Designation Date: 7/28/83
Total Approximate Acreage: 1050 acres
Watershed(s): Boston Harbor (Weymouth/Weir) and Taunton
Municipalities: Braintree and Holbrook
The Cranberry Book Watershed ACEC hosts a variety of wetland types, including wooded swamps, a marsh, a pond, a stream, and two quaking sphagnum bogs. These resources have remained largely unaltered despite their relatively urban setting, and support an uncommon variety of plant and animal species. The watershed is a critical high-quality water contributor to the larger watershed that feeds Ricardi Reservoir, which supplies 50% of the water for Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph.
The large quaking bogs are considered to be among the three or four best examples of natural quaking bogs in southeastern Massachusetts. The bogs contain unusual indigenous plant species, including two carnivorous plants, the sundew and the pitcher plant. The bogs are surrounded by Atlantic White Cedars, providing exceptional scenic vistas. A number of state-listed rare species occur within the ACEC. The surrounding rock outcrops support large numbers of chestnut oaks, also unusual in southeastern Massachusetts.
The area is used by the public for hiking and natural science education. More than 300 acres are publicly owned, including the Braintree Town Forest, Braintree Conservation Commission lands, and town-owned land in Holbrook.
Water Bodies included (partially or entirely) in the ACEC
- Rivers: none
- Lakes, Ponds: Cranberry Pond (Braintree)Brooks, Creeks: Cranberry Brook (Braintree)