Date Of Visit: October 14, 2017
Location: Patten Road, Shelburne, MA
Hours: Trails are open dawn until dusk
Parking: there are 2 parking lots. The first parking lot (called the “overflow parking lot”) which has room for about 10 cars is at the beginning of the entrance. The other parking area is about a quarter of a mile down the main entrance road. On the left of the road is room for about a dozen cars.
Trail Size/Difficulty: 782 acres, 5 miles/easy with some moderate inclines
Handicapped Accessible: No
Dog Friendly: No
Website: High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary
Trail Map: High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary Trail Map
Highlights: scenic, “high ledge”, wildlife, easy trails, vernal pool, flowers, foliage during the fall
Known for its pretty views of the Deerfield River Valley and Mount Greylock area, its variety of flowers along its trails and its various wildlife, High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for a quick hike to some beautiful views.
The sanctuary is a mixture of 5 miles of paved and dirt trails with a few boardwalks over some marshy areas.
Even though it was near the end of the foliage season, there was still lots of foliage on the trees during my visit. The leaves on the ground added to the beauty of the sanctuary.
Rumor has it wolves roamed the High Ledges. The Wolves’ Den Loop Trail leads to a geologic feature where local lore has it that the last wolf in the region was exterminated.
The highlight of the sanctuary is the overlook, or “high ledge” along the (wait for it…)…Ledges Trail. The rolling hills and colorful trees offer a picturesque vista.
It’s said you can see Mount Greylock from the ledge on a clear day. See it? It’s right there…
Well, it’s somewhere there.
The trails at High Ledges are easy overall. But there are some strenuous areas. My advice would be to stay on the main trails and to basically back track or follow the trail you took to the vista since that is the most direct route back and the trail is the easiest to travel, unless you’re looking for a challenge. I felt the urge for a challenge that day and I usually do try the various trails so I can get a good feel of the park. However, there really wasn’t, save for a few chipmunks and trees, along the side trails.
Chipmunks were busy storing nuts, and chewing on a few, in preparation for another long winter that will sadly soon be here.