Birding & Wildlife Observation

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With deep forests, rocky coasts, and rich salt marshes, Buzzards Bay is a haven for wildlife of all types. Migratory birds flock to our shores along the Atlantic Flyway, while frogs and salamanders thrive in the vernal pools that pop up in our woods each spring. So grab a pair of binoculars and visit one of these places to seek out our region’s special birds and wildlife.

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bog boards on the trails at East Over Reservation Hales Brook and Sippican River Tracts
285 County Rd., Marion, MA 02738
|Directions

These two tracts are part of a network of local conservation areas in Marion and Rochester that you can explore.

Size: 322 acres
Parking: Medium-sized parking area along County Road
Facilities: None
the shoreline of Electric Avenue Beach in Bourne
26 Gardinier Ave., Bourne, MA 02532
|Directions

Rock down to Electric Avenue to discover an intimate beach and boat ramp a stone’s throw from the Cape Cod Canal.

Parking: Medium-sized paved parking area
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Pier/Dock (wood/floating), Bicycle Rack, Trash, Picnic Table, Playground
Fearing Hill Swamp in Wareham.
37 Fearing Hill Rd., Wareham, MA 02571
|Directions

Canoe or kayak upstream from Fearing Hill Swamp in Wareham to explore the Weweantic River's protected wooded shores.

Size: 0.2 acres
Parking: Small roadside pull-off
Facilities: Canoe/Kayak Launch
pond at Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail in New Bedford
Falmouth Street, New Bedford, MA 02745
|Directions

A natural oasis hidden in the North End of New Bedford, Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail takes visitors on a tour of forest life.

Size: 148 acres
Parking: Roadside parking on Falmouth Street
Facilities: None
cannons along the water at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven
Green Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719
|Directions

With beautiful harbor views, a sandy beach, and a historic coastal fort, Fort Phoenix is a treasure for local residents.

Size: 9.3 acres
Parking: Three medium/large paved parking lots
Facilities: Restrooms (seasonal), Showers (seasonal), Picnic Tables, Playground
Fort Rodman and bike paths at Fort Taber Park in New Bedford
1000 South Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford, MA 02744
|Directions

With a sandy beach, bike path, and fishing pier, Fort Taber Park offers sweeping Buzzards Bay views that are steeped in history.

Size: 50 acres
Parking: Large paved parking lot
Facilities: Pier (concrete), Restrooms (seasonal), Picnic Tables, Trash, Playground, Learning/Visitor Center, Food/Concession (seasonal)
a wooded pond near sunset at Four Ponds Conservation Area in Bourne
140 Barlows Landing Rd., Pocasset, MA 02559
|Directions

Explore tranquil ponds, wetlands, and woods at Bourne's Four Ponds Conservation Area and Town Forest in Pocasset.

Size: 280 acres
Parking: Small gravel parking area
Facilities: None
boardwalk through the woods at Frank Knowles Little River Reserve in Dartmouth
637 Potomska Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02748
|Directions

Nestled along the Little River in South Dartmouth, this large hiking area is a must-see for outdoor explorers.

Size: 194 acres
Parking: Small crushed-shell parking area; additional roadside parking
Facilities: None
Profile Rock at Freetown-Fall River State Forest
110 Slab Bridge Rd., Freetown, MA 02702
|Directions

For a true adventure, head to vast Freetown-Fall River State Forest, part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve.

Size: 5,441 acres
Parking: Large paved parking area at forest headquarters; Medium-sized unpaved parking areas at Profile Rock and on Copicut Road and Bell Rock Road; Roadside parking at trailheads throughout forest
Facilities: Restrooms (seasonal), Picnic Tables, Trash
shoreline of the Slocums River in Dartmouth from Gaffney Road Landing
2 Gaffney Road, Dartmouth, MA 02748
|Directions

Take a paddling adventure on the gorgeous Slocums River in Dartmouth from this small town-owned landing.

Parking: Small gravel parking area (vehicles and trailers)
Facilities: None
George E. Wood Memorial Fishermen's Access Ramp in Rochester
487 Neck Rd., Rochester, MA 02770
|Directions

Explore Snipatuit Pond on a canoe, kayak, or small boat from this state launch ramp in Rochester.

Parking: Small unpaved parking area
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Canoe/Kayak Launch
A view of Buzzards Bay between two World War II lookout towers at Gooseberry Island in Westport.
West Shore Road, Westport, MA 02790
|Directions

Explore nature, history, and spectacular coastal beauty along the rugged shores of Gooseberry Island in Westport.

Size: 73 acres
Parking: Medium-sized gravel parking lot (vehicles and trailers)
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Kayak Launch, Restrooms (seasonal)
dinghys on the sand next to a salt marsh at Gray Gables Beach in Bourne
15 Gilder Rd., Bourne, MA 02532
|Directions

This sandy beach in Bourne is a local favorite thanks to its cozy neighborhood vibe and fascinating views of Cape Cod Canal.

Parking: Medium-sized paved parking lot
Facilities: Trash
dock with commercial fishing vessels on Great Harbor in Woods Hole
16 Albatross St., Falmouth, MA 02540
|Directions

This Woods Hole boat ramp is a gateway for boaters and anglers to the waters of Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.

Parking: One parking spot at ramp for loading and unloading; metered street parking available throughout Woods Hole
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Dock (wood/floating)
A man looking out over farmland from the trail at Great Neck Conservation Area in Wareham.
36 Crooked River Rd., Wareham, MA 02571
|Directions

From hilly glacial remnants to lush salt marshes, Great Neck Conservation Area in Wareham has something for everyone.

Size: 104 acres
Parking: Small unpaved parking area
Facilities: None
boy walking through the woods at Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Stockton Short Cut, Wareham, MA 02571
|Directions

Explore pine forests and salt marshes overlooking the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal at Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.

Size: 219 acres
Parking: Small unpaved parking area
Facilities: None
a man walking a dog on the trail through the woods at Halfway Pond Conservation Area in Plymouth
387 Mast Rd., Plymouth, MA 02360
|Directions

Discover Plymouth’s peaceful ponds and woodlands by foot or canoe at Halfway Pond Conservation Area.

Size: 409.6 acres
Parking: Small unpaved parking areas on Mast Road and at the intersection of Gallows Pond Road and West Long Point Road
Facilities: Canoe/Kayak Launch
bench on Hen Cove Beach in Bourne
180 Circuit Ave., Bourne, MA 02559
|Directions

With calm waters and a roped-off swimming area, Hen Cove Beach in Bourne is perfect for families with small children.

Parking: Medium-sized paved parking area
Facilities: Trash
view of Hen Cove from town landing in Pocasset
109 Circuit Ave., Bourne, MA 02559
|Directions

Launch from Hen Cove Landing in Pocasset to reach Red Brook Harbor, one of Cape Cod’s favorite boating destinations.

Parking: 2-3 parking spaces for vehicles and trailers; additional vehicle parking at Hen Cove Beach
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Kayak Launch, Pier (wood)
meadow trail at Herb Hadfield Conservation Area in Westport
328 Adamsville Rd., Westport, MA 02790
|Directions

Herb Hadfield's woods, wetlands, and meadows surround Angeline Brook, a pristine coldwater trout stream in Westport.

Size: 152 acres
Parking: Two small gravel parking areas
Facilities: None

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