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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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 in the woods, 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
trail and rocky shoreline on Buzzards Bay at Gooseberry Island in Westport
10 East Beach Rd., 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 Street, 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)
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 Avenue, 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
Sagamore Bridge from Herring Run Recreation Area in Bourne
810 Scenic Highway, Bourne, MA 02532
|Directions

Herring Run Recreation Area's name tells you why it's special — it's home to a herring run on Cape Cod Canal.

Parking: Large paved parking area
Facilities: Restrooms (seasonal), Trash, Picnic Tables
sandy and salt marsh shoreline at Hiller's Cove Beach in Mattapoisett
46 Aucoot Rd., Mattapoisett, MA 02739
|Directions

In summer, Hiller's Cove Beach is a favorite destination for Mattapoisett families to splash in warm, calm waters.

Parking: Medium-sized unpaved parking area; parking pass required in summer (first week of July through last week of August)
Facilities: Restrooms
Dharma Voyage rowing at Hix Bridge Landing on the Westport River
303 Hixbridge Rd., Westport, MA 02790
|Directions

Set on the upper East Branch of the Westport River, Hix Bridge Landing is a place to launch a boat or kayak into the river.

Size: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Large unpaved parking lot (vehicles and trailers); resident permit required to park
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Kayak Launch, Dock (wood/floating)
pier next to the boat ramp at Hoppy's Landing in Fairhaven
69 Goulart Memorial Dr., Fairhaven, MA 02719
|Directions

Called a “fisherman’s paradise," Hoppy’s Landing on West Island in Fairhaven is your gateway to Buzzards Bay.

Parking: Large crushed-shell parking area (vehicles and trailers)
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Kayak Launch, Pier (wood), Restrooms, Trash
hundreds of people on Horseneck Beach on a summer day
251 John Reed Rd., Westport, MA 02790
|Directions

With two miles of sand and surf, the 600-acre Horseneck Beach State Reservation is a recreational paradise in Westport.

Size: 600 acres
Parking: Large paved parking lots
Facilities: Restrooms (seasonal), Showers (seasonal), Picnic Tables
the remnants of an old dam at Horseshoe Mill in Wareham
Station Street, Wareham, MA 02571
|Directions

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

Size: 34 acres
Parking: Medium-sized parking area at the end of Station Street
Facilities: None

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