Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge

Walk through deep green forests and discover vernal pools wriggling with spring life at Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge in Westport. With a wide network of trails through uplands and wetlands, this Westport Land Conservation Trust property provides a fascinating place for a forest exploration.

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Features

A tiger swallowtail butterfly on wildflowers at Westport's Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge

In summer, look for butterflies like this tiger swallowtail among the native wildflowers at Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge. (Image: Westport Land Conservation Trust)

You can see a piece of Westport’s agricultural history in the old stone walls that crisscross the grounds of Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge. These walls divide the parcels where crops once grew and animals once grazed. Today, most of the land here has returned to upland forest and wooded wetlands that cover gently rolling hills.

Trails

Two trails depart from the parking area at Old Harbor: the yellow trail, which runs south for a short wooded loop, and the red trail, which leads to a more extensive trail network. Altogether, the trails make up a network just under two miles long. (Download trail map)

As it departs the parking area, the red trail traces old stone walls and crosses a short area of boardwalk over marshy lowlands. At the end of the boardwalk, the trail diverges. Head right to continue on the red trail through the woods, or turn left to take the blue trail, which will lead you onto private land and past an area of rich wetlands. (Please respect private property by staying on the trail at all times.) The red trail runs all the way through the property, ending at a trailhead on River Road. Another short path, the green trail, connects the blue trail with the red trail.

Habitats & Wildlife

Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of forested wetland habitats. Freshwater wetlands can be found here year-round, with small streams running between the trees alongside moss-covered rocks. In the spring, Old Harbor is an excellent place to find vernal pools: small, shallow ponds in the woods that fill with water from melting snow and spring rains. Pause at the edge of a vernal pool to search for the eggs and tadpoles of frogs and salamanders near the water’s surface.

Butterflies are a common sight at Old Harbor, flitting between wildflowers in forest clearings. The woods around the wetlands are also a popular spot to look for birds, including owls, songbirds, and a variety of woodpeckers.

Property Owned By

The Westport Land Conservation Trust is a nonprofit corporation that has worked since 1972 to acquire and preserve natural resources, farmland, and wildlife areas for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Details
Size: 79 acres
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Parking: Small unpaved parking area off Old Harbor Road
Trail Difficulty: Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (on leash)
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
383 Old Harbor Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
41.531275, -71.121620
Westport Land Conservation Trust: (508) 636-9228
Email: info@westportlandtrust.org

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge
Westport, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Junior Bird Club – Woodcock Dance Party
Tue, March 26
6:00PM - 7:30PM
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary - Stone Barn Farm,
Westport
Early Spring Woodcock Walk
Wed, March 27
6:00PM - 8:00PM
The Lloyd Center for the Environment,
Dartmouth
Coastal Waterbird Work Day
Sat, March 30
9:00AM - 12:00PM
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,
Westport

Nearby Places To Go

Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area

Explore forest, streams, wetlands, and a summer corn field, all in this one rich property.

Herb Hadfield Conservation Area

Herb Hadfield's woods, wetlands, and meadows surround Angeline Brook, a pristine coldwater trout stream in Westport.

Let Conservation Area

Accessible only from the Westport River East Branch, "The Let" is a perfect resting place for a mid-paddle picnic and a stroll.

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 ›