Archive for the ‘ ~DARTMOUTH MA~ ’ Category

Slocum’s River – Dartmouth

  • Slocum’s River Reserve
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’6.97″N, 71° 0’34.00″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 3, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

This property has a maze of unmarked trails that offer some spectacular views of the Slocum River and its wetlands. Covering most of the property will give you a hike of over 2 miles. For this hike we did the south end of the property first checking out the Amphitheater, Angelicas Overlook, and the Canoe Landing before doing the loop around a large open field which offered sweeping views. From here we toured the north via the Sam Francis Trail to Sarah’s Field to the short spur to the Grosswendt Reserve which also offers great views of the waterway and wetlands. Making our way back to the parking area we passed through the Bluebird Field. For a longer walk you could cross the road to Dartmoor Farm.

Trail Map: Slocum’s River

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Down By The River

Allens Pond West – Dartmouth

  • Allens Pond West
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°30’24.53″N, 71° 1’25.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy trails with rocky beach walk.

                                                                            

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. This hike, the third, covers the western portion of the property. Starting from the Field Station parking area stay to the left and follow the grass mowed trail towards an opening in a stone wall. The trail crosses through another grass field before coming to a dirt road. Turn left here and almost immediately you will be turning right passing an open gate. You are now on the Quansett Trail. You start getting your first glimpses of Allens Pond on the right. Ahead you will cross a stone wall. Here a rather extensive boardwalk begins. The first highlight is a viewing area to the right. The second, just after the bend is a bridge that crosses over a marshy area. The trail, back on land now, traverses through thickets, pass boulders and more stone walls before coming to a stretch of “stepping stones”. At the next intersection there is a distinctive boulder. Stay to the left here and continue following the Quansett Trail. You will cross a small brook before coming to the Tree Top Trail. Again bear to the left and continue on he Quansett Trail. You will come upon more boulders and a “stretch of green” featuring skunk cabbage and fiddleheads in early spring. For this hike, turn right at the next intersection onto the Fresh Pond Trail. (The Quansett Trail continues ahead here into the central part of the property.) Along the trail to the left is a spur to Poison Ivy Rock. There is a nice view of the cove here and a good spot to take a break. I did not see any poison ivy! Continuing along the Fresh Pond Trail you will soon come to the trails namesake on the right. Look for nesting swans and geese here along with several other birds. The trail then turns to the right passing a sitting area before coming to the “stone bridge”. Here you will get another glimpse of Fresh Pond to the right. After crossing the bridge the trail ends in a bit completing a loop. Turn left back onto the Quansett Trail, passing the stepping stones, boardwalks, and to the dirt road. Turn left onto the dirt road and follow it about a tenth of a mile to an area with sweeping views of Allens Pond. Look for osprey atop the pole, herons, and egrets. There will be a information kiosk on the right with a sandy path. Follow this path to the rocky beach. At the beach you will see the Elizabeth Islands in the distance. On a clear day you may be able to make out the Gosnald Tower near the end of Cuttyhunk, the island to the right. Turn right onto the beach and follow it to the large outcrop. The trail then climbs over the outcrop coming back down the other side to another rocky beach. After the zigzagged stone walls to the right the trail turns to the right coming into a grass field. From here follow the grass mowed path to the parking area. Check out the Bayside Restaurant across the street for their blueberry pie!!

 

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond West

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Stone Walls and Boardwalks

Dike Creek Reserve – Dartmouth

  • Dike Creek Reserve
  • Bakerville Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°34’30.85″N, 70°58’38.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, some roots here and there.

Looking for a beautiful easy hike, fairly flat, no hills, fields, woods, streams, and water views? Dike Creek Reserve is the place to check out. Starting from the parking area, make your way into the property by following a red blaze access trail that runs along a working farm. The trail then moves into a section of woodlands for a bit. A newly built boardwalk carries you over the wet areas. The trail then comes back to another field, continue ahead going slightly downhill for the length of the field. The trail now enters the woods once again. In a bit you will come to a trail intersection. For this hike, turn left onto the blue blazed trail and follow it to its end. Along the way there is another set of boardwalks and a bridge that crosses a small stream. Turn right onto the white blazed trail and will soon be at a long boardwalk. Near the end of the boardwalk the red trail intersects. Here will eventually want to go left. But first, continue ahead a bit, passing a trail on the right, to a dead end that has a sweeping view of Dike Creek. Retracing your steps take a peek down the red trail now on your left. There is another bridge here that crosses a well worn stream. Retracing your steps once again back to the end of the white blazed trail, turn right onto the red blazed trail. It soon passes through a stone wall winding ever so slightly uphill to another stone wall and a vineyard. From here turn right and follow the yellow blazes back into the woods. The trail makes a loop through the northern part of the property with another spot to view Dikes Creek. After doing the loop retrace your steps back to the red blazed trail. Here continue straight ahead following the perimeter of the vineyard and the end of the red trail. Turn left onto the white blazed trail as it zig zags back to the intersection with the blue trail. Turn right onto the blue trail, then right onto the red and follow it back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Dike Creek

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Allens Pond Central – Dartmouth

                                                                            

This sprawling Massachusetts Audubon property offers all sorts of scenes. Farm fields, woodlands, marshes, and ocean views. To maximize visiting all of the trails here I broke the hike into three sections (East, West, and Central). This hike explores the central part of the property. Starting from the “Stone Barn” trailhead off of Horseneck Road, follow the trail to the west through an open field. The trail turns to the south and intersects shortly with another trail to the left. That trail will lead you to the eastern part of the property. For this hike continue ahead into the next field. Soon you will pass a shelter and a wooden fence. The trail turns to the left and then right into a stretch of woodlands. Just into the woods there is an inviting rock to sit. Take the moment. You will here will hear the chipmunks and squirrels rustling, maybe the sound of a woodpecker. I had got a glimpse of a deer here and some wild turkey. The trail continues ahead for a bit offering glimpses of Allens Pond to the left. When you get to the long stone wall stay to the left. This is the Ruebens Point Trail. Scramble up the outcrop to the left of the wall and ahead is a scenic view of the pond complete with a sitting bench. From here follow the trail down the stone steps and turn left at the next intersection. This trail leads to the point. Returning, take a left at the intersection onto the Zylfee Brook Trail and follow it to the next overlook. From here retrace your steps a few feet, turn left then right back onto the Quansett Trail. You will turn left and then follow the long stone wall (now on your right) back to the next trail intersection. From here continue straight and follow the trail back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond Central

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Allens Cove From the Rueben Point Viewpoint

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