Breckenridge Sanctuary, Williamsburg, MA
The Breckenridge Sanctuary is a 67-acre parcel of land with a one-mile trail loop located on Old Goshen Road in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. It was donated by Margaret Breckenridge to the Nature Conservancy, then transferred to the Hilltown Land Trust, which maintains the land and trail system.
There is a small pull-out with room for 3 cars near the trail head on Old Goshen Road. The trail crosses Blake Brook over a wooden bridge, climbs a steep slope, then splits into a loop. A spur off the end of the loop runs along the West Branch of the Mill River. Please note that where this trail crosses a stone wall marks the boundary to private land.
Most of the trails were originally built by Margaret Breckenridge’s husband, Edwin. In 2003 a team of AmeriCorps workers linked the trail system to the Old Goshen Road and built the timber bridge over the Blake Brook.
Wildlife sightings include deer, turkeys, salamanders and a mountain lion. The West Branch of the Mill River is a popular fishing area and is stocked with trout each year.
To Route 9 Parking: From the center of Williamsburg, take Route 9 north towards Goshen for 2.9 miles. Informational kiosk and parking are on the right just before the Goshen town line.
To Goshen Rd. Parking: Take Old Goshen Road north off Route 9, 1.1 mi. west of Williamsburg village. 0.4 mi. from Route 9, bear left at the “Y” intersection with Hemenway Road, continuing on Old Goshen Road. 1.9 mi. from Route 9, the road crosses the West Branch of the Mill River and turns to gravel. Look for a small parking pullout on the left about 100 yards beyond the crossing. The trail begins at the two inscribed boulders at the back of the parking area. Note that there are no rest rooms or other facilities at this location.
Trail Map by Eric Weber (pdf) (does not include Route 9 parking connecting spur)