There aren’t too many places around Buzzards Bay where you can climb hills through the forest and launch a kayak at a single location. But that’s what Monks Park and neighboring Little Bay Conservation Area have to offer. Whether you’re craving a leisurely beach walk or a quick woodland hike that will get your heart rate rising, you can find it here.
There’s another reason why Monks Park is worth a visit: the beautiful water views. Take a seat on one of the many trailside benches to stop and savor the sight of this sheltered bay, with wooded Tobey Island and upper Buzzards Bay in the distance. You might even see some interesting boats making their way in and out of the nearby Cape Cod Canal!
Begin your walk at Monks Park from one of two trailheads on Valley Bars Circle. Both will connect you to a quarter-mile loop trail that traverses the rolling woods. (Download trail map)
Want to get straight down to the water? Venture under the railroad bridge and turn left on the dirt road toward a scenic peninsula, which is a fantastic spot to explore with kids or a quiet walk on your own. There’s also a sandy shoreline launch here for kayaks, paddleboards, and small boats. (You can park at the launch if you have a town of Bourne beach parking sticker.)
For a longer walk, cross Valley Bars Circle to head into neighboring Little Bay Conservation Area. The trails at both properties are well marked with signs and maps, making for an adventure that’s suitable for nearly all outdoor explorers.
Habitats & Wildlife
Why are there so many hills at Monks Park and Little Bay? This area is part of the Falmouth moraine, which was formed by glaciers during the last Ice Age. As the glaciers advanced and retreated, they deposited large rocks and debris that created what’s now Cape Cod.
These forested hills sit right along the sandy salt marsh-lined shores of Little Bay. Many species seek shelter in these protected waters, including small fish and crabs. You can dig for quahogs here with a valid Bourne shellfish license, and it’s a great place to try and catch blue crabs with your kids.