In Groton, Massachusetts is a magical little place guaranteed to stimulate little minds and get families outside for a little musical fun. Forest Bells is located in Groton Conservation Land.
"The Forest Bells were created by local artist and craftsman Paul Matisse in 1995, commissioned by the inaugural Artist’s Valentine project, and installed on land owned by Arthur and Camilla Blackman. The Blackman's donated the land to the GCT in 2000, and the Trust has been the steward of the land and bells since then." (from Groton Conservation Trust website)
Park at the end of Indian Hill Road, but not too close to the house at the end of the road, we parked on the side of the road. Walk back towards the house at the end of the road and bare left into the woods past the Groton Conservation Trust sign. This appears to be an old tote road. Head down the path under the power lines past a beautiful wetland area. Make sure you stop and enjoy the view. We were able to see a series of birds nests high in the trees, no birds, but I bet on some days you can get some good views of birds and possibly other animals.
The water was overflowing onto the trail, causing it to be muddy so make sure you wear appropriate foot wear. After the wetlands there is a split in the trail, bear left and walk uphill another 5-10 minutes until you reach the bells. It appears there has been some heavy equipment on and around the trail so make sure you pay attention to your surroundings. The trail is not marked, but you can follow the foot traffic. Once arriving at the bells we spotted six bells located high in the trees to be played for your musical pleasure.
There are also two tee pees made from falling trees and some rocks that is fun for little ones to explore. We spent about 30-45 minutes exploring the tee pees, climbing on rocks and ringing bells. There is also a pretty view over looking a wetland.
As for the first wetland I suspect this could be a good place for animal watching. This is not a long hike, as it's about 1.25 miles round trip, but this is a great opportunity to get families outside as there is a fun reward at the end. The key to getting kids to enjoy the outdoors is to incorporate fun while outside and this is a great place to do it, playing music, hanging out in the tee pees, climbing on the rocks or bringing a picnic to enjoy the great outdoors. Recommended for all abilities.