Hinsdale Flats WMA Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Bullards Crossing Parking Area
Bullards Crossing, Hinsdale, MA

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Bullards Crossing Parking Area in Hinsdale, MA | Berkshires Outside
Bullards Crossing Parking Area in Hinsdale, MA | Berkshires Outside
  • Public Land
  • Private Land
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About Bullards Crossing Parking Area

The Bullards Crossing Parking Area provides access to the Hinsdale Flats Wildlife Management Area. This 1400-acre preserve is generally flat as it surrounds the headwaters of the East Branch of the Housatonic River and multiple smaller tributaries. The forest is expansive, but there are no maintained trails, so it is best suited for hunters, wildlife viewers, and those looking to get off the beaten path and explore the untouched areas of Western Massachusetts. Additionally, paddling and fishing are common in the WMA's section of the Housatonic as the pristine waters of the East Branch harbor an outstanding fish population.

Wildlife seen throughout Hinsdale Flats includes an extensive mammal and bird population. Throughout the WMA, turkeys, deer, bears, and waterfowl roam the grounds and provide hunters various game opportunities. Additional game birds like ruffed grouse and ring-necked pheasants are abundant. Wildlife viewing and birding are also popular at the WMA, and a rich conifer swamp in the north section contains an uncommon natural habitat that excites wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can keep their eyes peeled for plenty of semi-aquatic mammals, songbirds, and wading birds, including many endangered species like American bitterns. The property's managed fields are excellent locations in the spring and summer to find birds and butterflies.

The Bullards Crossing Parking Area is the WMA's best spot for river access. Kayaking, canoeing, or standup paddleboarding down the narrow East Branch offers spectacular wildlife sightings and serene natural scenery. This section of the river requires navigating around many beaver dams, potentially necessitating stepping out of the boat to negotiate the dam. While these portages can make the paddle trip more strenuous, experiencing the unique beauty of this section of the Housatonic makes up for the hassle. Paddlers typically head downstream from the road, where they meander through Hinsdale Flats for about a mile in a secluded bottomland dominated by grasses and shrubs. Then, the river becomes straight as a dredged section follows railroad tracks and hugs the border of the WMA. As the river begins its natural meandering again, it breaks northwest and provides distant views of Mount Greylock before continuing its journey through the Berkshires.

Anglers are encouraged to head southwest from the parking area toward Muddy Pond, where there are sizeable populations of sunfish and yellow perch, while bass and pickerel are also present. The slow waters of the Housatonic also provide viable fishing areas throughout the western section of Hinsdale Flats. Unlike most downstream sections of the Housatonic, the East Branch in Hinsdale is not polluted and is recognized for its clean water.

This parking area can be accessed by entering Bullards Crossing Road from the east. It should be noted that although Bullards Crossing Road connects west to Route 8, the parking area is inaccessible from Route 8 since the road breaks at a railroad about half a mile west of the parking area. 

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