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Hinsdale Wildlife Management Area

Birding in Massachusetts

Hinsdale Wildlife Management Area
Hinsdale, Massachusetts 01235
Hinsdale Wildlife Management Area webpage
Hinsdale Wildlife Management Area map

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Berkshire County

Hinsdale WMA
Coordinates: 42.423805, -73.1081343
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About Hinsdale Wildlife Management Area
Hinsdale Flats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is level to gently sloping bottomland surrounding the headwaters of the East Branch of the Housatonic River and several of its tributaries. The portions of the WMA surrounding the East Branch, Cady Brook, and Bennett Brook are large swamps dominated by grasses, sedges, and shrubs. The forested areas are predominately spruce-fir-maple swamps which gradually become drier as one heads upslope away from the brooks. The upland areas also contain some white pine/northern hardwood forests. The WMA contains some remnant agricultural fields which are now a mix of grassland and shrubland. Bullard’s Crossing Road area also has a long-abandoned former apple orchard and blueberry plantation. The Southern end of the WMA abuts Muddy Pond which is a small shallow pond on the Hinsdale-Washington town line.

The WMA is located south of the center of Hinsdale and east of MA-8. There are three primary parking areas including a gate at the end of a dirt drive on Middlefield Road, .33 mile east of MA-8. This parking area is usually only open during the spring turkey and fall hunting seasons. The second parking area is in a field just west of the intersection of Middlefield and Fassell Roads. The third formal parking area is on the north side of Bullard’s Crossing Road, near an old home site. Other sections of the WMA are accessible via roadside parking along Creamery Road, Bullard’s Crossing Road, Buttermilk Road, and East Washington Road.

The Housatonic River can be canoed or kayaked from Bullard’s Crossing Road downstream to the center of Hinsdale. Access is informal, and this river section usually contains several beaver dams, some of which require short portages. Paddling upstream from Bullard’s Crossing Road to Muddy Pond is a more difficult route, but it is possible when water levels and beaver activity allow. On either side of Middlefield Road stretches a rich conifer swamp, an uncommon type of natural community. The wetlands along the river and its tributaries harbor uncommon marsh birds.
From Hinsdale Wildlife Management Area webpage