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 71, 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

  • Hunting is permitted at this property subject to all state and town laws. It is recommended to wear brightly colored clothing like an orange vest or hat during the hunting season.  Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties, and read safety tips for non-hunters.
  • Dogs are welcome, but should be leashed.
  • Be sure to watch your children closely as there are steep drops and rocky terrain throughout this reservation.
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: We ask that photographers or their clients become Supporting Level Members before conducting portrait sessions at this property.  Click here for more information, and to request permission for any portrait sessions. The Trustees of Reservations reserves the right, and may give permission to its designated photographers and videographers, or to outside media, to photograph or video visitors and program participants at all its facilities and properties.
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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