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 is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.