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.