Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area

Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area is a hidden gem nestled along the Weweantic River in Wareham. Named in memory of Doug Westgate, a former Wareham Conservation Commission member, this 49-acre town-owned property features trails along cranberry bogs, across streams, and through the woods to the banks of the river.

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a boy with a net exploring a stream in the woods

Kids and families will love exploring the scenic woods and streams at Westgate Conservation Area.

If you want to explore a classic Wareham landscape, Westgate Conservation Area is an ideal spot. This property was acquired by the town of Wareham in 2014 with assistance from the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Near its entrance on Papermill Road, discover several cranberry bogs that have been retired from commercial production. The nearby woods are ripe with ferns and moss that grow along trickling streams.

Just beyond the bogs lies the Weweantic River, Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river. From here, this water flows south past Horseshoe Mill all the way to the Bay. The remains of mill operations still exist along the river, offering a peek at Wareham’s industrial past.


Visitors to Westgate Conservation Area can plan to spend an hour or more exploring the trails. It can get muddy in spots, so boots are a good choice to wear when hiking here. (Download trail map)

From the trailhead at the parking area on Papermill Road, follow a wide, flat trail to enter the forest. This will lead you to the Bog Loop Trail, a network of grassy paths that encircle the cranberry bogs.

Keep walking southeast into the forest, and you’ll find the River Walk. Stop at the footbridge to take in a quiet view of rocky streambanks, or continue further along the loop that leads past the Weweantic River.

Habitats & Wildlife

With so many different types of habitats, Westgate Conservation Area is a great place for wildlife watching. Look for frogs, turtles, ducks, and water birds in the old cranberry bogs – especially in the easternmost cell, which is the wettest. While walking in the woods, look for signs of deer and turkey.

Property Owned By
Size: 49 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Small gravel parking area off Papermill Road
Cost: Free
Trail Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
29 Papermill Rd.
Wareham, MA 02576
41.779926, -70.763822

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area
Wareham, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Itty Bitty Bay Explorers: Signs of Spring
Wed, April 26
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Westgate Conservation Area,
Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride
Sun, October 01
Sakonnet Point to Woods Hole,
Tour de Crème
Sun, May 21
Mattapoisett Town Beach,

Nearby Places To Go

Horseshoe Mill

Discover Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river at Horseshoe Mill, part of the growing Weweantic River Reserve in Wareham.

Birch Island Conservation Area

Birch Island in Wareham isn’t actually an island. But with river views in every direction, you might mistake it for one!

Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area

Take a wild adventure through thousands of acres of remote forest and swamp at Rocky Gutter in Middleborough.

Current Issues

Land Conservation

Conserving land is one of the most important ways to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. Since 1998, the Coalition has forever preserved more than 7,000 acres of land across our region.

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Bay Health: Weweantic River – Fresh

Find your water quality score in Bay Health ›