With a family-friendly nature trail and easy access to the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway, it’s easy to see why Herring Run Recreation Area attracts so many people to its shores.
Herring Run Recreation Area is an interesting destination because it offers clear views of a fish ladder, which was built to help migrating river herring swim upstream to spawn. We recommend stopping at this spot in spring, when you can watch herring make their way up the fish ladder.
Take a walk with your kids on the Bournedale Hills Trail, which begins at Herring Run Recreation Area. This easy, pine tree-lined nature trail travels through the woods along the canal for 1.4 miles to Bourne Scenic Park. The trail also features a 0.8-mile interpretive loop with information about the canal’s history and natural features.
Herring Run Recreation Area is also an access point to the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway, a paved service road that runs for 7 miles on the north side of the canal. This wide, flat trail is perfect for all ages to bike, walk, and run along the canal’s northern shore. Head west, and you’ll reach Buzzards Bay Recreation Area at the foot of the railroad bridge. Go east, and you’ll soon reach Scusset Beach on Cape Cod Bay.
Habitats & Wildlife
The river herring that swim up the fish ladder at Herring Run Recreation Area each spring are on their way to spawn. From here, the fish will continue through Carter Beal Conservation Area to Plymouth’s Great Herring Pond.
These small fish might seem insignificant, but they’re an important link in the food web. Larger sportfish like striped bass and bluefish feed on river herring, as do the Bay’s “fish hawks,” ospreys. You’ll see these predators along the Cape Cod Canal in warm-weather months.
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