Radio Tower is one of two publicly accessible parcels of Aucoot Woods, a stretch of more than 1,000 acres of protected land in Marion. (The other is the White Eagle Parcel to the south.)
The 14 radio towers that once stood here were built to handle trans-Atlantic radio traffic and were used by the U.S. Air Force during World War II. These 440-foot towers continued to broadcast weather information worldwide until 1956. Although these radio towers have since been demolished, you can explore what remains of them: concrete tower foundations, thick coils of wire, and massive metal brackets that held the wires in place.
The Radio Tower Parcel has two access points: the main entrance, located behind the Marion Transfer Station on Benson Brook Road, and from the south by way of the trails at White Eagle. If you’re starting from the main entrance, be sure to double-check the transfer stations gate hours.
The trails at Radio Tower weave southwest from the transfer station to White Eagle, which has several more miles of trails to explore. Stop by for a quick walk, or spend a few hours exploring the woods and wetlands of these two connected properties. (Download trail map)
Starting from the yellow gate at the transfer station entrance, walk straight ahead until you reach an old railroad bed, built in 1851 for the now-defunct Old Colony Railroad. This trail is wide and flat, offering an easy walk or a warm up for exploring Aucoot Woods.
To head toward White Eagle, take the first left after the yellow gate onto the red trail, and then stay left when the trail forks. The red trail also branches north toward the railroad bed, but this portion isn’t as well maintained. Radio Tower’s red trail links with the red trail at White Eagle, which makes a wide look through the woods behind that parcel’s signature cranberry bogs.
If you’re looking for a more challenging walk, take a turn down the white trail, which will be on your right as you head toward the railroad bed. Trail markers will guide you past a wooded swamp and the ruins of radio towers. The trail ends at a fence running alongside the transfer station.
Habitats & Wildlife
Radio Tower protects a mixed habitat of upland pine and hardwood forests alongside wetlands. White pine, pitch pine, oak, red maple, Atlantic white cedar, holly and beech trees fill these woodlands, where you might see white-tailed deer quietly pick their way through the trees. Radio Tower’s forested wetlands provide habitat for a rich variety of species, including sensitive frogs and salamanders. In the spring, songbirds like black-capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, Carolina wren and Eastern bluebird fill the air with their songs; stop by the wetlands in winter to spot migratory birds like bufflehead, scaup and hooded merganser.
Aucoot Woods lies to the south of another large area of protected land, Haskell Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Combined, these 2,500-plus acres of protected woods and wetlands act as natural filters that prevent pollution and provide habitat for wildlife.
The Sippican Lands Trust is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 with the mission to acquire, manage, and protect natural areas in Marion for the benefit of the public. The land trust protects 1,350 acres that are open to all.