Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area

Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area is a hidden gem nestled along the Weweantic River in Wareham. Named in memory of Doug Westgate, a former Wareham Conservation Commission member, this 49-acre town-owned property features trails along cranberry bogs, across streams, and through the woods to the banks of the river.


a boy with a net exploring a stream in the woods

Kids and families will love exploring the scenic woods and streams at Westgate Conservation Area.

If you want to explore a classic Wareham landscape, Westgate Conservation Area is an ideal spot. This property was acquired by the town of Wareham in 2014 with assistance from the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Near its entrance on Papermill Road, discover several cranberry bogs that have been retired from commercial production. The nearby woods are ripe with ferns and moss that grow along trickling streams.

Just beyond the bogs lies the Weweantic River, Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river. From here, this water flows south past Horseshoe Mill all the way to the Bay. The remains of mill operations still exist along the river, offering a peek at Wareham’s industrial past.


Visitors to Westgate Conservation Area can plan to spend an hour or more exploring the trails. It can get muddy in spots, so boots are a good choice to wear when hiking here. (Download trail map)

From the trailhead at the parking area on Papermill Road, follow a wide, flat trail to enter the forest. This will lead you to the Bog Loop Trail, a network of grassy paths that encircle the cranberry bogs.

Keep walking southeast into the forest, and you’ll find the River Walk. Stop at the footbridge to take in a quiet view of rocky streambanks, or continue further along the loop that leads past the Weweantic River.

Habitats & Wildlife

With so many different types of habitats, Westgate Conservation Area is a great place for wildlife watching. Look for frogs, turtles, ducks, and water birds in the old cranberry bogs – especially in the easternmost cell, which is the wettest. While walking in the woods, look for signs of deer and turkey.

Property Owned By
Size: 49 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Small gravel parking area off Papermill Road
Cost: Free
Trail Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
29 Papermill Rd.
Wareham, MA 02576
41.779926, -70.763822

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area
Wareham, MA
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