Little Buttermilk Bay Woods

Want to explore a place that hits all the right notes in just under a mile of walking? Check out peaceful Little Buttermilk Bay Woods in Bourne. With gentle wooded slopes, sandy strolls, and breathtaking water views, this town-owned property has it all in less than 11 acres.

Discover Buzzards Bay Sponsored By primary sponsor logo
Discover Buzzards Bay Sponsored By


View of water from lookout platform at Little Buttermilk Bay Woods in Bourne.

Look out over the water for birds from the observation deck at Little Buttermilk Bay Woods.

Although it’s called Little Buttermilk Bay Woods, this beautiful conservation area has a lot more than woods to explore! Rich in human and geological history, these trails provide a well-rounded outdoor experience that anyone can enjoy.

As you walk the trails through the forest to the marsh, you’ll find the peaceful views and comforting sounds of the natural world. It all culminates at the highlight of this property: an observation deck that looks out over the salt marshes of Little Buttermilk Bay. We recommend coming here at the end of the day for a breathtaking sunset view.


All together, the trails at Little Buttermilk Bay Woods add up to just under one mile in length. Despite the relatively short distance, this trail network is quite diverse in what it has to offer. (Download trail map)

Begin your journey on the Waquonscott Loop Trail, meaning “end of the marsh,” which takes its name after what local Native Americans called this area. This is the property’s main loop trail. Along the way, you’ll encounter some gentle inclines – remainders of the area’s glacial past.

From the Waquonscott Loop, you can connect to the Ridge Trail and the Shore Trail. The Ridge Trail is the shortest of Little Buttermilk Bay Woods’ three trails, but it provides steady slopes with views over glassy kettle hole ponds, also left by passing glaciers. The Shore Trail is a short but beautiful stroll along Little Buttermilk Bay, including the observation desk where you can look out over the water.

Habitats & Wildlife

From pitch pine forest to salt marshes and bogs, Little Buttermilk Bay Woods is home to many interesting habitats. Towering pines and the occasional oak surround the majority of your journey through these woods. In low spots, small pools form in spring, creating the perfect habitat for amphibians like frogs and salamanders. Alongside the woods is a former cranberry bog that is being restored to return it to a healthy salt marsh habitat.

When you reach Little Buttermilk Bay, look for species like great blue herons, kingfishers, and fiddler crabs along the shore. In summer, the observation deck is the perfect place to watch for the majestic swoop of a keen-eyed osprey diving to catch its next meal.

Property Owned By
Size: 10.86 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Small gravel parking area
Trail Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
Lifeguards: No
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
295 Head of the Bay Rd.
Bourne, MA 02532
41.763535, -70.599963
Town of Bourne Open Space Committee: (508) 759-0600 x313

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Little Buttermilk Bay Woods
Bourne, MA
View larger map

Related Stories

13 scenic cranberry bog walks in the Buzzards Bay region

Nothing says fall in the Buzzards Bay region like the red of a cranberry bog, whether bright scarlet with berries or rusty with changing leaves. Check out one of these 13 spots and enjoy the view!

Full Story ›
Bourne cyclist rides for new bike path along Cape Cod’s Buzzards Bay coastline

Ken Cheitlin is riding the 2018 Watershed Ride to raise support for a proposed 26.2-mile bike path running from Sandwich to Woods Hole.

Full Story ›
17 picturesque places to picnic around Buzzards Bay

A picnic in nature is a great way to spend time outdoors with the ones you love.

Full Story ›

Upcoming Events Near Here

Winter Solstice Sunrise Stroll
Sat, December 22
6:30AM - 7:30AM
Lyman Reserve,
Hike West Falmouth/Quaker Woods
Thu, December 13
9:45AM - 12:15PM
Shining Sea Bikeway - West Falmouth Parking Lot,

Nearby Places To Go

Lyman Reserve

The Lyman Reserve's diverse paradise of woods, wetlands, and salt marshes shelter rare sea-run brook trout in Red Brook.

Herring Run Recreation Area

Herring Run Recreation Area's name tells you why it's special — it's home to a herring run on Cape Cod Canal.

Carter Beal Conservation Area

From the fish ladder to the glacial moraine, explore Bourne's natural history at Carter Beal Conservation Area.

Current Issues

Land Conservation

Conserving land is one of the most important ways to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. Since 1998, the Coalition has forever preserved more than 7,000 acres of land across our region.

Read More ›
out of 100

Bay Health: Little Buttermilk Bay

Find your water quality score in Bay Health ›