Central MA

Bear’s Den

New Salem

6 acres

Take a short walk to a scenic waterfall and a site where, according to local legend, 17th-century great chief Metacomet prepared to raid Colonial settlements.


Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories


On its way to the Quabbin Reservoir, the Middle Branch of the Swift River cascades into an intriguing woodland pool at the bottom of a secluded gorge. In 1675, the great chief Metacomet, known to European settlers as King Philip, met here with neighboring chieftains to plan attacks on Hadley, Deerfield, and Northampton. A black bear shot on the property gives the reservation its name.

Ideas for Your Visit

Along a short, quarter-mile trail, you have two choices: go left and explore the enchanting waterfall, or head right to follow the stream as it tumbles through large boulders past the site of an old mill. Be sure to watch your children closely as there are steep drops and rocky terrain throughout this reservation.

Admission & Hours

FREE to all.

Directions & Contact Info

18 Neilson Road
New Salem, MA 01355

E-mail: info@thetrustees.org

Get directions from Google Maps

From Rt. 2, Exit 16, follow Rt. 202 South. Shortly after Rt. 202 merges with Rt. 122 South, turn right onto Elm St. Turn left on Neilson Rd. Follow Neilson Road for 0.5 mi. to entrance and roadside parking on right.

Property Map

At present, a downloadable trail map for Bear’s Den is not available.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Be sure to watch your children closely as there are steep drops and rocky terrain throughout this reservation.
  • Seasonal hunting is permitted at this property, subject to all state and town laws.
  • Dogs are welcome, but should be leashed
Before Setting Out
More to Explore
See What People Say

Sanctuary This was my first trip to Bears den falls. Absolutely love this place... Very secluded place, perfect for meditating ...

shuttergardenimages, TripAdvisor

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