following this elevation change, Meadow Brook flows from the northwest to the southeast, and approaches 25 to 30 feet in width. The property is less than two miles upstream of the confluence of Meadow Brook and the Westfield River, an area that has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River in accordance with the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
A mixture of field, brushy field, and forest, the 107-acre Guyette Farm property offers a variety of ecosystems, providing a range of resources and requiring unique management strategies. The site of the old Guyette Barn and parking lot currently take up about one-tenth of an acre. The Franklin Land Trust maintains approximately 17 acres as grassland by mowing and manages approximately 15 acres for wildlife habitat; in addition, the Raspberry Hill Community Garden manages approximately 10,000 square feet of fertile soils at the site of the Guyette’s original home garden. The wooded portion of Guyette Farm spans approximately 75 acres, and is composed of hemlock, pine, sugar maple, red maple, white ash, beech, birch, aspen, and cherry.
The Guyette Barn was constructed in the early 19th century and remains a pastoral symbol of rural history and agricultural heritage. With a footprint of approximately 30 by 40 feet, the barn possesses distinctive features that define the structure as an early example of the classic English hinterland barn. Over time, the barn has been subjected to seasonal stresses that have led to its deterioration, and a poor stone foundation jeopardizes the structural integrity of the leaning barn walls. Currently inaccessible for safety reasons, the barn requires significant restoration before continued deterioration threatens collapse. More about the Guyette Barn.