Copicut – a Wampanoag word meaning “deep woods” – is an apt name to describe this southern gateway to the 13,600-acre Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve. As part of the Bioreserve (along with neighboring Watuppa Reservation, Freetown-Fall River State Forest, and Copicut Wildlife Management Area), Copicut Woods introduces outdoor explorers to this special protected ecosystem.
You’ll find a peaceful natural retreat at Copicut Woods: towering trees, quietly flowing streams, and flourishing vernal pools. Raised boards lead you through a freshwater swamp, where Atlantic white cedars twist toward the sky. At the Isaac Miller Homestead – an abandoned farm settlement hidden in the woods – moss-covered stone walls and foundations bring local history into full view.
With 5.4 miles of easy trails, Copicut Woods has a path that will appeal to everybody. The trails are lined with numbered signs that correspond with the map, making navigation a breeze. (Download trail map)
The main parking area is located on Indian Town Road. From here, pick up the Horseshoe Trail into the Copicut Wildlife Management Area. Or carefully cross the street to follow the Shockley Trail south past a stand of glowing beech trees. The Shockley Trail ends on unpaved Yellow Hill Road, which you can cross to find Copicut Woods’ main trail network. (Note: Hunting is allowed at Copicut Woods west of Yellow Hill Road, so make sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.)
Over on the main trail network, take a walk toward the historic Isaac Miller Homestead from either the Shockley Trail or the small parking area on Yellow Hill Road. Enjoy views of placid vernal pools and gently flowing Miller Brook, and then stop for a secluded picnic lunch in the “Ed Shed.” Before you go, we recommend taking a stroll down mile-long Miller Lane, an idyllic old carriage road lined with stone walls and draped with a canopy of trees.
Up for a more challenging walk? Check out the Cedar Swamp Trail, a short out-and-back path west of Yellow Hill Road. Follow the green arrows until you arrive at the boardwalks through an Atlantic white cedar swamp. The raised boards can be wobbly and slippery at times, so tread carefully.
Habitats & Wildlife
Copicut Woods is an integral part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, one of the largest unfragmented forests in eastern Massachusetts. As such, Copicut Woods and the surrounding Bioreserve provide a home for wildlife that are sensitive to humans, such as hawks and turtles. In spring, the property’s two vernal pools (located along the Shockley Trail east of Yellow Hill Road) are filled with breeding frogs and salamanders.
A unique feature of Copicut Woods is its access to an Atlantic white cedar swamp. Cedar swamps were once common in this region, but today only a few remnant stands grow. This ecologically significant area offers the potential for restoration in the future, and is a beautiful place to explore.
The Trustees preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.