A Hidden Gem: Bradley-Sunkhaze Preserve (Milford)
I have been to Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge several times in the past few years, but until this week was not aware that across the road is a 12,710 acre preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy. The Bradley-Sunkhaze Preserve connects the Bradley Wildlife Management Area with Sunkhaze Meadows to create 33,472 acre preservation area.
Bradley-Sunkhaze Preserve was established by the Nature Conservancy in 2015, yet there are no signs along County Road nor trail markings at the two trailheads. In fact, there were no markings on the trail until two side trails branched off on both sides of the main trail, over 1/2 mile into the hike. The only indication this is a Nature Conservancy property are a few trail markers with the Conservancy's logo on them.
I hiked 2.3 miles on the preserve's Birch Stream Trail this morning. The forested trail starts as an old logging road and then narrows to a single path. At around 8/10 of a mile I turned left and followed a yellow marked trail down to Birch Stream. The trail then looped back and reconnected with the logging road.
This was a great hike and very secluded. There was one other set of footprints but otherwise the trail appears to be lightly used as evidenced by untrammeled moss growing along the marked trail. For more information about the preserve visit the Nature Conservancy's website.