Birding & Wildlife Observation

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With deep forests, rocky coasts, and rich salt marshes, Buzzards Bay is a haven for wildlife of all types. Migratory birds flock to our shores along the Atlantic Flyway, while frogs and salamanders thrive in the vernal pools that pop up in our woods each spring. So grab a pair of binoculars and visit one of these places to seek out our region’s special birds and wildlife.

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Shining Sea Bikeway through a salt marsh in Falmouth
Depot Road, Falmouth, MA 02556
|Directions

Take a journey of discovery down the Shining Sea Bikeway, a 10.7-mile paved bike path through Falmouth.

Size: 10.7 miles
Parking: Gravel parking areas on County Road, Old Dock Road, Depot Avenue, Woods Hole Road, and Oyster Pond Road
Facilities: Restrooms (portable), Picnic Tables, Trash
woman holding a net next to the water at Shining Tides Beach in Mattapoisett
99 Reservation Rd., Mattapoisett, MA 02739
|Directions

Swimming, paddling, quahogging, crabbing – Shining Tides Beach truly offers it all for Mattapoisett residents.

Size: 4 acres
Parking: Small unpaved parking area; parking pass required in summer (first week of July through last week of August)
Facilities: Picnic Table
salt marsh along Nasketucket Bay shoreline in Fairhaven
721 Sconticut Neck Rd., Fairhaven, MA 02719
|Directions

Shipyard Farm in Fairhaven packs a scenic punch in its short trail across farmland to serene Nasketucket Bay.

Size: 53 acres
Parking: Small roadside parking area near entrance sign
Facilities: None
Mattapoisett River from Shoolman Preserve in Rochester
204 New Bedford Rd., Rochester, MA 02770
|Directions

This farm and forest along the Mattapoisett River in Rochester was preserved for birds — and explorers like you!

Size: 79.74
Parking: Roadside parking along New Bedford Road
Facilities: Picnic table
a family walks down the sand at Silvershell Beach in Marion
1 Front St., Marion, MA 02738
|Directions

With pretty views and peaceful waters, Silvershell Beach is a favorite summer spot for families in Marion.

Size: 2 acres
Parking: Large unpaved parking area; Marion or Rochester resident privilege sticker required to park at all times
Facilities: Restrooms (seasonal), Playground
view of the Slocums River from the Slocum's River Reserve in Dartmouth
285 Horseneck Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02748
|Directions

Soak up the spectacular natural beauty of the Slocums River at the Slocum’s River Reserve in South Dartmouth.

Size: 47 acres
Parking: Small unpaved parking area
Facilities: Canoe/Kayak Launch
view of Nonquitt Marsh from observation deck at Smith Farm in Dartmouth
355 Smith Neck Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02748
|Directions

Smith Farm offers a peek at Dartmouth's coastal habitats, from forested swamps and ponds to scenic salt marshes.

Size: 140 acres
Parking: Small dirt roadside parking area on Smith Neck Road
Facilities: None
sandy shoreline of Squeteague Harbor Beach in Cataumet
18 Squeteague Harbor Rd., Bourne, MA 02534
|Directions

Peaceful, scenic Squeteague Harbor Beach is tucked into a quiet corner of Cataumet in Bourne.

Parking: Limited parking along beachway off Squeteague Harbor Road
Facilities: Trash
man walking on the trail at Star of the Sea Reserve in Dartmouth
Star of the Sea Drive, Dartmouth, MA 02748
|Directions

Star of the Sea Reserve shines as a quiet place to explore forests and wetlands on Apponagansett Bay in Dartmouth.

Size: 43.75 acres
Parking: Roadside parking by trailhead (marked with boulders)
Facilities: None
woman and little girl looking at sand at Swifts Neck Beach in Wareham
15 Roby St., Wareham, MA 02571
|Directions

The mixture of sand and grass along Swifts Neck Beach give this cozy neighborhood beach in Wareham a natural feel.

Size: 2.1 acres
Parking: Two large paved parking lots; fee to park May 1 to October 1
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Restrooms (seasonal)
boaters putting boat on trailer at Tempest Knob ramp in Wareham
30 Oak St., Wareham, MA 02571
|Directions

Embark into the Wareham River and upper Buzzards Bay from Tempest Knob, a town-owned public boat ramp in Wareham.

Parking: Medium-sized paved parking lot (vehicles and trailers)
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Kayak Launch, Dock (wood/floating)
freshwater swamp at The Bogs in autumn
138 Acushnet Rd., Mattapoisett, MA 02739
|Directions

In the heart of the Mattapoisett River valley lies The Bogs, an oasis of forests, freshwater swamps, and cranberry bogs.

Size: 212 acres
Parking: Small gravel parking area on Acushnet Road
Facilities: None
sunset over The Knob in Falmouth
36 Quissett Harbor Rd., Falmouth, MA 02543
|Directions

Catch a breathtaking sunset over Buzzards Bay from the protected shores at The Knob in Falmouth.

Size: 12 acres
Parking: Limited parking at the end of Quissett Harbor Road
Facilities: None
rocky shoreline of The Knubble in Westport
Beach Ave., Westport, MA 02791
|Directions

The tall, rocky outcropping and panoramic water views at The Knubble beach in Westport are a treasure for local residents.

Size: 5 acres
Parking: Limited parking in designated areas (the easternmost end of Beach Avenue is periodically closed); resident beach sticker required year-round
Facilities: None
people stand on an overlook on the Acushnet River at The Sawmill
32 Mill Rd., Acushnet, MA 02743
|Directions

At the edge of New Bedford’s urban North End sits The Sawmill, a 19-acre former lumber yard on the Acushnet River.

Size: 19 acres
Parking: Medium-sized gravel parking area; additional on-street parking
Facilities: Canoe/Kayak Launch, Learning Center (limited hours)
Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge from Tidal Flats Recreation Area in Bourne
33 Canal Service Rd., Bourne, MA 02532
|Directions

Explore the Cape Cod Canal from Tidal Flats Recreation Area in Bourne, located at the foot of the iconic railroad bridge.

Parking: Two medium-sized paved parking areas
Facilities: Trash, Picnic Table, Restrooms (seasonal)
vernal pool at the Woodcock Preserve in Mattapoisett
29 Long Plain Rd., Mattapoisett, MA 02739
|Directions

Tinkhamtown Woodlands and neighboring Woodcock Preserve include over 100 acres in the Mattapoisett River Reserve.

Size: 107 acres
Parking: Small gravel parking area on Long Plain Road
Facilities: None
the remnants of a former mill on Tinkham Pond in Mattapoisett
Acushnet Road, Mattapoisett, MA 02739
|Directions

History and nature abound at Tripps Mill, a scenic trail and fishing spot on Tinkham Pond in Mattapoisett.

Size: 212 acres
Parking: Small gravel parking area on Acushnet Road
Facilities: None
Sippican River at Tweedy and Barnes in Wareham
230 Blackmore Pond Rd., Wareham, MA 02576
|Directions

Explore woods and wetlands along the Sippican River at Tweedy and Barnes in Wareham.

Size: 25 acres
Parking: Small gravel parking area; additional roadside parking
Facilities: None
woman walking on a trail at the Watuppa Reservation in Fall River
2929 Blossom Rd., Westport, MA 02790
|Directions

Part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, Watuppa Reservation is a gateway to a vast expanse of protected forests.

Size: 4,800 acres
Parking: Medium-sized gravel parking areas on Blossom Road south of reservation headquarters, and on Indian Town Road at Copicut Woods
Facilities: Bicycle Rack

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Upcoming Events

Seal & Seabird Cruise to Cuttyhunk
Sat, January 19
10:00AM - 2:00PM
Cuttyhunk Ferry Company,
New Bedford
Duck Waddle
Sun, January 20
1:00PM
Silvershell Beach Parking Area,
Marion
Scouting for Snowy Owls
Sun, January 20
9:30AM - 12:00PM
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,
Westport

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