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.
View of the valley from the Bluff at High Ledges

West

Take in the wonders of nature at our 15 sanctuaries in the Berkshires and Connecticut River Valley area.

Nature Centers & Trails

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton & Northampton

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

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lenox

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. Explore Pleasant Valley

Trails Only

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, Pittsfield

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. Explore Canoe Meadows

Conway Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Conway

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. Explore Conway Hills

Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Williamsburg & Whately

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. Explore Graves Farm

High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary, Shelburne

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. Explore High Ledges

Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

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. Explore Laughing Brook

Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Sheffield

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. Explore Lime Kiln

Lynes Woods Wildlife Sanctuary, Westhampton

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. Explore Lynes Woods

Old Baldy Wildlife Sanctuary, Otis

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. Explore Old Baldy

Poor Farm Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, New Salem

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. Explore Poor Farm Hill

Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Tolland

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.  Explore Richardson Brook

Road's End Wildlife Sanctuary, Worthington

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.” Explore Road's End

West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, Plainfield

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. Explore West Mountain

No Trails

Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Richmond

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. Explore Tracy Brook

Not Ready for Visitors

Brush Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Warwick

209 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.

Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary, Wendell, Orange, & New Salem

~2,580 acres

Mass Audubon's largest sanctuary sits at the junction of Wendell, Orange, and New Salem in North Central Massachusetts.

Conservation Features: Much of Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary is typical of forests in Massachusetts that grew following farm abandonment: a mixed forest type that provides habitat for a variety of species, including birds, amphibians, and mammals. Surrounded by significant public and private conservation lands, the sanctuary is a central link in the conserved land network that includes the Quabbin Reservoir and the Wendell State Forest. It provides an important corridor for wildlife to travel safely through this region. This landscape function is one reason that the sanctuary is managed strictly for the protection of wildlife.