Easy-to-explore paths loop through meadows and woodland at P.T Marvell Preserve. This small, scenic preserve borders Tunipus Pond and is just across the street from South Shore Beach; as you walk the trails, you can hear the crash of waves hitting the nearby shoreline. Just down the trail from the parking area, a tall observation platform elevates you above the surrounding coastal, providing great birding opportunities and views of a small salt pond glimmering in the distance. In the winter, when leaves drop from the surrounding trees, you can see even further to the deep blue of Buzzards Bay.
P.T. Marvell is part of a complex of conservation lands that help safeguard the delicate coastal ecosystems of this region, which includes protected lands along Quicksand Pond at South Shore Beach and Goosewing Beach Preserve.
The paths at P.T. Marvell make a series of interconnecting loops of about 0.6 miles. These trails are mostly flat, mowed meadow, making them a great place for a refreshing walk, cross-country ski, or a few loops of trail running. While most of the path runs through open meadows, the trail loops into a small woodland in the property’s northeast corner.
Habitats & Wildlife
A walk through P.T Marvell provides a feast for the senses. In the warm months, you’ll smell wildflowers and the sweet scent of wild grape from vines looping through the thicket. The hum of waves on the coast layers with the sound of calling birds and the buzz of bees. As the seasons change, these fields provide an ever-changing color pallet: a rainbow of wildflowers in the spring and summer; the red, orange, and yellow of changing leaves in the fall; and the contrast of deep green scrub pine and holly trees against golden fields in the winter.
This preserve serves as a buffer that keeps pollution out of Tunipus Pond, one of the region’s unique coastal salt ponds. Its proximity to the pond and to the wild shore of outer Buzzards Bay makes P.T. Marvell a popular spot to look for birds, from migratory shorebirds to waterfowl and songbirds. The preserve also attracts numerous butterflies, especially in late summer and early fall, when migrating monarchs flock to its fragrant fields of goldenrod and Joe Pye weed.