Located just south of Northfield center on Route 63, Alderbrook Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary is a 5-acre Conservation Area of mature forest along a beaver impounded wetland that is home to a diverse array of birds and other wildlife. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers from the Northfield area and a Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreational Trails Grant, the Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey S. Ames Accessible Nature Trail was created in 2018. This loop trail that winds through a towering grove of white pines and culminates at an observation deck overlooking a beautiful hidden pond is designed to meet the United States Forest Service's guidelines for accessibility. The trail allows people of all ages and abilities to immerse themselves in nature. Please be advised that some sections of the trail are moderately challenging, with a grade of approximately 12%.
Working with the Northfield Historical Commission and representatives of the Narragansett, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Abenaki Nations, the following cultural and natural history interpretive signs were created and installed along the trail.
Alderbrook Meadows is open to the public for hiking and nature watching, and has an accessible trail (Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey S. Ames Accessible Nature Trail).
839 Millers Falls Rd (Route 63), Northfield, MA 01360
Entrance 1/8th of a mile north of South Mountain Road and just south of Homer Rd on eastern side of Millers Falls Rd.
Parking available along eastern side of Millers Falls Rd (Route 63). Accessible parking available in driveway before gate.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Bill and Nancy Ames (2016)
For many years, landowners Bill and Nancy Ames have invited Scouts and the New England Wildflower Society to conduct nature walks on the land. The Ames family protected most of their 142 acres with a conservation restriction and has donated the 5 acres of woods and wetlands that contain the new trail route to Mount Grace.
“We have about 3/4 of a mile of hayfield edge - that marvelous habitat between forest and field, protection and exposure. There are shrubs, bushes, and wildflowers in this narrow and magical space. Mammals and birds rest and forage and have safety close at hand. This alone is worth protecting.” Bill Ames