Shaw Mountain, Benson

Tips for Birding

Parking is along Money Hole Road. There is a moderately steep, rocky trail to the top of the hill (there is a Nature Conservancy sign-in sheet a short distance up). After a fairly level portion, the trail dips down to a short boardwalk across a wet area. From there the trail makes a loop returning to the boardwalk for a total hike of about 3 miles. No dogs allowed.

Birds of Interest

Warblers during migration and into the nesting season. Virginia Rail can sometimes be heard in the marsh at the lower elevation. The spring wildflowers in mid-May make this an especially lovely hike as you look and listen for birds. 

About this Location

The limestone uplift of Shaw Mountain rises over 500 feet from the surrounding land and is a dominant landscape feature in Benson and adjacent West Haven. Shaw Mountain Natural Area supports 11 distinct natural communities, including a shrub swamp, vernal pools, an oak-hickory forest, and a calcareous outcrop community, in addition to 15 rare plant species.

The Nature Conservancy targeted the Shaw Mountain area for conservation due to its high biodiversity value, excellent condition, and large size. 

Notable Trails

The TrailFinder website has a description and map of a hike at Shaw Mountain.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website and Susan Elliott

Last updated October 7, 2023