Collins Woodlot was part of the first group of properties protected by the town and the 300 Committee in 1986. The central trail on this property forms a portion of the nine-mile Falmouth Moraine Trail, a path that traces landscape created by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Collins Woodlot’s glacial past can be seen in its rocky hills and the pine bowl on the north side of the reserve. This tree-ringed depression was created when a chunk of ice broke off from a glacier and melted into the earth.
Collins Woodlot is one of the more wild sections of the Moraine Trail, with thickly wooded trails snaking up and down hills scattered with rocks. One trail leads to a fascinating old fire tower that stands high above the trees. This tower was built in 1914, and fire watchers still use it today during high-risk fire season.
The trails at Collins Woodlot are not always clearly marked or well maintained, making these paths better for experienced hikers. The main path along the Moraine Trail is 0.6 miles long and marked with white blazes, and there are many more side trails to explore. (Download trail map)
We recommend starting your walk at Collins Woodlot from the southern entrance on Service Road, a well-loved trailhead next to a dirt pull-off and a large Town of Falmouth conservation sign. Follow the northern branch of this trail, toward Blacksmith Shop Road, to circle around the scenic pine bowl. To gaze up at the old fire tower, head southeast from the pine bowl toward Firetower Road.
If you’re heading through Collins Woodlot on the nine-mile Moraine Trail, you can reach the southern section at Long Pond & Falmouth Town Forest by carefully crossing Brick Kiln Road. If you’re trekking north, you’ll find the next section of the Moraine Trail by taking the trail off the northeast side of the kettle hole. Cross Blacksmith Shop Road to enter Kettle Holes Conservation Area just east of the wastewater facility service road.
Habitats & Wildlife
Part of Collins Woodlot was a nine-hole golf course in the 1920s and 30s, though no trace of the course remains today. Sunlit forest has sprung up in this space, complete with a wide variety of trees and plants. Look for beech, hickory, red and white pine, Norway and red spruce, oak, and locust trees along the trail. Blueberry bushes grow thick between the trees, alongside clusters of mayflower— the Massachusetts state flower — which opens delicate pink and white blossoms in the spring.
These quiet woods are also a haven for local wildlife, including small mammals, deer, foxes, and many songbirds. Don’t be surprised if you come around a corner to find a flock of turkeys barring your path; these birds love the shelter of Collins Woodlot’s dense trees.