Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
snow on rocks by river in winter

Hikes to Heat You Up

January 17, 2024

Is the cold weather keeping you inside? It’s time to go outdoors, connect with nature, and get your blood pumping! To get started with a wintertime trek, bundle up and check out some of these sanctuaries.

Going Up?

Start on the Drumlin Loop Trail at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln. A moderate incline guides you to a scenic overview on the top of the drumlin at
287 feet high. On clear days, look for the peak of faraway Wachusett Mountain in the west. 

For a quick but strenuous walk, try Summit Trail at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon. This trail brings you to the highest point in the sanctuary (534 feet). Shaped by glaciers thousands of years ago, the bedrock still shows faint striations made by glacier-dragged rocks. 

To reach new heights, take the Trail of the Ledges at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox. This steep 1.3 mile hike will take you to an elevation of 2,100 feet at the top of Lenox Mountain. Look to the north to enjoy the vista of Mount Greylock, to the west for the Taconic Range, and to the southeast for the Catskill Mountains of New York.

What Goes Around Comes Around

Don’t worry about getting lost on a looped trail because you’ll always know where you’ll end up—at the beginning! Cedar Pond Loop at Cedar Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Wenham is a breathtaking mile-long trail circling a small pond and passing Atlantic white cedars, eskers, and kettle ponds along the way. To get to the loop, take a left onto Higginson Way from the parking lot access trail.

At North River Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield, try two loops—River Loop and Woodland Loop Trail. The River Loop takes you through a red maple forest and
passes an observation deck of the namesake river. As the name suggests, the Woodland Loop Trail leads you along a mixed forest where large oak, native witch hazel, and American holly trees provide habitat for several woodpecker species and Wild Turkey.

For a full 360-degree view of a pond, hit the Grassy Pond Trail at Ashumet Holly in East Falmouth. As you travel through the sanctuary, you may discover many varieties of hollies. Ashumet has more than 1,000 hollies, of 8 different species and 65 varieties.

Ditch the Boots

Swap out your hiking boots for a pair of snowshoes to really get your pulse racing. Just about all of our wildlife sanctuaries welcome snowshoeing from December to March, as long as there are at least 6 inches of snow on the ground.

Some sanctuaries even offer snowshoe rentals. Rent a pair at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester and head to the Wilson Meadow for an even terrain. The trail runs
parallel to the Wilson Marsh, so keep your eyes out for overwintering ducks and animal tracks in the snow.

More to Explore

There's always more to explore! Find more sanctuaries and trails to explore this winter.

Find a Place to Explore

This article was originally featured in our winter 2024 Explore member newsletter