About the Area
Fountain Park was originally a state-run pheasant farm that had not been in use for many years. The Town of Wilbraham signed a management lease in 1992 to maintain the area as a nature and recreational preserve. The Wilbraham Nature and Cultural Center assumed operational duties in September of 1992, and the Wilbraham Pheasant Farm Trust was established as a charitable public trust by the Town of Wilbraham. The town transferred Fountain Park (so named for its generous benefactor, Laurence R. Fountain) to the original trustees.
The founders dedicated countless hours of labor and service to establishing the park on the property. They host activities, such as the Peach Festival, and maintain the site and structures. The Wilbraham Boy Scouts have completed two eagle scout projects which have enhanced the property. The first project was the placement of plant identification markers along the Blue Trail. The second project was the mapping out of the trails and the posting of the resulting map on a board in the park. The scouts' detailed trail walking instructions are posted with their map. Those trail walking instructions are paraphrased in a table below.
- Portable toilet
- Activities Permitted: All passive recreational activities are permitted. Please be careful not to leave litter and not to deface the property. Please park in designated areas and be respectful of others enjoying the park.
- Cross-country skiing / snowshoeing
- Educational studies
- Nature observation
- Length of Trail: Doing the entire circumference of the park would involve one and one half to two miles of walking depending on whether or not you walk through the power line area. The White Trail is one mile. All other trails are less than a mile each.
- Types of Surfaces: These trails consist of old farm roads, and the grade is usually level. Occasionally, there are downed trees crossing the paths and some thick pine roots protrude. The section of the Red Trail at the sandpit is narrow and has a very steep incline. After rain, some of the trails are muddy, and there are ruts in some of the roads. Although most of the White Trail is wheelchair accessible, the access points through the fence at Soule Road are limited in width to prevent motorized vehicles from entering.
- Location: This trail is located at 883 Tinkham Road in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
- Elevation Factors: The terrain is mostly flat with a few speed bumps and small gullies to cross.
- Directions: From Crane Park on Main Street in Wilbraham, proceed south towards Hampden. Take a left on Tinkham Road and proceed past the high school on the right. Fountain Park is a half of a mile further on the left.
- Thanks: The Open Space Committee thanks the Wilbraham Boy Scouts for the trail information and map, and the Wilbraham Nature and Cultural Center for the maintenance of the property. Also, many thanks to Bill Dusty for supplying the beautiful pictures and the excellent video.
- Map: View the map (PDF).
- White Trail: This main trail is comprised of the old state pheasant farm utility roads. From the posted trail map, the trail heads straight south towards Soule Road. On your right is the beginning of the Yellow Trail. Shortly after that appears the Orange Trail to your left. Next is the end of the Orange Trail which winds around and back to the White Trail. After another 500 feet, you come to a large intersection with the Red Trail crossing. There is an old cement slab here from a former building. As you continue towards Soule Road, the forested land changes to grassland with small trees. When you reach the fence, pass through and turn right following the fence on your right with Soule Road on your left. After about 450 feet, you will come to a fence opening on your right. Soule Road School is diagonally across the road from this point. This part of the White Trail continues back to the Red Trail intersection. Notice the old wire fencing and cedar poles from the former pheasant farm. (Several trails go off to the left out to the power lines and beyond to Stony Hill Road.) If you don't take a side jaunt and just continue straight down the White Trail, after another fourth mile, it will lead you to an old road crossing. Turn right and follow the road for about 500 feet through an area of wetlands. At the next turn in the trail, there is an outlet to the right which leads to a quiet picnic area with some benches and a view of a marsh. Otherwise, the White Trail continues to the left and ends in the parking lot by the posted map. The White Trail, without side jaunts, is about one mile long.
- Yellow Trail: To walk this trail, take your first right off of the White Trail. The Yellow Trail skirts along the edge of the clearing and then enters the woods. Another old farm road, this trail is quieter than the White Trail. There is a short side path to the right which leads to a picnic area. After another 1000 feet, you intersect the Red Trail. Currently the Yellow Trail ends here. The Yellow Trail is 970 feet.
- Orange Trail: This trail is a mix of scrub brush, woods and old pines. To access it, take your first left off of the White Trail. You will soon approach a split in the trail. The Blue Trail veers off to the right while the Orange Trail continues to the left. To the left, there are a few outlets to the Fountain Park fields. The Orange trail eventually turns south, following the property line of the homes on Rochford Drive. You will pass the end of the Blue Trail on your right. Also on your right is an old pine grove forest. The Orange Trail then takes a sharp turn to the right and skirts the back of the homes on Swasey Road. After another turn, you enter the pine grove itself. Around 200 feet later you meet the Red Trail which goes off to the left. After another 450 feet, the Orange Trail leads you back to the main White Trail. The Orange trail is a half mile.
- Blue Trail: This trail is a spur of the Orange trail and runs parallel to it. Along this section, you will find some plant identification markers which are from an Eagle Scout project. The Blue Trail is 750 feet.
- Red Trail: This trail crosses the main White Trail at the large intersection near the cement slab. To the left, the trail leads to a sand pit. It then continues through a pine grove forest. After a total of 550 feet, the trail ends at the Orange Trail. Going right from the intersection with the cement slab, the Red Trail crosses the Yellow Trail after 225 feet and continues along a narrow trail for another 325 feet to the back side of the White Trail. The total length of the Red Trail is 1100 feet.
|1||042° 06.062 N||072° 27.256 W||This is the entrance to the White Trail at the location of the posted map and park information, just beyond the parking lot.|
|2||042° 05.689 N||072° 27.188 W||This is the extreme south end of the park; Soule Road.|
|3||042° 05.948 N||072° 27.270 W||This is the entrance to the Yellow Trail from the White Trail.|
|4||042° 05.968 N||072° 27.211 W||This is the north entrance to the Orange Trail from the White Trail.|
|5||042° 05.968 N||072° 27.211 W||This is the entrance to the Blue Trail from the Orange trail (same as Orange Trail).|
|6||042° 05.840 N||072° 27.226 W||This is the juncture of the Red Trail with the White Trail.|
|7||042° 05.847 N||072° 27.365 W||This is one of the entrances to the power line area.|