Trails at Arcadia

Sensory trail at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
Universally accessible sensory trail at Arcadia

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Explore 4 miles of trails at Arcadia, including an 850-foot universally accessible trail that overlooks a vernal pool. Our trails meander through a diverse terrain of forest, meadows, grasslands, marsh, and wetlands. 

Loop Trail at the Visitor Center

This boardwalk and trail offers an easy, accessible view to several habitats—vernal pool, pond, forest, edge, and old-field. Visit the butterfly garden at the visitor center entrance or the native wildflower garden at the trailhead.

Watch for painted turtles and bullfrogs. Look for subtle changes between habitats. Watch for insects in the old field. Look overhead for birds hunting for those insects.

Old Coach Road-Fern Trail Loop

Once part of a road connecting Northampton and Easthampton, Old Coach Road Trail is wide and slightly hilly, going through upland forest. Look to the left for furrows left by plows when this forest was open field.

For a longer walk you can continue on Old Coach Road to River Trail, which connects with Fern Trail, and is one of our most beautiful trails into this stand of floodplain forest. The viewing tower looks out over the Mill River. Continue on Fern Trail for a ramble around the Old Orchard where migrating warblers visit annually. Fern Trail is subject to periodic flooding.

Habitat Restoration Tour

Walk or drive down the driveway and turn left on to Old Springfield Road. Cross the bridge* over the Mill River where the Mill meets the Oxbow of the Connecticut River. If driving, park either on the right before the bridge or on the right in a parking area shortly after crossing the bridge. Continue on foot down Old Springfield Road and take the first left on Pynchon Meadow Road.

Arcadia maintains fields on both sides of the road. On the north side of the road is a grassland habitat, restored and managed for grassland birds. On the south side of Pynchon Meadow Road, staff and volunteers are restoring shrubland primarily for increasingly threatened songbird species. Populations of many grassland and shrubland nesting bird species have been declining due to loss of habitat in New England and beyond.

*Mill River Bridge closed to vehicles in the winter and spring