Location:

Two miles southeast of Wareham Center off Indian Neck Road

Area:

104 acres

Directions:

Rt. 195 to Exit 21. South on Rt. 28 to light. Turn right onto Tremont Road, then left onto Main Street through Wareham Center. Cross bridge and railroad tracks, then turn onto Narrows Road. Turn right onto Indian Neck Road — bear right at a split in the road and stay on Indian Neck Road. Turn left onto Crooked River Road.

Parking:

On right at gated entrance, just after turning onto Crooked River Road

DESCRIPTION:

These contiguous properties offer a walk through varied coastal habitats. Begin your visit at Jack’s Marsh, where the trail leads past a saltwater marsh, an abandoned cranberry bog, and the shores of Swan Pond to the Minot-Weld Conservancy. There, a path travels through the pinelands that dominate this preserve. Look for a kettle pond where common cattails, Phragmites australis, fragrant water lilies, and wild cranberries are among the wetland plants that grow there.

To the southeast, young pitch pines surround Griffith Bog, which was cultivated as a cranberry bog in the early twentieth century and is now in the process of reverting to a white cedar swamp. A fine stand of mixed pine and oak forest marches up the slopes of Bourne Hill in the western portion of the preserve. Bourne Hill, viewed from above or on a map, reveals the teardrop shape of a drumlin— a smooth hill formed thousands of years ago beneath retreating glaciers. 

The trail next leads across the Philip Saltonstall-Weld Memorial Forest, owned by the New England Forestry Foundation, and a section of private land. The Trust has permission to pass over these lands, which lead to the Mink Cove-Elkins Reservation. Follow the loop trail through this coastal preserve, a delight for birders, naturalists, and those who love a salty tang in the air. The small wonders of the upland forest—the evergreen shrubs of the heath family— are the real attraction of this reservation. Watch for wintergreen, sheep laurel, bearberry, and mountain laurel. Mayflower, another prominent heath, blooms here in late spring. Its small white or pink blossoms scent the air with subtle fragrance. 

At the salt marsh and mud flats on the edge of Mink Cove, you may see ospreys, snowy egrets, great egrets, green-backed herons, great blue herons, and sharp-tailed sparrows. The return of the osprey and their offspring has become an eagerly awaited event each spring.