Halfway Pond Conservation Area - Plymouth, MA
Big Point Preserve at Halfway Pond (23.4 acres)
Conant-Storrow Preserve (26.7 acres)
Gallows Pond Preserve (56 acres)
Tayler-Touster Wildlands (61 acres)
West Shore Preserve at Halfway Pond (242.5 acres)
Briggs, Burchell, Conant, Tayler-Touster families
Halfway Pond Conservation Area contains important natural areas and is a place of rare tranquility and beauty. These five preserves were acquired through the extraordinary planning and leadership of LeBaron R. Briggs, III, and the generosity of his and other local families over the course of 19 years. From pine-barrens to forests of beech and mixed hardwoods, these preserves protect many habitats and support a variety of plants and animals.
1982: LeBaron and Ruth Briggs donated 242.5 acres to createWest Shore Preserve, with assistance from The Nature Conservancy.
1982 and 1990: Ruth and LeBaron, Winslow and Ann Briggs, John and Delia Briggs, and Marjorie Briggs donated 56 acres to create Gallows Pond Preserve, providing a natural connection with Halfway Pond. Sixty-one acres were donated in
1986: Irene Tayler and Saul Touster donated sixty-one acres
1993: Richard Conant, Jr., his family, and Kenneth S. Burchell donated 26.7 acres to create Conant-Storrow Preserve, abutting Gallows Pond Preserve.
1998: Big Point Preserve's 23.4 acres was donated by LeBaron R. Briggs, III.
2001: An additional ten-acre parcel on Halfway Pond abutting existing preserves was acquired by Wildlands Trust.
Just as Henry David Thoreau referred to Walden Pond as the “eye of the world,” Halfway Pond shines as the eye of Plymouth County. The pond provides habitat for the federally endangered northern redbelly cooter (formerly known as the Plymouth redbelly turtle), and its shores provide one of the region’s better sites for spotting bald eagles. Its exceptional water quality supports six mussel species, including two state-listed rare species.
Walk for a brief time or several hours on an extensive network of interconnecting, well-marked trails. Enjoy the scent of swamp azalea, swamp rose, and sweet pepperbush as you canoe Halfway Pond on a July evening. Explore woodland swamps and pond shores during crisp fall days when the vegetation glows with brilliant color. Snowshoe through open woodlands in winter or search the pine barrens in spring for unusual wildflowers.
From Gramp’s Loop, follow Gallows Pond Trail across Mast Road, into the oak-pine forest along the shores of Gallows Pond. This preserve is characterized by wooded hillsides, dry kettle holes, views of the pond, a three-acre wetland, and some large glacial erratics. At the top of a rise above Mast Road, Whippoorwill Trail branches off, making its way through quiet woods and leading to an extensive woodland swamp. After the swamp, look for beech trees and white pines in the higher elevations. The trees here are older and larger than most in the conservation area. Whippoorwill Trail also connects with a trail on Conant-Storrow Preserve, where the forest of oak and pitch pine support plants in the heath family.
Less common is the forest of beech trees you’ll pass through on Big Point Trail above the shores of Halfway Pond. On top of a large bluff at the tip of Big Point, a panoramic view takes in most of the pond, its island and the forest beyond; a spectacular place to sit and watch the sun go down. Blackmer Hill Trail and Joe Brown Trail both offer easy, pleasant walking through old woods and create connections and loops with the other trails.
Mast Road and West Long Pond Road, two miles south of Long Pond Road
MAST ROAD PARKING AREA
Rt. 3 to Exit 3 heading southwest on Clark Road. Turn right onto Long Pond Road, continue about 1.5 miles, passing Plymouth schools. Turn left onto Mast Road, across from the golf course. Follow Mast Road about 2 miles to trailhead parking on right before Halfway Pond.
GALLOWS POND RD./ WEST LONG POND RD. PARKING AREA
Take Rt. 3 to Exit 3 heading southwest on Clark Road. Turn left onto Long Pond Road and take 1st right onto Clark Road. Turn left to stay on Clark Road and continue onto West Long Pond Road to parking area just ahead on right. Google Maps directions here
Mast Road (trailhead, west side), additional parking at edge of road along pond. Parking is also permitted on Gallow's Pond/West Long Pond. (Driving on Gallows Pond Road is not recommended due to very poor conditions.)