|David Brown's Wildlife Services
12 Hotel Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Tel: 978 544 8175
|Quabbin Trails Programs
Quabbin Reservoir is surrounded by a huge protected
watershed of forest, field and beaver ponds where human
intrusion is light and wildlife abounds. Even in marginal tracking
or birding conditions, a day spent in this "accidental wilderness"
refreshes the soul.
Suitablility: Outdoor programs are suitable for reasonably fit adults and accompanied teenagers 13 years and
up. Both beginner and experienced trackers are welcome. However, participants should be free of any medical
condition that might be aggravated by long periods of walking in rough terrain. Since much travel is off-trail,
programs are not suitable for anyone with balance or coordination problems. Due to the difficulty in obtaining
emergency medical care in remote locations behind locked gates, Quabbin programs are not
recommended for anyone with a history of incapacitating sudden-onset illness.
Clothing and Equipment: Dress for the weather remembering that tracking is often a slow process. Bring a
lunch, water and perhaps a thermos with hot fluid. Carry in a pack more clothes than you think you will need
including a warm hat. Wear water-repellant boots. Black flies appear in early April so bring insect repellant after
the first week of that month.
Directions: Quabbin programs meet at 9:45 a.m. in the country store at the Petersham common. (Please note:
the country store in Petersham has reopened under new management and new bathroom facilities. (The store
opens at 9am, carries trail snacks and serves breakfast if you wish to arrive early.) From the common we will
carpool-caravan to one of the Quabbin gates. From Boston take Exit 17 (Rte. 32) and go south 6 miles to the
common. From other directions see a roadmap or internet map service.
Registration: Use the linked registration blank only to register for "Quabbin Trails" programs described on this
page..(For events on the Sponsored Programs page, refer directly to the sponsoring organization for details and
If you wish to register after the deadline indicated in the program description above, please call or e-
mail first to ensure that the program has openings.
Please note: in order to get an accurate count of participants, those who have unused registration fees
on account should send in a new registration blank for any program they wish to attend. A count is
needed because DCR does not allow groups larger than 15 without a special use permit.
- In the event a program is not adequately subscribed by the registration deadline, you will be notified of
cancellation at the telephone number or e-mail address you supplied on the blank.
- You may withdraw from a program with refund any time before the registration deadline. After the deadline
refund depends on filling the vacancy from a waiting list. In a personal emergency you may, of course,
withdraw with refund at any time.
- Light rain will not cancel tracking or bird programs. If seriously inappropriate weather conditions are forecast,
requiring cancellation of the program, you will be called or e-mailed after the registration deadline according
to the contact information supplied on the registration blank.
Preparations for Quabbin Trails programs:
Quabbin Tracking: May
March and April are the transition months between winter and spring.
The snow, what little we had, is now long gone and jonquils are peeking
out of the leaf litter in the back yard. The frozen earth is thawing and
releasing aromas that have been denied to us over the scentless winter
months. The cries of goshawks echo through the leafless hardwoods
while the sun-warmed hemlocks reradiate their warmth to the earth.
Skunk cabbage suddenly appears in the stony seeps These early
arums are attractants for bears, stirring from their winter torpor, whose
saliva renders the oxalate crystals in their leaves harmless. Marsh
marigold, the earliest of the spring ephemerals, suddenly appear along
the opening brooklets, adding a startling splash of color to the somber
woodlands. Other animals besides bears begin to stir and wander
abroad, leaving their tracks in spring mud. Come along and immerse
your senses while we search for sign of many of these animals.
Sunday, May 29, 10am-3pm. Please register by May 24. After that
date call or e-mail first to make sure there is space in the program.
Additional Quabbin Trails tracking program date:
Sunday, June 26 (Register by June 22).
Mink tracks in wet sand. Photo D. Brown
The varied habitats and seclusion of Quabbin support a great many
species of birds. Some are summer nesters, some winter visitors and in
late April and May a great many are migrants heading north for the first
insect blooms of the season. At this time the woods are full of the songs
of these birds and await discovery by the eyes and ears of patient birders.
This 5-hour program will visit several birding hotspots in the northeast
Quabbin sector. It is timed before the trees fully leaf out so that birds can
still be spotted in the forest canopy.
Please bring binoculars. A scope and several bird identification books
will be available to the group. We can also expect flying insects (no bugs,
no birds), so bring repellant. Other arrangements are the same as for
Quabbin tracking programs.
Saturday, May 7, 10am-3pm.
Register by May 3 using a blank on the Registration page. After that
date, call or e-mail first to insure that the program will run and is not
Singing ovenbird Photo D. Brown