Where We Went: Stanley Park, Westfield, MA.
When We Went: August 2021
Difficulty (Boots 1 – 10): 0.5 Boots
Trail Length: Various Trail Lengths
How Long it Took Us: Three Hours
“Stanley Park was made possible because thousands were interested in doing something worthwhile for their fellow man.”
— Frank Stanley Beveridge
Overview: Stanley Park in Westfield, MA is over 300 acres of groomed gardens, an arboretum, numerous trails, pavilions, play areas, and more. Establishing 25-acres near his home for business meetings and employee parties, Frank Stanley Beveridge left funds that grew the outdoor space into what it is today. Call it what you will — rags to riches, the American Dream — there’s no doubt that the man from Nova Scotia who began what would become a multi-million dollar business in a tobacco shed, gave a whole heck of a lot of those riches back to Westfield.
A former door-to-door salesman for Fuller Brush Co., Beveridge’s 1931 business Stanley Home Products once operated in every state. When Frank Stanley Beveridge passed away in 1956, he left 25,000 shares of Stanley stock towards maintenance and expansion of Stanley Park.
Today, Stanley Park consists of woods, picnic areas, recreational facilities, and gardens, which include the Rose & Flower Garden, Asian Garden, a Rhododendron Display Garden, The Arboretum, Herb Garden, and Woodland Wildflower Garden. There is the Frank Stanley Beveridge Wildlife Sanctuary, the Carillon Tower, and a Duck Pond with a Colonial-era Village that includes an orchard, mill and waterwheel, an old town meeting house, covered bridge, carriage shed, blacksmith shop, and arched bridges all with a backdrop of flowering azaleas and rhododendron.
What We Dug: Our drive to Westfield took us along Route 112, also known as the Skyline Trail. It was a beautiful morning drive and we made a brief pit stop along the banks of the Westfield River.
Stanley Park is free to visit and it’s hard to see it all in just one day! We really enjoyed searching for frogs and turtles at the pond and the koi fish along the board walk were pretty incredible to watch.
The various walking bridges and wooden paths offer accessibility and there’s even a braille trail in the woods.
Be sure to visit the Enchanted Oak and the Dinosaur Footprints when you visit.
What We Could Do Without: The Carillon Tower, dedicated to world peace, was under construction when we visited so we missed seeing the gold dome and hearing the bells.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled For: Black Squirells! Duck, Geese, Swan, Heron, Chipmunk, Frog, Turtle, Koi Fish.
Must Know Before You Go’s: FREE. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to dusk. Check website for off-season hours. Handicap Parking Available. Various Accesible Trails. Bathroom Facilities on site.
Directions: Stanley Park — 400 Western Ave., Westfield, MA. 01085