Most Mass Audubon Trails Reopened; Reservation System at High-Visitation Properties
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA.—Mass Audubon has reopened trails at nearly all its wildlife sanctuaries statewide after careful analysis and consultation with local officials and community leaders, and in accordance with health and government guidelines on easing restrictions due to COVID-19.
Nature centers, restrooms, and other facilities maintained by the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit remain closed, but Mass Audubon is happy to again welcome members and other visitors to explore 200 miles of trails at more than 50 sanctuaries, from the Cape and Islands to the Berkshires.
Mass Audubon President David O’Neill said, “We are so pleased to be able to invite members and the general public to enjoy our trail systems in their full measure, from coastal rambles to secluded streamside paths and invigorating hikes to ridgetops.
“This is what Mass Audubon is all about, especially in challenging times such as these,“ O’Neill noted. “Our wildlife sanctuaries encourage people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to explore the natural world, safely and courteously, whether re-establishing connections with nature or forging them for the first time. These properties truly are sanctuaries, in every sense of the word.”
An online parking/timed-ticket reservation system is being tested at sanctuaries that typically experience heavy visitation. Reservations will help limit the number of visitors at any one time, for everyone's safety and enjoyment. Currently, these properties include Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick and Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield.
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln plans to open its trails and Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton plans to open its outdoor exhibits later this month.
Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.
Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.