The main feature of this property is a small depression called a kettle pond surrounded by rhododendron bushes. Though vegetation blocks most of the pond views, you can still enjoy the habitat that it creates: you might hear the croak of a frog calling from behind the leaves, or a peeper chiming during an evening spring walk. In late May through early June, the rhododendrons bloom, creating a bright spectacle of pink flowers.
Year-round, families and young adventurers can enjoy the woodland trail that encircles the pond. This short path is perfect for a quiet stroll or getting some exercise with your dog.
The beginning of the New Bedford Garden Club Reserve trail is an easement crossing private property; please respect the landowners by staying on the path. The trail then loops around the kettle pond. The woods along this path are overgrown in some places, so watch out for plants in the trail, especially poison ivy in the summer. (Download trail map)
The path is under a quarter-mile, with steps on its slight inclines to assist you on your climb. As it circles through quiet, sun-dappled woodlands, this trail is a great place to slow down and look for the woods’ small treasures. Keep an eye out for frogs hopping across your path from the pond and chipmunks in the undergrowth. An open ear will catch the many different songs of birds in the canopy above.
Habitats & Wildlife
The kettle pond at New Bedford Garden Club is a distinctive habitat in southeastern Massachusetts. Kettle ponds formed when chunks of ice, shed by retreating glaciers, melted into the ground. Many kettle ponds in the Dartmouth area were lost to development. Preserving this pond and the surrounding land provides much-needed habitat for amphibians and water birds.
New Bedford Garden Club Reserve is located next to the Slocums River, providing an important filter for pollution that keeps our groundwater and rivers clean.
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.