Nature lovers may view wildlife at different times of the year with two ponds attracting wildlife. Birdwatchers may observe bobolinks, great blue herons and osprey in season. Beavers, otters, turtles and wild turkey can be seen in the meadow, with an occasional bear. The Berkshire Hills may be sighted from the sanctuary.
Two flat easy trails totaling 3 miles wind through scenic woods, fields and wetland along the banks of the Housatonic River. The longer trail is on dry ground, a shorter trail may have sections under water.
Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary is a 253 acre protected wilderness owned by Massachusetts Audubon Society. It is 7 miles southeast of Pittsfield State Forest and one mile from downtown Pittsfield MA. Albany is 40 miles west, Boston 136 miles east and New York City 154 miles south.
Since it’s founding in 1896 there had been no shelters on sanctuary grounds. Chairpersons recognized a structure would enhance the facility so funding was secured. A local architect developed a plan for a 60 x 30 pavilion, which was constructed. A new material named Lexapanel was utilized for roofing the structure. This breakthrough material protects the structure but has better characteristics than traditional metal roofing, allowing light to penetrate eliminating additional lighting.
Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary
200 Holmes Road Pittsfield, MA
Open daily 7:00 Am to dusk except Tuesday
Pittsfield is the third largest municipality in western Massachusetts, a city of 44,737 population. The city began as an agricultural community but an abundance of natural resources led to its development as an industrial center. The city was ranked by Farmers Insurance as the 20th of ‘Most Secure Place to Live’ among towns with fewer than 150,000 residents.
Pittsfield State Forest is an 11,000-acre area adjoining the town of Pittsfield. With a stream, waterfalls and hiking trails it offers typical outdoor activities of camping, fishing hunting within an amazing outdoor environment.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary 5 miles south of Pittsfield has another facility offering outdoor opportunities. The 1300-acre wilderness has 7 miles of trails with ponds, streams and a hummingbird garden.
Pittsfield is a 4 1/4 hour drive of 262 miles from Rochester NY. Drive I-90 thruway east into Massachusetts, then route 7 north into Pittsfield. Then route 20 to Lenox, turn left onto Holmes Road and 2.7 miles to Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary.
Here is one visitor’s impression of their visit.
“This is a wonderful place to feel like you’re “in the middle of nowhere” while still being right in town.”