For more than a century, The Trustees have been working to conserve and protect land across Massachusetts while building engaging new programs to share their expertise with people throughout the state. We are mutually excited to collaborate on programming to get more people outside and connected to our special places in the region and build the next generation of stewards of the natural world. This season, we are thrilled to share opportunities to experience some of their beautifully preserved properties in the Connecticut River Valley for hiking, mindful nature walks, and tracking programs.

Trustees' Properties With Adventure East Winter Experiences

Mount Warner

 

An impressive, but gently sloping 500-ft hill, Mount Warner overlooks the brilliance of the Connecticut River Valley. Nestled among the Mill River, the North Hadley Pond, and Lake Warner, this 156-acre property is comprised of a mix of forest types and wetlands and provides homes to an array of wildlife such as beavers, wood frogs, deer, and common New England forest critters. Mount Warner stands among 500 acres of protected land and with a matrix of well-marked trails, this property is perfect for a day hike ripe with opportunities for exploration.

This season, join us as we explore the trails on the west side of Mount Warner, overlooking the expansive Connecticut River Valley and Lake Warner. Starting at the trailhead on Mount Warner Road, we will hike along the Salamander Loop Trail for approximately 2 hours where we will take in the some of the best views of historic North Hadley and enjoy local wildlife tracks and sightings.

Hiking Mt. Warner: 1/15 · 2/12

 

Bullitt Reservation

 

A Trustees Property since 2009, the Bullitt Reservation was donated to the Trustees by the William C. Bullitt Foundation. For over a decade, the Trustees have maintained the property and preserved it from further development. Located in Ashfield and Conway, this 262-acre property features a blend of forests, open fields, and wetlands and links conservation lands totaling roughly 3,000 acres. At one time, the property was cleared of forests for agricultural and industrial purposes but, as of late, the forests have reclaimed nearly 80% of the land, providing diverse habitats that support both rare and local species including an array of migratory birds, and seasonally, over 30 species of butterfly. In addition to the stunning natural aspects of the property, the farmhouse, stone walls, and barns remain important features of the Bullitt Reservation landscape as they hold the history of both the property and the human activity on the land. And with terrain that ranges from gently rolling to steep, and streams that run across the property, Bullitt Reservation makes for an ideal place for beautiful hikes while having the opportunity to learn more about the historical significance of the property.

This winter, meet us at the Bullitt Reservation as we travel approximately 2 miles through this historic conservation area, home to a broad range of wildlife and protected plant species. This beautiful reservation trail will lead us through the forest of Ashfield, specifically the Poland Brook Wildlife Management Area, which is often home to families of deer. The hike will culminate at Chapel Falls, a waterfall at the base of the stunning Chapel Ledges. This cliff face is one of the most prominent cliff faces in Western Massachusetts.

Join us for a hike at Bullitt Reservation: 1/19 · 2/5 · 2/16

 

Chesterfield Gorge

 

A Trustees property since 1929, Chesterfield Gorge is an historic landscape comprised of primarily forested land and a 1.5 – mile stretch of the Westfield River, which over time, carved the feature for which the property is named. From its original 13.5 acres, Chesterfield Gorge has grown to 166 acres of conservation land, providing homes to protected plant species, large and wide-ranging species such as deer, bears, and bobcats and supports robust habitats for an array of aquatic and wetland species. With its unique landscape, the picturesque Chesterfield Gorge is a popular destination property in Western Massachusetts where visitors enjoy hiking , wildlife spotting, catch-and-release fishing, and more. With 70-foot stone walls, the dramatic rock canyon is an impressive entry point to this well-loved conservation area that folks and their families - both local and visiting - have had the pleasure of exploring for years.

This season, we look forward to exploring one of the most scenic geologic areas in Massachusetts, the Chesterfield Gorge. Join us for a hike along the Westfield River, which has carved these stunning rock formations over thousands of years. We will pass remnants of a bridge destroyed by a flood in 1835 and traverse the many rolling outcroppings of ice and rock along the river, enjoying the quiet solitude of winter. With remnants of its agricultural history still present, we love this hike for its many opportunities for enjoying nature while learning about the historic relevance of the property.

Hike along the Chesterfield Gorge: 1/20 · 1/30 · 2/17 · 2/27

Deep Tracking Series - Week 2: 1/11 · 2/22

 

Bear Swamp

 

To early settlers, Bear Swamp was truly rough terrain: steep, wooded hillsides and exposed bedrock descending to boggy wetlands, and swamp. Set on over 300 acres, there are 3 miles of trails that lead to different areas of the reservation. Despite having once having been cleared for pastures and hay fields, Bear Swamp now features a blend of beautiful and strong hardwood trees and flourishing forests. Contemporary explorers will find a landscape of hard beauty, with field reclaimed by forest and the dark lowlands illuminated by colorful wildflowers in bloom. This property is perfect for fully immersing oneself in nature as a hike among the area will provide rewarding wildlife sightings and a feeling of being in a secluded and remote space. Bear Swamp is an ideal property for mindful hikes and taking the time to observe the subtleties of nature unfolding around you as you make your way across the moderate terrain.

This winter, the third week of our Deep Tracking Series will take us to the Bear Swamp in Ashfield. As we navigate the forest and pond that is bear swamp preserve, we may observe bear, moose, beaver, and any number of other species of mammals as they navigate from the Deep Forest corridors down to the pond for water. Here we will take a look at what comes and goes to get water, as seen from a point low in the surrounding sub-Boreal forest. The series will include identifying mammals in their tracks and other ways they leave signs behind.

Deep Tracking in Bear Swamp Forest: 1/18 · 3/1