Hike of Sibley Farm &
Burncoat Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

Spencer, MA

September 14th, 2013

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group Prior to the real estate market collapse of 2008, Sibley Farm was slated to become a shopping center and 300-unit condominium development. Instead, it is now protected as beautiful conservation land with a diverse network of trails. The nine of us had lots of fun exploring it along with Mass Audubon's adjoining Burncoat Pond Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rose, Degen, and Laura lead the way as we head from the joint Sibley Farm/Burncoat Pond Wildlife Sanctuary trailhead down toward the Flat Rock overlook at Burncoat Pond's north cove.
Rose, Degen, Laura & group
Burncoat Pond north cove
Ben on Flat Rock Ben enjoys the view from atop Flat Rock.
Rose on the trail
Leaving Burncoat Pond, we retrace our steps back toward Sibley Farm, where Rose makes friends with one of many red salamanders we spotted along the trail.
Midstate Trail to summit Emerging from the woods, we follow the Midstate Trail on a gentle uphill climb through open fields of wildflower to Sibley Farm's Burncoat Hill summit.
Summit view We all loved the wildflowers. They were pretty tall, but we still had a nice view looking south across the top of the field.
Laura touches a touch-me-not. We had fun getting surprised as the buds popped open! The field was also full of grasshoppers and quick-footed toads. We even spotted a snake.
Nora and Kathleen Nora and Kathleen checking out their pictures.

Swamp Trail or Sibley Trail... which way should we go now? We choose the Sibley Trail, and head toward the Otter Pond overlook.
Group on Sibley Trail
Trail signs
Otter pond The Otter Pond along the Sibley Trail was our last stop before heading back toward the trailhead via the Sibley and Midstate trails, completing our excellent Saturday afternoon hike.

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