Bourne Farm was founded in 1775, and its farmhouse was one of the first seven houses in West Falmouth. The original farmhouse and barn still stand here today.
In the fall, Bourne Farm’s wide field fills with pumpkins, which provide the centerpiece for an annual Pumpkin Day celebration. The property’s grounds and barn can also be rented for weddings and other celebrations; you may see tents set up in its field and temporary closures of the property during events. If you come at a quieter time, head to Crocker Pond, where stone benches line the shore and offer a place to sit and contemplate its still blue waters.
You can also reach Bourne Farm from the Shining Sea Bikeway, which cuts through the middle of the property. Look below the bike path and you’ll spot an old cattle tunnel, which provided a safe passage for animals when this paved path was a bustling railroad line.
The trails at Bourne Farm begin at the pumpkin field and lead to the bike path just beyond an old stone wall. They pick back up on the other side of the bike path, creating a maze through the woods with options for hours of outdoor discovery. (Download trail map)
To explore the trails west of the bike path, look for the trailhead tucked beside the fence of a residential home. After just a few steps, you’ll find yourself on a lattice of paths through quiet woods. All of the trails in this section of Bourne Farm connect to a roughly circular outer path called the “Big Loop” and a central path called “Middle Road.” Small wooden signs mark the many paths and crossroads to help you find your way back to one of these two main trails. These wide, pine-carpeted paths wind up and down some moderately steep hills, past moss-covered boulders and beneath tall oak, pine, and birch trees.
Want to extend your adventure? Walk just a few minutes down the bike path to reach Cardoza Farm, another protected property with trails to explore. Alternately, at the northeastern edge of the Big Loop, you’ll find the Herring Run Trail, which leads to the ponds and bogs in neighboring Wing Pond Woods. (The Herring Run Trail runs parallel to an equestrian trail that is only for horses and riders.) This trail crosses over Herring Brook, a meandering stream that widens out into a salt marsh behind Old Silver Beach, and which serves as an important passageway for spawning river herring.
Habitats & Wildlife
Undeveloped, protected open fields are a rarity on Cape Cod, which makes Bourne Farm a valuable habitat for local animals. One is the New England cottontail, a native rabbit that lives under thick bushes like sweet pepperbush and dogwood shrub. These shrubs help the cottontails hide from potential predators such as hawks, foxes, and owls, which also call this property home.
Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries, Inc. is a non-profit privately administered corporation dedicated to conserving the natural resources of Falmouth.