As soon as you step into the woods at Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail, you’ll quickly leave the city behind. This incredible natural haven of woods and wetlands in the North End of New Bedford takes visitors on a tour of forest life. With its location just minutes from busy King’s Highway, Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail proves that you don’t need to go far to find an adventure!
The nature trail is named for Flora B. Peirce (pronounced “purse”), a local resident who helped create the New Bedford Conservation Commission in the 1960s. The Conservation Commission’s first major project was to develop the trail system here.
Flora Peirce’s trails are perfect for all types of explorers, from families to active adults. We recommend that you allow at least an hour to complete the full loop. But if you want a shorter adventure, the vernal pool and pond are an easy 15-minute walk from the entrance. (Download trail map)
From the trailhead on Falmouth Street, walk west on the red trail through a clearing into the woods. At the first intersection, you can either turn left or right. Stay right to continue on the red trail, which leads to the pond. Or branch off to the left on the yellow trail, which will take you to the vernal pool. The yellow trail loops through the woods before connecting with the red trail again near the pond.
Habitats & Wildlife
With its mix of meadows, forests, and swampy wetlands, Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail is a natural treasure for the New Bedford community. It’s located next to the 1,850-acre Acushnet Cedar Swamp, so wildlife such as deer, turkeys, coyotes, and songbirds thrive in this protected network of habitats. (Before you go, download this trail guide to help you identify plants and animals along your walk.)
The nature trail is the site of a large pond where frogs, turtles, salamanders, and dragonflies live. You might never guess, but this pond eventually becomes the Paskamansett/Slocums River, which flows through Dartmouth to Buzzards Bay!
Another unique feature at Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail is the vernal pool: a temporary wetland in the woods where frogs, salamanders, and insects lay their eggs. Peer into the pool’s clear waters in spring, and you’ll see soft clouds of eggs floating near the surface.