Forest Bells

A musical playground in the middle of a forest.

In the middle of a wildlife sanctuary in Groton, hang six chimes, with their strings waiting to be rung. The conservation is tucked in the corner of Groton and Ayer, and the hike is relatively easy. There are a couple hills but none too big or steep making it easy for anyone with knee or back problems. Because of it’s wildlife, it is not encouraged to bring dogs, but I did see one on the trail- I’m sure if you keep an extra eye on it and clean up after it, it should be alright. The trail was more trafficked than I had expected because it was my first time being in this area and had no idea what to expect of it. However, it wasn’t too busy because of the variety of trails available there making it very peaceful to venture through.

By the time I made it to the bells, no one was around and I felt like a child running from chime to chime hearing them ring. They sound as you pull a string and its ring complimented the whistling wind at the time. I had never seen or heard of these before, making them that much more enchanting.

The chimes were put up in 1995 by an artist by the name of Paul Matisse. For more information on the bells or the artist go to

Directions to Forest Bells:
  1. Drive to the end of Indian Hill Road in Groton and park on the side of the road where it’s indicated by the Groton Conservation Trust sign
  2. Continue walking to the end of the road toward the yellow house
  3. Right before the house you will see a dirt path on the left, continue down this path
  4. After crossing under some telephone lines, and seeing a body of water to your right, a bunch of rocks will be in front of you and there will be a very distinct fork. Take a left here and continue until the next fork.
  5. At the next fork, you will take a right up the hill
  6. Continuing down this path you will see the Hemlock forest ahead of you, you can tell by its darkness. As you continue into the forest, look up and you will see the bells hanging from trees.
  7. If you pass the tee pee, wig wam or whatever you call a house made out of sticks, you’ve gone too far.

It only took me 30 minutes total, making them a simple exploration with a really unique experience. The forest bells were really magical and I can’t wait to go again!


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