Wheeler Farm & Flint Fields
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Wheeler farm is a 54-acre property north of Lincoln Center that was settled in 1717 and farmed for nearly 250 years. A stroll through the former fruit and dairy farm reveals evidence of historic cultivation and orchards. The historic Lexington Road Cemetery also contains the oldest burying ground in Lincoln, the Precinct Cemetery.
Wheeler Farm was placed on the market in 1965. As a result, a group of Lincoln residents formed the Rural Land Foundation (RLF), a nonprofit conservation trust with ability to buy and sell land. The RLF purchased Wheeler Farm and subdivided 11 lots for sale, while transferring 54 acres for conservation to the LLCT. This land transaction is likely the first “limited development” conservation planning strategy in the country, in which private home lots are strategically clustered to ensure the greatest amount of land can be conserved. RLF is nationally recognized for its creative approach to land conservation.
The two adjoining agricultural fields at Flint Fields are among the oldest family farms in New England. The land was deeded to Thomas Flint in the 1640s, including all of what is now Lincoln Center and Flint’s Pond. A combination of landowner generosity and public and private efforts made the conservation of these fields possible. In 2004, RLF acquired the lot adjacent to the fields, preserving the hillside that looks out over the South Field. The fields continue to be used for agriculture and remain a remarkable open space resource in the center of Lincoln.
Park at Bemis Hall or the Lincoln Library. Walk on Old Lexington Road to the trail entrance. The trail follows the edge of Flint Fields. At the end of the fields, the trail diverges into a loop. Take the right fork to walk by the Cemetery. The trail crosses Wheeler Road and heads back towards the center of town and back through the fields. This route is about 2 miles, round-trip. Add an extra half mile if you explore Flint Fields.