Archive for the ‘ ~DARTMOUTH MA~ ’ Category

Allens Pond East – Dartmouth

 

Allens Pond is a Masachusetts Audubon property along Buzzards Bay. The property offers 6 to 7 miles of trails. It is a diverse and beautiful property offering several types of features from beaches to fields to woodlands. With that being said, I have decided to break the property into three separate hikes to maximize visiting all of the trails without having an overwhelming hike distance. For the first hike, I started at the easterly trailhead along Allen Neck Road and followed the mowed path to a stone wall and gate. This is the beginning of the Woodland Loop. Continuing straight ahead I followed the path over some boardwalks that went over several small streams. The loop passes a few ledges and glacial outcrops as well. The trail soon comes to a dirt road. You may catch a glimpse of the cows in the field in front of you. Turn right here onto the road and immediately turn left after the stone wall and again immediately right onto the Boulder Trail. This will put you on a small loop path that will bring you by two massive boulders. At the next intersection turn right. You will soon come to another intersection. Here continue straight. The trail winds through thick shrubs and you will come to another significant boulder before coming to the end of the trail. Turn right now onto the Grassland Trail. It will descend slightly downhill before coming to a farm road. Turn left here and follow the road to the large open field. Stay to the left and follow the perimeter of the field. You will see a sign for the Quansett Trail. On your left here is a path that leads to a loop trail that follows the perimeter of a field. It will add a half mile to your hike if you so choose to do it. For this hike continue straight along the Quansett Trail. Look for a post on the left by a narrow trail. When you find it follow the narrow path to a scenic viewing area. From here you can view the salt marsh and Buzzards Bay beyond. From here retrace your steps back along the narrow path, turn right onto the Quansett Trail, continue around the field, following the Grassland Trail back to the Boulder Loop. Instead of turning left where you came in, continue straight briefly before taking the next left. Follow this trail back to farm road by the cows. Be sure to check out the stone wall on your right along the way as you are very likely to find frolicking chipmunks. Also look for a vernal pool on your left along this stretch. After turning right onto the farm road, pass the trail on the left (the one you came in on) and then veer to the left onto the next trail. This will lead you back into the woods and over another boardwalk before ending at the stonewall and gate by the entrance trail. Turn right here to get to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond East.

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Woodland Loop Return by the Farm Road

Demarest Lloyd State Park – Dartmouth

  • Demarest Lloyd State Park/Wylde Reserve
  • Barneys Joy Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°31’21.26″N, 70°59’18.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 1, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with a beach walk.

 

A little research will go a long way. Demarest Lloyd State Park is essentially a beach on the shores of Buzzards Bay with a few trails. There is an entrance fee in the summer months and in the winter months the gates are closed adding a half mile walk down the entrance road. With that being said, at the very end of Barneys Joy Road on the left is the Wylde Reserve, a Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust property. There is just enough room to park one maybe two vehicles at most here. The trail starts at the chained gated. About fifty feet into the property you will find a kiosk. What is nice about this reserve is that its an out and back trail that starts right at the road and leads into the State Park while passing Georges Pond and carpet of thick shrubs. No need to pay an entrance fee or walk along a long paved road. After crossing the boundary between the two properties (which you likely won’t notice) continue straight at all the narrow trail intersections until you reach a wider sandy cart path. Turn left here and follow the path to the parks parking area by the restrooms. Here turn right to reach the beach and then turn to the left (north) and follow the beach to the point. The rocky beach does become sandy near the point. From here retrace your steps back to the entrance of the Wylde Reserve.

 

Map can be found at: Wylde Reserve.

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Sandy Cart Path and Pitch Pines

Ocean View Farm – Dartmouth

 

A long grass mowed path along the fence line of Round The Bend Farm leads you to a stunningly beautiful and sweeping view. Starting from a parking area at Allens Neck Road, the grass mowed pathway is flanked on the right by the active farm with chickens and cows and to the left by shrubs and trees the serve as a natural barrier to the abutting property. Following the path to the end of the fence, to the right, and then left once again will take you by a wildflower habitat as well. This property is a haven to birds. Warblers and red winged blackbirds were abundant along the path. Also a interesting observation, several groundhogs crossing the path as they scurried from shrubs to rock piles and back. At the end of the pathway is a raised observation deck that offers views of the fields, wetlands, pond, beaches, bluffs, Buzzards Bay, and Cuttyhunk on a clear day. Bring your binoculars!! The out and back walk is just over a mile and a half.

 

Map can be found at: Ocean View Farm.

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View From the Observation Deck.

New Bedford Garden Club Reserve – Dartmouth

  • New Bedford Garden Club Reserve
  • Gaffney Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°32’56.93″N, 70°59’50.99″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 21, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.4 miles
  • Fairly Easy.

 

Mileage is not going to be achieved on this hike. However, if you are in the area, especially in late June, this small property is a must stop. The short two tenths of a mile loop wraps around a small kettle hole pond. Both mountain laurel and rhododendrons bloom here in late June making for a short but beautiful stroll. Also, just at the end of the road is the Town Landing which offers a sweeping view of Slocum’s River.

 

Map can be found at: New Bedford Garden Club Reserve.

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Loop Trail Under Mountain Laurel.

Dodge Reserve – Dartmouth

 

This is the newest of the Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust properties opening just a few days ago. The property offers two blazed trails along each side of Buttonwood Brook. The yellow blazed trail follows the brook to an old, collapsed dam and the orange blazed trail crosses the stream (can be a bit tricky when the brook is flowing heavily after rain) and dead ends about a quarter mile after.

 

Map can be found at: Dodge Reserve.

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Buttonwood Brook and the Orange Blazed Trail.

Wernick Farm – Dartmouth

  • Wernick Farm Reserve
  • North Albro Avenue, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°41’23.98″N, 71° 2’51.42″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 21, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly Easy.

 

Set off of North Hixville Road down a long dirt road in northern Dartmouth is a beautiful property for a stroll. This property offers pine needle covered trails, stone walls, cellar holes, and a pond. Starting from the parking area at the kiosk we followed the orange blazed trail through the northern part of the reserve bordering the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve. We could hear the rustling of maybe a deer in the woods and an occasional hoot of a nearby owl. From here we followed the yellow blazed trail along the western edge of the property passing a large boulder of puddingstone before coming to an open area with a rather impressive cellar hole. From here we followed the green blazed loop trail around a small pond occupied by an abundance of frogs. From the pond we followed the green trail back to the cellar hole and then followed the red blazed trail back out to the parking area. Along the way on the right and slightly in the woods are the remains of a barns foundations.

 

Map can be found at: Wernick Farm.

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Along the Orange Blazed Trail

Howland Reserve – Dartmouth

 

The hardest part of Howland Reserve is finding it. The trail starts slightly set back on the east side of North Hixville Road at the clearing for a gas pipeline easement. But once you find it, you are in for a treat. This property has a small network of trails blazed red, orange, and yellow. For this hike I made a loop using a little of each trail. The trails wind through a canopy of towering pines and there is a spot to take a quick peek at the Copicut River. It is suggested to wear orange at this property as it is close to a rod and gun club. In fact the sound of gunfire is common. I came across several birds and a few ducks on this property.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Howland Reserve

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Tall Pines Along The Trail

Knowles-Padanaram – Dartmouth

  • Knowles-Padanaram Reserve
  • Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°35’3.48″N, 70°57’5.26″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 20, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy.

 

Knowles-Padanaram is a small property that extends on each side of West Smith Neck Road. The nearly 1 mile of trails weaves through a mix of trees and shrubs and skirts a salt marsh. The property also has a trail that leads to Dike Meadow Creek and a small pond. There was an abundance of several small birds here as well as seagulls. The main entrance is closed due to bridge and causeway construction along Smith Neck Road and Gulf Road. The reserve can be accessed via West Smith Neck Road.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Knowles-Padanaram

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Salt Marsh at Knowles-Padanaram

Smith Farm – Dartmouth

 

What a pleasant surprise of a property. One must say that the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust has some beautiful properties. Just down the road from Cornell Farm is Smith Farm. In comparison the trail system at Smith Farm is much shorter than Cornell but it is well worth the visit. The front end of the property offers a series of stone walls and what appears to be foundations. Starting by following the red blazed trail, you soon enter the woods. Among the deciduous trees are several holly trees and shrubs. The red trail soon comes to a large open field with one prominent pine tree. Follow the path across the field to continue following the red blazed trail. The next section of woods offer some swamps, wetlands, and stone walls. Next follow the blue blazed trail around Horseshoe Pond. It crosses several trickling streams as it follows the ponds edge. At the time of this hike I had come across an owl and several ducks. After following the blue blazed trail around the perimeter of the pond turn left at the red blazed trail and follow it to its end. Turn left and follow the orange blazed trail to its end. There you will find an observation platform that overlooks Nonquitt Marsh. From here follow the orange blazed trail back, staying on it to the parking area. It follows an old cart path road passing several stone walls and a vernal pool.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Smith Farm

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Field at Smith Farm

McBratney – Dartmouth

 

This short out and back orange blazed trail starting near utility pole number 394-71 along Smith Neck Road offers peeks at small ponds, streams, and wetlands. The narrow trail follows a small ridge before crossing a stream. The trail ends in a blueberry patch that would be in bloom in the summer months. At the time of this hike, being early morning, I came across several white tail deer and there was an abundance of birds chirping.

 

Trail maps can be found at: McBratney

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Stream Crossing at McBratney