Points of Interest

Martha's Point

Help us protect Martha’s Point! We would like you to visit, but please stay on the designated paths to protect the delicate vegetation.

Martha’s Point is a special place for several reasons. It provides a beautiful view of the Sudbury River as it slowly meanders beside Conantum. To the right (south) is Fairhaven Bay. The Marlboro Formation, a geologic band containing calcite in paper-thin layers, runs from Martha’s Point to Lee’s Bridge (Rt. 117). Outcroppings of these calcite layers support rarer plants that thrive in circumneutral (sweeter) soils. In and around the ledges at Martha’s Point some of the rarer plants include the cliff dwelling ferns – ebony and maidenhair spleenworts, and blunt-lobed woodsia, rock spike moss (Selaginella rupestris), early saxifrage, columbine, black snakeroot, early buttercup, rue anemone, and more.

The flora at Martha’s Point has been studied and chronicled by botanists, including Ray Angelo, Richard Eaton, Minot Pratt, Henry David Thoreau, and others. It is also said that Native inhabitants long ago placed their weirs at this location, taking advantage of the point’s prominence to catch fish migrating up and down the shoreline. Herring, alewife and shad used to spawn in the river and move back to the ocean. Eels used to do the opposite. The SuAsCo Rivers have not had migrating fish and eels since 1711 because of the dam in Billerica, now named the Talbot Dam. There is a move to remove the dam, but keep in mind that Henry David Thoreau tried to have the dam removed about 170 years ago.