Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
wood and metal boadwalk over water
Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Norfolk

Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary's Newest Trail

March 25, 2024

Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its beautiful boardwalk that spans out over a vast wetland full of wildlife and vegetation. Lesser known: a little over a mile of trails across the street from our parking lot.

And now with the opening of a new trail, Salamander Way, there’s even more reason to explore this area.

An isolated portion of Stony Brook's trail map, featuring Salamander Way in the rightmost third

What to Look for Along the Trail

The quarter mile-long Salamander Way was carefully crafted by Metro South property staff and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps groups.

After you follow either side of the Bristol Pond Loop, Salamander way starts out on an esker. As the highest point on the sanctuary, it provides a spot where visitors can look down upon the surrounding forest and over a vernal pool located at the foot of the esker. A stealthy approach to Salamander Way in the early spring is occasionally rewarded with the calls of wood frogs congressing in the vernal pool. 

The woods on either side of the trail are remarkable, too. The forest is diverse with an interesting array of flora and fauna due to its proximity to wetlands, and the trees are quite large, indicating that they are much older than those on the other side of the sanctuary.

A trail marker in the woods that reads "Bristol Pond Loop," pointing left, and "Salamander Way," pointing right

Birding Opportunities

You may notice some trees at the start of the trail that look damaged. This stems from the spongy moth outbreak several years ago. While those trees are slowly falling apart, they are a great place to spot woodpeckers and the understory is filling in nicely.

During the spring, summer, and fall this area hosts many of the birds that people associate with the deep woods of Massachusetts such as Scarlet Tanager, Great Crested Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Pileated Woodpecker, and Ovenbird. Pileated Woodpeckers have even been nesting here for some years. 

Plan Your Visit

Stop in our nature center or visit our website to get a trail map and include our newest trail in your next visit.