Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

Location: Hadley, MA
Activity: exploration
Type: self-guided
The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established in 1997 to conserve, protect and enhance the abundance and diversity of native plant, fish and wildlife species and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout the 7.2 million-acre Connecticut River watershed. The refuge includes ten divisions and twelve units that contain a wide variety of unique habitats.

Fort River Birding and Nature Trail

The Fort River Birding and Nature Trail is located in the 293-acre Fort River Division. There are a variety of habitats present in this division, including hardwood forest, floodplain forest, and grasslands.
The mile-long, fully accessible nature trail meanders through a series of successional habitats and is considered an easy hike, taking an average of 20 minutes to complete. Viewing platforms overlook wildflower meadows, swamps and streams, while the trail itself is lined with Rosa flilpes, daisies, and other native perennials. This is an excellent family adventure, with signs encouraging folks to look for a variety of native plants, butterflies, and birds. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times.
Silvio O. Conte was an avid sportsman and environmentalist who represented Massachusetts in Congress for 32 years. To ensure the protection of the Connecticut River watershed, he introduced federal legislation establishing the refuge that now bears his name.
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