Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve

Nestled between the Slocums River and the Little River in South Dartmouth, Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve is a must-see for outdoor explorers in southeastern Massachusetts. Only here at this Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust property can you hike through the woods and ascend into the air on a suspension bridge to see woods and wetlands from a bird’s-eye view.

Features

The most popular feature at Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve is truly a standout: a suspended boardwalk swaying 15 feet in the air over a red maple swamp. For hikers of all ages, it’s a fabulous destination that we highly recommend you discover! From the 200-foot-long suspended boardwalk and viewing platform, you can watch for birds and wildlife.

But that’s not all to see at Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve. Search for historic homesteads hidden in the woods – a sign of life from long ago. And the scenic salt marsh along the edge of the property forms the headwaters of Little River, which flows to Buzzards Bay.

Trails

a man and his dog on the trails at Frank Knowles Little River Reserve in Dartmouth

Friendly dogs are welcome at Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve – though not all of them enjoy the swaying suspension bridge as much as people do!

Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve boasts nearly nine miles of trails through the forest, over wetland boardwalks, and along a salt marsh. The entire network of trails is ripe for a full morning or afternoon of exploration with friends, family, and faithful four-legged companions. (Download trail map)

To reach the suspended boardwalk, follow the main trail (the Red Trail) from the parking area for just over a mile. You’ll hike along a winding, rocky path past a historic farmstead and the foundation of an old barn. Turn right after the foundation, and you’ll soon see the boardwalk gently rising into the air, ready to take you into the trees.

Once you cross the boardwalk, keep walking to continue toward the salt marshes and fields of Cornell Farm, or turn around to explore more trails at Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve. The Red Trail intersects with several other trails through the property, including the Orange Trail (a one-mile loop), the Blue Trail (a 2.5-mile loop), and the Yellow Trail (a one-mile loop).

Habitats & Wildlife

Within its nearly 200 acres, Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve hosts a diverse range of habitats where wildlife thrive. From salt marshes along the river to red maple swamps in the forest, this property is a delight to explore. Wildlife thrive in these woods, including bird species like barred owls and thrushes.

Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve is part of a 500-acre block of protected land, including nearby Cornell Farm, Smith Farm, McBratney Reserve, and the Lloyd Center for the Environment. Together, these properties protect important habitats for wildlife and give us special places to discover.

Property Owned By

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) is a nonprofit, accredited land trust. Since 1971, DNRT has helped protect more than 5,000 acres of land and maintain more than 35 miles of hiking trails in Dartmouth.

Details
Size: 194 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Small crushed-shell parking area; additional roadside parking
Cost: Free
Trail Difficulty: Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
637 Potomska Road
Dartmouth, MA 02748
41.552333, -70.985617

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve
Dartmouth, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Yoga at the Stone Barn
Fri, July 01 -
Sun, October 16
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary - Stone Barn Farm,
Dartmouth
Monday Morning Fitness Walks
Mon, September 12 -
Mon, October 17
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,
Westport
Cornell Pond Fishing Derby
Sat, October 01
7:00AM - 11:00AM
Cornell Pond,
Dartmouth

Nearby Places To Go

Cornell Farm

The idyllic pastures and sweeping salt marsh views at Cornell Farm in Dartmouth will captivate nature lovers of every age.

Lloyd Center for the Environment

This environmental education center in Dartmouth is also a destination for outdoor exploration on the Slocums River.

Destruction Brook Woods

Don’t let its name fool you: Destruction Brook Woods in Dartmouth is packed with unparalleled beauty.

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: Inner Little River

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