Just west of Apponagansett Bay, the Dike Creek Reserve sits along one of the largest inland salt marshes in the region. The property features a trail system with four separate paths and a boardwalk, allowing visitors to explore woodlands, wetlands and marsh that have been identified as critical wildlife habitat.
The Coalition and DNRT worked together to protect this 77-acre reserve, which was part of the larger 128-acre “Apponagansett Bay Farm.” The property includes extensive frontage on Dike Creek Marsh, which is fed by Dike Creek, a salt water creek system that flows to Apponagansett Bay. Combined with surrounding conservation land, the reserve is part of a block of 570 acres of protected land around the creek.
The trail network at Dike Creek includes several loops and connecting paths that wind for roughly two miles through the woods and wetlands, and along Dike Creek Marsh. It would take less than an hour to walk the entire system, but it’s worth your while to go slow and soak in the diversity of sights and sounds along the way. (Download trail map.)
You begin on the red trail, which heads along the border of an open field into the woods, winding through forested swamp before circling around through woodlands to the edge of a privately-owned vineyard (please be respectful of the neighbors and stay on the path).
The yellow trail departs from the northeastern corner of the vineyard, through an opening in an old stone wall, heading toward Dike Creek Marsh. The trail travels along the marsh edge and features two lookout points that offer expansive views of the salt creek marsh before looping back to the vineyard.
The trail system also includes a blue path that serves as a shortcut to the vineyard, and the white trail, which features a 600-foot stretch of boardwalk through the swamp.
Habitats & Wildlife
Dike Creek contains a diverse range of habitats—salt marsh, forested swamp, agricultural fields, two streams, and wooded uplands. The property also contains two vernal pools. In the spring, you will hear wood frogs and spring peepers chorusing in the wetlands along the White Trail. From the edge of the salt marsh on the Yellow Trail, look for ospreys and willets in the summer. Check the agricultural field along the Red Trail for hawks hunting prey and listen for the hoot of the barred owl.
Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) is a nonprofit, accredited land trust. Since 1971, DNRT has helped protect more than 5,000 acres of land and maintain more than 35 miles of hiking trails in Dartmouth.