Dingley Dell, the Clayton and Margaret Thomas Nature Preserve is a permanently protected conservation area owned and stewarded by the Opacum Land Trust. Dingley Dell has many unique features including a 25+ foot glacial erratic with Rock Shelter site, early stone piles and waterfall with pool.
The History of Dingley Dell: In the west Brimfield hills a small mill village developed along Foskett Mill Stream in the 1700s. By the early 1900s the mills and many residents had moved away to cities and a country resort was created here and given the name “Dingley Dell.” In the 1960s Dingley Dell became the home of Dr. Clayton and Margaret Thomas and was the site of the family’s world-famous Balloon School of Massachusetts at Dingley Dell.
To preserve the beauty of this area, and to recognize the contributions of Clayton (1921–2016) and Margaret to the Brimfield community, the Thomas family sold, at bargain price, 76 acres of Dingley Dell to be forever protected by Opacum Land Trust as public open space.
Funding came, in part, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Conservation Partnership Program, and from over 150 generous private donors who have invested in the permanent protection of this special place.
Trails: There are currently 2 short trails that showcase some of the unique features at Dingley Dell, with more to come!
Take the white trail to the glacial boulder (approx. 1/8 mile long).
Take the yellow trail to the waterfall, (approx. 1/4 mile). Please note- hiking is on some steep slopes and uneven forest ground.
Directions: The trail head and parking lot are on Monson Road, just east of Sutcliffe/ Dingley Dell Road in Brimfield, MA.
Parking: There is a gravel parking lot on Monson Road, just east of Sutcliffe/ Dingley Dell Road in Brimfield, MA (by the Opacum sign).
Contact for More Information: Opacum Land Trust (508-347-9144)
Trail Use: Hunting is allowed on this property in accordance with Mass Fish & Wildlife regulations and schedule. Make sure to wear orange during hunting season.Trail Guidelines