Just when many of us would like a break from the news cycle, mid-spring (weather) has landed with both feet in much of southern New England, bringing budding trees, birdsong, and the itch to get outdoors. Take a walk in any of New England’s glorious outdoor walking spaces! Ideas here:
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary of Massachusetts Audubon at 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA — Set amidst more than 1,000 lush acres in the Berkshires, Pleasant Valley’s varied trails wind through forests, meadows, wetlands, and along the slopes of Lenox Mountain, making this site an excellent location for easy-to-strenuous hiking. While exploring, there’s a good chance you will see evidence of the sanctuary’s most visible wildlife resident, the beaver, via dams, dens, or lodges. Trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. 413-637-0320. Map
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Headquarters, 6 Plum Island Tpk., Newburyport, MA – From the Wildlife Drive, you can see even as you approach the refuge a variety of habitats, like salt marsh, dune, and maritime forest. Several boardwalks give walkers access to the ocean beach. The handicap-accessible Pine Trail, the Bill Forward Bird Blind, two observation towers, and other locations along Hellcat Interpretive Trail offer lots of opportunities to watch, photograph and otherwise enjoy wildlife. The Hellcat Trail boardwalk has both a marsh and a dune loop. Indoors, the wildlife refuge visitor center will entertain and enlighten everyone in your family with exhibit, a video about the refuge and the Plover’s Nest gift shop. Refuge map. 978-465-5753. Map.
World’s End, Martin’s Lane, Hingham, MA — This beautiful property is a 250-acre coastal park where 4.5 miles of walking paths and 19th-century carriage paths meander among rolling hills, rocky shorelines, and open fields. The tree-lined carriage paths were designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Walkers enjoy views of the Boston skyline. World’s End is managed by the Trustees of Reservations. Open to the public daily, 8 a.m. to sunset.Parking is limited. Follow Twitter @worldsend02043 for updates on weekend parking. Map.
Audubon Center of Greenwich at 613 Riversville Road in Greenwich, CT — This 285-acre nature sanctuary in the back country of Greenwich has seven miles of walking trails, nature exhibit displays, a children’s learning center, a nature gift shop and nature arts gallery. Open daily. Coming this Saturday, March 14:
Nest Box Building Workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Kids and adults may build birds’ nest boxes or buy a pre-assembled box. This fun craft time is for anyone age 5 and older.
Also, March 14 is Sensory-Sensitive Saturday. Enjoy learning about nature in a quiet and soothing space. The day includes nature films, natural artifacts with interesting textures, books, and pictures. Staff naturalists are present to support learning about nature in this soothing environment. 203-869-5272. Map.
George B. Parker Woodland of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island at1670 Maple Valley Road Coventry, RI. –An 860-acre property has majestic old forest, brooks, fields, and mysterious rock cairns – great for kids to run around and use for hide-and-seek. The caretaker’s house was built in the 1700s and the barn now serves as a nature center. You may have a chance to see fox, mink, or deer. Birds who live here include owls, ducks, woodpeckers, warblers, the Baltimore, and many others. Family project: keep quiet and record the birdsong! 401-295-8283. Map.