Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary - Sharon, MA
Directions from Boston: Interstate 90 Mass. Pike West to Interstate 95 South toward Providence. Bear right to stay on 95 South. Take exit 10 to State Route 27 North. Turn right on Route 27 North. Go about a mile, maybe a little less. Turn left at the Audubon sign.
About 45 minutes south of Boston, the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary offers 25 miles of well maintained hiking trails through upland forests and wetlands. Boardwalks over the marshiest sections keep hikers mostly out of the deeper mud. Formerly farm land, characteristic stone walls criss-cross the land. Some of the trails at Moose Hill interface with the Bay Circuit Trail system.
Atop the summit of one hill there is a fire tower. It's fenced off to keep out the curious and the stupid. Atop the summit of another hill, bluffs overlook distant Gillette Stadium. More than once, as we stood looking out over the treetops, a hawk cruised low overhead, riding the air currents off the bluff.
At 2,000 acres, and connected as it is with adjacent woodlands, the Sanctuary is home to many species of birds and mammals, including white tailed deer. The land is forested mainly with hardwoods, with some pine and spruce mixed in.
The trails vary in width and slightly in difficulty. The highest climbs are perhaps 200 feet with very short, moderately steep stretches. After heavy rains the trails get very muddy in sections. We once experienced a difficult climb down from the bluffs in the winter when it was icy. Then the short, steep descent was quite challenging.
The Audubon Society sponsors seasonal programs at Moose Hill. In the summer they run a day camp. They lead a night expedition in search of owls. In February or March they make maple sugar and have presentations on the subject.
The visitor center at Moose Hill features a gallery that shows oil paintings of natural scenes by various artists. They also have a gift shop and rest room. Some of your best birding results may be at the bird feeder they keep well stocked in the yard near the center. Parking is ample in the parking lot near the visitor center.
For more information, visit the Massachusetts Audubon Society web site.