Don’t let Winsegansett Marshes’ unassuming trailhead along Sconticut Neck Road fool you – just beyond the trees lies a spectacular, one-of-a-kind view of the open waters of outer New Bedford Harbor and Buzzards Bay. Looking out over Winsegansett Pond and the salt marshes surrounding it, you can watch birds soar over the natural landscape while fishing vessels steam in and out of the working harbor.
The looping, well-marked trail at Winsegansett Marshes begins from two small roadside trailheads. Altogether, the loop is just under a mile and takes about an hour to fully explore. If you’re looking for a longer walk, carefully cross Sconticut Neck Road to explore neighboring Shipyard Farm as well – a total walk of about 2.76 miles.
The main trail to Winsegansett Pond begins from the southern trailhead on Sconticut Neck Road. This wide, mossy path has sturdy boardwalks through the wettest parts of the marsh. Along the way to the pond, stop at the osprey overlook marker to take a peek at an osprey platform across the marsh. When you see signs marked “Winsegansett Pond,” turn left off the main trail to enjoy the pond view.
If you keep walking on the main trail past the pond, you’ll soon reach a crushed shell driveway. This portion of the trail crosses private property, so please follow the green markings to stay on the trail. Keep straight to reach the sandy barrier beach, which you can walk down to the left until you reach the inlet of Winsegansett Pond.
Habitats & Wildlife
Winsegansett Pond is a shallow pond that sits on outer New Bedford Harbor, near where the harbor opens up to Buzzards Bay. This thriving coastal ecosystem of tidal flats, salt marsh, and sandy barrier beach is home to a vast array of species, from crabs crawling along the sand to birds and mammals hunting for prey.
Together, the properties at Winsegansett Marshes and Shipyard Farm protect more than 200 acres of woods, wetlands, and farmland on Fairhaven’s Sconticut Neck, a narrow peninsula of land between New Bedford Harbor and Nasketucket Bay. By conserving this land, we can protect clean water in Buzzards Bay for future generations.
The Fairhaven Acushnet Land Preservation Trust (FALPT) is a nonprofit organization that has been working since 1992 to preserve open space and the rural characteristics of Acushnet and Fairhaven.