Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:414 Massasoit Road, Worcester, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily; conservation center: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Fee: Adults, $4; children ages 3–13, $3; Mass Audubon members, free
Contact:; 508-753-6087

Bathrooms: At the nature center
Water/Snacks: Water fountains by the restrooms; snacks for sale and serve-yourself coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available for a donation

Head to Broad Meadow Brook to visit the frogs at Frog Pond, walk through forests and wetlands, and check out interpretative exhibits.

Broad Meadow Brook.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Broad Meadow Brook is a delightful spot, with an excellent visitor center. Try to go when the nature center is open; kids will love to check out the interpretive exhibits, especially the large 3-D model of the entire sanctuary. The center has an extensive selection of gifts, books, field guides, and community resource information about the entire area.

Once outside, for a nice hike, take Holdredge Trail to Frog Pond Trail (you’ll go left) to Sprague Trail, which meets up again with Holdredge in a loop to return to the center. Along the way, meander through forests, marsh, and wetlands. A stop at the tiny Frog Pond should be rewarding: seemingly dozens of frogs are content to rest on logs or swim. A sweet little play area features swings and seats cut from logs that are a big draw for kids, and you can explore further on several other trails. If you have kids who like to quest (see page 150), download the clues from the center’s website before you go. Check out this Mass Audubon sanctuary’s website for year-round programming, such as snowshoe lessons, naturalist walks, and winter bird-feeding workshops.

Remember: Quite a bit of poison ivy is right along some of the trails, so keep a sharp eye out.

Plan B:

For an adventurous hike nearby, try Purgatory Chasm State Reservation (Trip 83) in Sutton, about 20 minutes away.

Where to Eat Nearby:

If you head back to MA 122, you’ll find a few sandwich places, but you’re better off packing a lunch for this visit and eating at a picnic table at the sanctuary.


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