Blackwater Pond Reservation includes four ponds—Northern Duarte’s Pond, Southern Duarte’s Pond, Blackwater Pond, and Turtle Pond—that empty into Blackwater Brook, which wends its way to Lambert’s Cove and Vineyard Sound. Trails traverse the forested ridges and wetlands that surround the ponds.
Access to the reservation is offered by a small dirt track off Lambert’s Cove Road that is marked only by a Land Bank signpost. The road passes the notherneastern edge of Northern Duarte’s Pond, with parking areas just across the shore. This is a great spot for fishing from one of the several landings along the shore or launching a kayak. A handful of benches line the eastern edge of the pond.
Blackwater Pond Reservation offers nearly 2.5 miles of trails with numerous scenic spots to stop and look out over the water for scenic views of forested shores and clear, dark-blue waters (download trail map). The Blackwater Trail heads due south and then cuts between Northern and Southern Duarte’s ponds by way of a boardwalk-covered causeway.
On the western shore of the ponds, the trail climbs a forested hillside to an intersection. The left fork dips close to the shore of Blackwater Pond and travels past several viewing platforms that bring you right to the water’s edge. At the southern end of the pond, walkers can loop back along the top of the ridge or continue over a boardwalk through wetlands and a wooded path to tiny Turtle Pond.
Habitats & Wildlife
Blackwater Pond Reservation is home to a diverse array of habitat, from red maple swamp to mixed oak forests. The ponds are home to a variety of freshwater fish, including large-mouth bass and yellow perch. Eastern painted turtles can be seen swimming and sunning themselves during the summer months; river otters have been spotted here as well.
The land bank is an independent public authority dedicated to preserving open space for the benefit of the entire Martha’s Vineyard community.