Central Massachusetts/Sturbridge are home to nature and science centers
The Butterfly Place
120 Tyngsboro Road
Westford, MA, 01886
Massive glass atrium building contains up to 500 butterflies of 50 species from around the world. Display cases in the observation area contain butterflies at various stages of development. This area also includes a 15-minute video describing the life cycle of a butterfly. At the Show & Tell Bench, staff members discuss these fascinating creatures. Gift shop features Papillon Hatching Kits.
Other than being a nice lake to visit, this lake is notable for an unusual reason--it's native American name is Lake Chargoggagomanchaugagochaubunagungamaug. The translation: "I fish on my side, you fish on yours, and no one fishes in between us."
Fisher Museum of Forestry
This unique museum focuses on the topography of New England's countryside and how it has been affected throughout the 18th, 19th and, 20th centuries. Hiking trails lead from the center out into the forest. There is an admission fee.
198 Purgatory Road
Purgatory Chasm is a split between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet. It is a quarter-mile in length. Enjoyed by picnickers and rock-climbers. The Chasm was formed by the release of glacial meltwater about 14,000 years ago. Trails lead to a wide variety of rock formations, like The Corn Crib, The Coffin, The Pulpit, Lovers' Leap and Fat Man's Misery. Restrooms are wheelchair accessible.
226 Union Street
Maintained by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, these four separate preserves offer visitors ample opportunity for wildlife observation and study. Nature programs are scheduled throughout the year. There is an admission charge.