Trails at Laughing Brook
Explore 4 miles of trails at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Hampden.
Mort and Helen Bates Trail
Length: .08 miles
Details: Easily accessible, this trail is a great introduction to Laughing Brook. Stop a moment at the pavilion that overlooks the pond and watch for belted kingfishers and red-winged blackbirds, as well as bluebirds and tree swallows darting for insects over the water’s surface. Signs of beaver may be evident to those with a careful eye. Look down and you may see water striders or water boatmen on or under the water’s surface.
East Brook Trail/Burgess Trail
Length: 2.34 miles combined
Details: The stone walls and old orchards along these trails tell the stories of human impact upon the land. Just think of how different the land here must have looked just 150 years ago! The rich woodlands provide habitat for migratory songbirds, wildflowers, mammals, and amphibians. Cross small seeps draining into East Brook. Rest on one of the glacial erratics, which dot the landscape and visit a lively vernal pool in the spring.
Length: 1.88 miles
Details: For a more adventurous, lengthy hike, add the Neff Loop. Listen for hermit thrushes and even the occasional barred owl call. Notice the changes in the terrain and plant communities as you walk along.