Enjoyable walks surrounded by birds and animals amid some special habitats
By Geri Williams and Martha Sheldon
We are fortunate that there are quite a few preserves in our ACEC watershed with mostly easy trails for enjoyable walks surrounded by birds and animals amid some special habitats. Two of the newer Town preserves that were acquired with help by HPWA are the David E. Alper Nature Preserve and the Comassakumkanut Preserve, formerly known as the Condon property. But there are also great trails around Hedges Pond in the Town Park so named; and a short, but lovely trail around a small pond that starts behind the field at Elmer Raymond Park. To the south of Great Herring Pond Road on Bournedale Road. just off Herring Pond Rd, is the Carter Beale Conservation Area with a herring run and about 1 mile of easy walking trail.
Comassakumkanut Preserve is Plymouth’s newest preserve, located at 107 Roxy Cahoon Road. It was dedicated in August, 2021. It has a shelled parking lot, signage, and a well-developed, marked trail that winds through upland woods of oak and pine. The path is lovely in fall, covered with bright leaves; in spring there can be Scarlet Tanagers singing. The trail is level except for a short pitch where it descends to Old Valley Road trail, a sandy cart path through classic pitch pine/scrub oak habitat along the remnant of a glacial valley, and was the old road to Wareham. (We saw a grey fox along the trail while walking there on Saturday, see photo.) At the T-intersection with Old Valley Road trail, you can turn right and follow the trail back to Roxy Cahoon Road, where you would turn right and walk back to your car (a total of about 1.5 miles.) Or you can turn left and go a short way to the high-tension lines. This is a good place to look for crows, ravens and maybe even a kestrel, anytime of the year, and Prairie Warblers in spring.
A jewel that HPWA helped save from development is the David E. Alper Nature Preserve at the end of Little Herring Pond Road. Park at the Alper Preserve sign. The sandy road runs straight along a wooded ridge between Little Herring Pond and Triangle Pond. There is a pleasant loop off this ridge road at the beginning of the trail which swings down to the outlet of Little Herring Pond and back up again, about a third of a mile in length. The unique Plant ID trail along the ridge is a learning experience, with trees, shrubs and plants tagged with informative labels, and QR labels that provide additional information. The path continues through open mixed hardwood and softwood forest to a fork. Bearing right will lead to the end of the Plant Trail, and left will bring you down into a grassy meadow bordering quiet Triangle Pond. At this point, you will have left the preserve, so return to your start.
This description comes from the Plymouth Open Space Trail Guide, which can be picked up at the SEMPBA office at 158 Center Hill Road or Town Hall or at https://www.plymouth-ma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3691/f/uploads/plymouth_trail_guide.pdf.
The guide contains maps and trail information on a number of preserves and conservation areas in Plymouth.
Get out and enjoy the natural beauty right here in our watershed!