Massabesic Center, photo by Walter Keane.
**COVID-19 Notice: NH Audubon continues to monitor information about the Coronavirus outbreak and is committed to ensuring our staff, volunteers, members, and the public are as safe as possible. To that end, NH Audubon’s nature centers in Concord and Auburn, NH (McLane Center and Massabesic Center) will remain closed until further notice. All indoor programs, events, and meetings will be postponed, re-scheduled, or canceled. Check our website for details on other events. Please be in touch if you have questions.
All of our Sanctuary trails remain open and we encourage you to go outside and enjoy nature safely; please ensure you are using social distance recommendations from state and federal authorities.
Please stay local, stay safe, and be healthy! **
The Center is normally open:
Wednesday-Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
We are closed on major holidays.
Sanctuary trails are open dawn to dusk daily.There is no admission charge, but donations are always welcome.
The 5,000 square foot Massabesic Audubon Center is located on a historic farm site. The Center is just minutes from downtown Manchester and is bordered by 130 acres of rolling fields and mature deciduous forest with woodland wetlands, a pond, streams, and marshes. The site has been preserved as a wildlife sanctuary that encompasses a diverse array of upland habitats. There are more than five miles of trails that lead to scenic Lake Massabesic, and the property is adjacent to thousands of undeveloped acres of Manchester Water Works land.
About Battery Point
The Center is situated on a point of land known as Battery Point on Lake Massabesic in Auburn, N.H. The Town of Auburn was incorporated in 1845 and was originally part of the Town of Chester. Auburn began as a booming mill and farm town supplying commodities to Manchester and beyond. Saw-, grist-, tool-, and fulling-mills (linen) lined the town’s many streams and river banks. Hospitality and recreation were also vibrant industries.
The Lake became the main source of water for the city of Manchester with the establishment of the Manchester Water Works in 1870. In its heyday it was a prime summertime destination for city workers. There was trolley service to the lake, half a dozen sightseeing steam boats, and many hotels and music halls nearby. In winter, Manchester Coal and Ice operated on the northern shore of the lake to harvest, store, and sell ice for use in the summers before electricity. Massabesic ice was in high demand because of its purity; it was used locally and shipped via rail to Boston and points beyond.
The Center is located on the historic Brown Farm. Luther Brown and his father Joseph Brown owned the farm through the 1800s until purchase by the Parker Farm circa 1900. The land supported livestock, produce and timber operations.
A dedicated team of educators and volunteers provide year-round nature, recreation, and environmental education programs. These include school, youth group, summer and vacation camp, family, community, and adult education opportunities. The Center offers live animal and educational exhibits in classroom, reception area, and auditorium spaces. The Massabesic Wildlife Sanctuary offers wildlife viewing opportunities from its many trails. Visitors can view bluebirds and other grassland birds in the fields. Loons nest on the lake, ospreys visit in the spring and bald eagles visit in the winter.
Massabesic Center Trail Guide
Massabesic Center makes a beautiful location for weddings and other special events. Photo by Melissa Koren.
The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.
Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.