Places to Explore — Berkshires & Connecticut River Valley

Not sure where to start exploring? Try visiting one of our wildlife sanctuaries in the Berkshires and Connecticut River Valley.


Nature Center & Trails

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

Morning view of Mt. Tom from Arcadia's meadows © Phil Doyle
© Phil Doyle

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Easthampton and Northampton
Trails: 4 miles

Diverse terrain (forest, meadows, grasslands, marsh, and wetlands) attracts an extraordinary variety of wildlife and is home to a thriving population of wildflowers. Details >

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Lenox
Trails: 7 miles

Set amidst more than 1,000 acres in the Berkshires, the sanctuary's trails through forests, meadows, wetlands, and along Lenox Mountain make for excellent easy-to-strenuous hiking. Details >

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Trails Only

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Pittsfield
Trails: 3 miles

Located just one mile from the center of Pittsfield, Canoe Meadows brings wilderness to Berkshire County’s largest city, attracting warblers, turtles, ospreys, otters, and the occasional bear. Details >

Conway Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

Butterfly © Richard Johnson
© Richard Johnson

Conway Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Conway
Trails: 0.75 miles

A single loop trail with a moderate ascent takes you through a previously harvested white pine and hemlock forest, past aging stone walls, by a large sugar maple “wolf” tree, and over some rocky ledges. Details >

Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Williamsburg & Whately
Trails: 2 miles

This former dairy farm is complete with dramatic geologic features, pristine cold-water streams, serene pastoral landscapes, and a rich forest canopy that supports birds such as wood thrushes and saw-whet owls. Details >

High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary

Pink Lady's Slippers in bloom at High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary © Richard Johnson
Pink Lady's Slippers © Richard Johnson

High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Shelburne
Trails: 5 miles

Enjoy spectacular views of the Deerfield River Valley and Mount Greylock from the ledges at the end of the sanctuary road. Spring is the best time to see many wildflowers. Details >

Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Hampden
Trails: 4 miles

Watch for kingfishers, orioles, signs of beavers, and water striders on the pond's surface at Laughing Brook, the former home of children's author Thornton Burgess. Details >

Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Great Spangled Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary

Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Sheffield
Trails: 2 miles

The rolling hay fields, limestone ridge, conifer forest, and former pastures of Lime Kiln Farm attract more than 50 species of butterflies as well as pileated woodpeckers, alder flycatchers, and red foxes. Details >

Lynes Woods Wildlife Sanctuary

Lynes Woods Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Westhampton
Trails: 1 mile

Take a easy loop walk along a quiet woodland path to crystal clear Lyman Brook and listen to the water rushing over rocks at this former working farm and orchard. Details >

Old Baldy Wildlife Sanctuary

Old Baldy Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Otis
Trails: 0.2 miles

A short (but steep) trail to the summit provides hikers with a spectacular 360° vista of the surrounding sugar maple, white ash, and basswood forests. Details >

Poor Farm Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Poor Farm Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: New Salem
Trails: 0.94 miles

Part of a large mosaic of conservation land, the expansive area provides forest habitat for warblers, ground nesting birds, and large mammals including bobcat, black bear, and moose. Details >

Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Tolland
Trails: 2.5 miles

A challenging trail meanders by large trees, boulders, and an old stone structure before ending at the sanctuary's namesake brook along the southern boundary. Details >

Road's End Wildlife Sanctuary

Road's End Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Worthington
Trails: 1 mile

Once a farmstead, a white pine forest now stands in the old field, and the two gentle trails loop by forests and a brook to transport you to “the middle of nowhere.” Details >

West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary

Butterfly at West Mountain © Richard Johnson
© Richard Johnson

West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Plainfield
Trails: 1.3 miles

The sanctuary provides habitat for moose, black bears, otters, and bobcats as well as for a number of state-listed rare plants and threatened ground nesting birds. Details >

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No Trails

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Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Richmond
Trails: None

Named for a stream that has been impacted by industrious beavers for more than 50 years, Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Richmond is wetland surrounded by woodlands. Details > 

Other Sanctuaries - West


Not Ready for Visitors


Brush Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Warwick

147 ACRES

This wildlife sanctuary lies in a hidden valley located in the secluded western Massachusetts town of Warwick.

Conservation Features: The lovely Gales Brook, strung with beaver ponds and an old mill pond, forms the heart of this forested wildlife sanctuary in Warwick. West of the brook, steep slopes with rocky outcroppings host a variety of forest types, while the gentler eastern slope joins with the Warwick State Forest. Along the banks of the brook an abundance of cardinal flower provides a striking contrast to the greens, browns, and greys of the surrounding landscape.

Cold Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Sandisfield & Otis

770 ACRES

Cold Brook is located in the Lower Berkshire Hills ecoregion, and within an area of conserved land of approximately 2,000 acres or more, including the Granville, Tolland, Otis, Sandisfield, and Cookson State Forests.

Conservation Features: The great majority of the wildlife sanctuary is upland forest, spanning Miner Brook, a tributary to the West Branch of the Farmington River. Eastern hemlock is the dominant or co-dominant canopy tree, with eastern white pine and a variety of typical northern hardwood forest species covering approximately one-quarter of the sanctuary. Moose, black bear, beavers, and mink can all be found on this land.

West Branch Wildlife Sanctuary, Heath

50 ACRES

Located off Hosmer Road in Heath, this wildlife sanctuary is landlocked and not accessible from a public way. It's bounded on the north by the West Branch of the North River. 

Conservation Features: West Branch includes high-quality rich mesic forest community, which is among the best occurrences of this type of natural community within Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuary network. West Branch also includes a rugged, steep slope, carved by landslides, that rises above the southern bank of the river, an exemplary cold water stream.