Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary
A natural oasis in coastal Dartmouth, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary protects hundreds of acres of beaches, fields, forests, and salt marshes along Allens Pond. With countless opportunities for birdwatching along 7 miles of trails, nature lovers young and old are in for a treat at this beautiful Mass Audubon sanctuary on the shores of Buzzards Bay.
With 7 miles of hiking trails spanning more than 600 acres of protected beaches, fields, forests, and salt marshes, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary is a destination for those who love to explore wild, diverse habitats. From sandy, windswept shores to working farms along the sanctuary’s edge, Allens Pond’s scenery is among the most spectacular on Buzzards Bay.
But there’s far more than just natural beauty at Allens Pond. This sanctuary protects a delicate coastal ecosystem where thousands of birds flock throughout the year. Mass Audubon hosts a wide variety of educational programs here for people of all ages, from guided walks to annual butterfly counts to summer yoga classes at the sanctuary’s 1860s-era Stone Barn Farm.
You could spend a whole day exploring Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary’s 7 miles of trails. We recommend you allow at least two hours to enjoy the network of meandering pathways and unparalleled water views. (Download trail map)
Begin your adventure at one of three trailheads: the main trailhead by the Field Station in Westport, the Stone Barn Farm entrance on Horseneck Road, or the Allens Neck trailhead next to Round the Bend Farm. The main trailhead and the Stone Barn Farm entrance are connected by the Quansett Trail, which is the sanctuary’s longest trail.
Starting from the main trailhead, you have two options: head right to explore the Beach Loop Trail, which leads east along the Buzzards Bay shoreline and circles back via the sheltered salt marsh along Allens Pond. Or venture left from the parking area to get on the Quansett Trail and hike for miles through the woods. If you have some extra time, check out the Fresh Pond Trail loop and climb the giant boulder for a treetop view!
The Allens Neck trail system is a separate 1.5-mile network through woods, pastures, and grasslands. The trails here loop around towering boulders and vernal pools that are hidden within the forest.
Habitats & Wildlife
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary was created by generous families who chose to conserve their land. Today, this Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary is a top-notch spot for birding in southeastern Massachusetts. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded here, including the rare piping plover, which nests along the beach.
From rocky shoreline to upland forests, the protected habitats at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary are a magnet for all types of wildlife. Egrets and herons hide in the pond’s salt marshes, while sparrows and butterflies flit through the fields and meadows by the Stone Barn Farm. In summer, keep an eye on the sky for ospreys – volunteers with the sanctuary monitor nearly 100 local osprey nesting platforms as part of the South Coast Osprey Project.
Mass Audubon works to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife.