The Claire Birtz Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled between Tipton Rock Road, Morse Pond and the Connecticut State line in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The trails wind along the shore of Morse Pond, through stands of beech trees, hemlock, and mixed forest habitats. There are old stone walls and the experience of history and nature at the site is inspiring.
Ms. Claire J. Birtz was an art teacher in the Town of Southbridge school system for many years. Upon her death in 2000, at the age of 92, Ms. Birtz bequeathed a gift to Southbridge for beautification of the town. One way her gift could be used was to acquire land in order to protect habitat for wildlife.
Ms. Birtz supported various conservation organizations during her lifetime. Through a partnership between Opacum Land Trust, The Trustees of the Claire Birtz Estate and The Town of Southbridge, The Claire Birtz Wildlife Sanctuary became a perfect representation of her passion for wildlife and nature. In keeping with Ms. Birtz’ wishes, the property is open to the public for activities that bring people closer to nature, such as bird-watching, painting, drawing, kayaking and canoeing.
Trails: Non-motorized boat use only. Hunting is prohibited.
Directions: Use GPS address 444 Tipton Rock Road. Please beware that sections of Tipton Rock Road are impassable! Do not approach from Blackmer Rd. or Lebanon Hill. Take Rt. 169! Non-motorized Boat Access: You can access Morse Pond from North Woodstock Road (Route 169 – south of Tipton Rock Road intersection and just north of the state line.)
Parking: The trailhead and parking is located off of Rt. 169 (North Woodstock Road) on Tipton Rock Road, in Southbridge.
Contact for More Information: Opacum Land Trust (508-347-9144)
Trail Use: Due to the natural dangers associated with the former Quarry, we request caution with your activities. Please stay away from the edges of the quarry. Climbing the quarry walls is prohibited. Please keep children within view especially on the white trail near the former quarry operation. Keep pets on a leash. The use of ATVs, snowmobiles & dirt bikes is prohibited.Trail Guidelines