Davis-Douglas Conservation Area is made up of four interconnected preserves spread across 232 acres of conservation land. Since 2014, one of these preserves, Davis-Douglas Farm, has also been the headquarters of the Wildlands Trust and a community center. Anyone can come to Davis-Douglas Farm to participate in outdoor programs or community workshops, lease space in the seasonal garden, or just relax in the farm’s grassy meadows for a picnic.
The wooded preserves of Davis-Douglas Conservation Area also offer a place for people to explore Plymouth’s distinct local environments. Experience a taste of Plymouth’s rural past on old cart paths and woodland trails in Six Ponds East Preserve. Get your heart pumping on the hills of Emery Preserve West, also a great place to spot a variety of birds, or by climbing a piece of the Ellisville Moraine in Emery Preserve East to reach the scenic shore of Cotton Pond. You can explore all four preserves for a full-day adventure, or return time and time again to explore these unique habitats as they change with the seasons.
Three linked trails wind through Davis-Douglas’ four preserves, totaling over four miles to explore. You can begin your walk at trailheads on Long Pond Road or Ship Pond Road, and pass from one preserve to the next via connecting trails. (Download trail map)
You’ll find the longest walk here on the red trail, a 2.2-mile loop over the rolling hills of Emery Preserve West, through town of Plymouth conservation land, and across the rural woodlands of Six Ponds East Preserve. For a shorter trip with just as much scenery, walk the green trail, a one-mile out-and-back trail through Emery Preserve West. To explore Emery Preserve East and the 0.9-mile blue trail to Cotton Pond, take the path that branches off the southeast corner of the red trail and runs alongside Ship Pond Road.
Habitats & Wildlife
Several fascinating habitats converge on the lands of Davis Douglas Conservation Area. Six Ponds East Preserve is part of the distinct pine and oak barrens of Plymouth, Carver, and Wareham, among the most biologically significant habitats on the east coast. Scrub pines in Emery Preserve East mix with red maple, gray birch, and aspen.
Emery Preserve West holds more pitch pine and scub oak in the northern section, where you might hear the calls of songbirds like black-capped chickadees, prairie warblers, rufous-sided towhees, common yellowthroats and hermit thrush. However, this preserve changes in its lower elevations on the southern end, where a lovely grove of tall white pines stretches overhead. If you’re lucky, you might see — or hear! — a great horned owl roosting in these trees.
The Wildlands Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land and preserving the natural heritage of Southeastern Massachusetts. Since 1973, The Wildlands Trust has helped protect nearly 10,000 acres of natural and agricultural lands.