Peterson Farm is a lovely place to spend an afternoon exploring the outdoors in Falmouth. The fields, woods, marshes, ponds, and streams here create a rich ecosystem that welcomes people and wildlife.
This land was first farmed in 1679, and sheep, cattle, crops, and orchards were maintained here until the mid-1900s. Look for the foundation of an old barn on the north side of the trail to Miles (Ice House) Pond.
In the spring of 2018, two new shepherds took over stewardship of Peterson Farm, returning sheep to its fields. These animals don’t just bring Peterson Farm back to its roots; they also help keep fields cropped and limit the growth of invasive plants, maintaining the open spaces that give this farm its pastoral charm.
The trails at Peterson Farm connect with those at neighboring Beebe Woods, creating an expansive network of nearly 7 miles of trails. Traverse the old farm roads around the farm’s fields, or venture onto the narrow forest trails to see natural sights like Otter Marsh and Miles Pond. For a longer walk, explore Beebe Woods’ carriage roads to discover rocky moraine hills formed during the last Ice Age. (Download trail map)
Habitats & Wildlife
The open fields of Peterson Farm provide habitat for many types of animals – particularly birds, from woodcocks and bobwhites to patrolling hawks and owls. The landscape quickly transitions to shrubs and thickets, where rabbits and chipmunks hide from predators among the thick vegetation.
Pine and oak woodlands cover 75% of Peterson Farm. But there are some surprises hidden in the woods – like Otter Marsh, a freshwater habitat in the northeastern section of the property. Look for turtles, frogs, or even an elusive river otter in the marsh and neighboring farm pond.