About Laughing Brook

Meadow at Mass Audubon Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary © Richard Johnson

Fans of Thornton W. Burgess are no strangers to the setting at Laughing Brook. The children’s author wove his tales around the wild animals that live here. The landscape has changed since Burgess called this land home. The “laughing” brook has at times become a roaring river depositing sand used later by turtles, and strong winds have downed trees leaving behind new shelters for salamanders.

Acres

354

Trail Mileage

4 miles

Sanctuary Highlights

  • Home to over 400 plant species, found in or around fields, streams, and fertile soils, especially during this spring ephemeral season.
  • Pavilion on the Mort and Helen Bates Trail that overlooks the pond, where one can watch for kingfishers and orioles, signs of beavers, and water striders on the surface.
  • Burgess’s former home viewable from Main Street, now on the historic register and currently occupied by staff; exterior photographs are encouraged.
  • The Neff Trail, a longer hike to a beautiful New England hemlock forest.
  • Programs offered through Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.