Some of the best outdoor places might be those that surprise you with their beauty. Stuart F. Morgan Conservation Area in Middleborough is one such place: though it begins at an unassuming roadside trail head, intrepid explorers will quickly find themselves on a wide carriage path through old-growth woodlands, all ending in beautiful views of Great Quittacas Pond. These woods were once the summer estate of an early 20th-century businessman, and a few of its old stone walls and overgrown gardens remain peeking through the trees.
The Stuart F. Morgan trail is great for a long run, or for an adventure with four-legged friends. Leashed dogs will love the wide-open trail to explore. If you’re an equestrian, this is also a popular place to bring horses for some outdoor exercise. We especially recommend stopping by in the fall, when groves of sweet birch trees fill the forest with shades of yellow.
The trail at Stuart F. Morgan Conservation Area is just off of Long Pond Road, with parking available on either side of the road. The trail starts on the south side of the road, across the street from the white sign.
The trail was created from an old carriage path, making it wide and flat. The hike from the parking area to the water is an out-and-back walk of about 1.8 miles. Though there are no signs along the trail, the main path is easy to navigate.
Habitats & Wildlife
Amongst the tall trees at Stuart F. Morgan Conservation Area, rich wetlands serve as a habitat for a variety of wildlife – including frogs that you may see hopping across the trail by the dozens! A grove of majestic old hemlock trees line the trail down to the edge of Great Quittacas Pond, where marsh grasses hosts a multitude of fluttering dragonflies. Water-loving birds like great blue heron and migratory winter ducks can be spotted by the water, while a colorful array of songbirds fill the woods with music in the spring and summer.
Great Quittacas Pond is also a popular spot for freshwater fishing. Chain pickerel are a common catch here, as are smallmouth bass. If you’re lucky, you may even snag a trophy-size largemouth bass.