Birdwatching is a wonderful pastime. Combining that passion with a love of hiking makes for a magnificent way to pass an afternoon. From flourishing wildlife refuges to sprawling reservations, the Bay State is teeming with birding opportunities. The following Massachusetts hikes are perfect locations for birdwatching, so pack your binoculars and lace up your hiking shoes!
Known as one of the most productive birding areas in the Northeast, Parker River Natural Wildlife Refuge is located on Plum Island, and it affords hikers several miles to explore. Comprised of trails and a marsh boardwalk, two observation towers provide an amazing overview of the many species in this region. Hundreds of species are spotted here at various times of the year.
This week is all about #givingthanks! We are thankful for all the species that are still around today due to determined conservation efforts! Did you know that the wild turkey was once on the verge of extinction? ⠀ 🦃🍁🍂⠀ Photo by Matt Poole/USFWS⠀ ⠀ #thanksgiving #turkey #wildturkey #publiclands #parkerriver #birding
Bird lovers stand a really good chance of spotting a bald eagle at Quabbin Reservoir. And that’s just the beginning of a long list of birds that call the area home. Enter the reservoir at one of 50 gates surrounding it. The best hiking trails are accessed at the northern end of the reservoir. With both shoreline and wooded trails, lots of birdwatching, and a healthy hike are in store for all who visit here.
Novice to intermediate hikers will love the walk around Mashpee’s John’s Pond. The conservation area is home to a variety of bird species, and is perfect for those wanting to set up their tripods and catch some still shots. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch views of osprey, hawks, and other wildlife.
Birdwatchers love the Mount Tom State Reservation for the frequent sightings of hawks. Twenty-two miles of hiking trails are available for all levels of hikers, making it an excellent spot for combining the two passions. Cross-country skiers and winter birders take to these trails in the colder months.
One hundred and twenty-five miles of trails inside the Blue Hills Reservation makes for a paradise for both birders and hikers. Just outside of Boston, the reservation stretches over wetlands and forests, meaning countless species of birds are commonly spotted here. Hike rocky trails or smooth waterway paths depending upon your ability.