Places We Protect

Coles Brook Preserve


Water-level view of a brook running through a forest in autumn.
Mid Fork of the Westfield River Mid Fork of the Westfield River © Alden Warner

A remarkable forest in the heart of western Massachusetts.



Why You Should Visit

The preserve protects a variety of habitats in a relatively intact forested landscape including forest, ponds, portions of Coles Brook and shrub wetlands. It abuts additional protected areas including the 3,400-acre Middlefield State Forest.

Why TNC Selected This Site

Coles Brook is a part of the Westfield River watershed of the Connecticut River and provides unique conservation opportunities based on the combination of intact forests and high-quality rivers and streams. This area offers one of the last and best opportunities for large-scale forest and aquatic system conservation in southern New England. The Nature Conservancy’s goal is to conserve the integrity of these forests and rivers both to protect the Connecticut River watershed as well as provide connectivity to other forested habitats in the Appalachians.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

From 2005 to present TNC has protected 16 tracts of land that now make up the preserve. We actively maintain and manage the land for resilience and to best support the plant and animal species that call it home. 




The preserve’s habitats vary from rocky, hemlock-dominated forest to shrubby wetlands and a coldwater stream and shallow lakes. It also boasts a broad array of wildlife, including moose, bear and bobcat. There is a network of unmaintained woods roads that make for great walking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.


1,481 Acres

Explore our work in this region


The preserve has a variety of habitats from rocky hemlock-dominated forest to shrubby wetlands, including a coldwater stream and shallow lakes. There is a network of unmaintained dirt roads that are great for walking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing.

All reasonable requests for special accommodations will be made with ample notice. If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Western Massachusetts office at 413-229-0232.

Preserve Policies

  • Preserve open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Foot traffic only
  • Groups larger than 10 people are asked to coordinate their visit with our Western Massachusetts Program.
  • No collecting of plants or animals
  • Carry out all litter
  • No fires, smoking or camping