Knowles Reserve

With unrivaled views of salt marshes and tidal creeks on Apponagansett Bay, the Knowles Reserve offers walkers a short but fascinating stroll along the edge of a marsh and through a red cedar forest. The mix of coastal habitats here at this Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust property makes it a superb place for birdwatching throughout the year.

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trail along the edge of a salt marsh at the Knowles Reserve in Dartmouth

The many low bushes and small trees indicate Knowles Reserve’s proximity to the salt marsh

Nestled between a marshy tidal creek and the sandy shores of Apponagansett Bay, the Knowles Reserve is a quick getaway to nature just across the bridge from Padanaram Village. Discover the edges of a salt marsh along the trail, with a unique view of sailboat masts bobbing on Apponagansett Bay just beyond.

There’s even more to explore next door to the Knowles Reserve. Across Smith Neck Road, take a walk down the sand at Knowles Beach – a perfect complement to your hike through the woods. For families, find a playground, boat ramp, and even more sandy shores at Apponagansett Park.


The Knowles Reserve trailhead is located on Smith Neck Road, about 50 feet from the Gulf Road intersection. This flat, one-way path runs for about a quarter-mile, making it an easy nature walk for explorers of all ages. (Download trail map)

The trail begins by tracing the northern edge of the salt marsh before leading into the woods. At a fork in the path, keep right; this section of the trail connects with a short loop on the other side of West Smith Neck Road. Carefully cross the road to enjoy views of a small pond and the sparkling edge of Dike Meadow Creek.

Habitats & Wildlife

For a small property, the Knowles Reserve is rich in habitat diversity. The interplay between the open salt marsh and the rugged red cedar forest creates a refuge for wildlife large and small. Look for birds like herons and egrets wading along the marsh grasses, in search of fish and crabs to eat.

Property Owned By

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.

Size: 29.5 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Roadside parking along Smith Neck Road and West Smith Neck Road
Cost: Free
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
Smith Neck Road
Dartmouth, MA 02748
41.584282, -70.951443

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Knowles Reserve
Dartmouth, MA
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5:00PM - 7:30PM
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