Grassy Walks

Capt. David J. Cushman, Jr. Preserve

Wildlands Trust - Capt. David Cushman Jr. Preserve, Anchorage Ln, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA


Owned By: Wildlands Trust

Small open field with perimeter trail and nesting boxes. Stroller-friendly. Access road offers gorgeous views of the Bluefish River.


Captain David J. Cushman purchased this land from relatives of his wife, Mary W. Alden (a direct descendant of John Alden), whose family has held the property since the 1620s. The Captain’s home, “The Anchorage,” was built in 1846 and housed many treasures from his voyages to China and the South Seas between 1840 and 1860. The house and property were donated to Wildlands Trust in 1985 by Lura Cushman, the Captain’s granddaughter. The house remains a private residence.

This land is within the region of the Patuxet Wampanoag tribe, who for centuries have inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth.

Trail Description

A trail leads from the parking area into a field. It follows the perimeter the property, at the edge of a woodland. There is also a spur trail from Anchorage Lane that offers views the Bluefish River and its adjacent salt marshes.

Habitats and Wildlife

The open field is surrounded by woods that contain the not-so-common English oak and Norway Spruce, plus pine, cedar and bittersweet. Within the field, look for grasses and wildflowers such as black-eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s lace, sweet goldenrod, and small white aster. To maintain diversity of habitat, the Wildlands Trust mows the field after the nesting season, preventing its return to forest. Birds observed here include tree and barn swallows, eastern meadowlark, eastern bluebird, field sparrows, Savannah sparrows, and hawks.

Along the spur trail to the Bluefish River, you’ll see cordgrass, salt marsh hay, plus sea lavender, seaside goldenrod, and other salt-tolerant wildflowers. In the marshes, look for great blue and green-backed herons, great and snowy egrets, least terns, and ducks. At lower tides, you may also see shorebirds such as greater yellowlegs, black-bellied plovers, and killdeer.

The Bluefish River originates in ponds and springs between Duxbury’s Station & Washington Streets and Partridge Road, and flows north, parallel to the coast, to the Cushman Preserve. From there, it turns east, passing the Reynolds-Maxwell Garden and flowing under Washington Street, where it opens up into a broad estuary. The Bluefish River merges with the Duxbury Back River in Duxbury Bay.

Wildlands Trust - Capt. David Cushman Jr. Preserve, Anchorage Ln, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 27.4 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited on-site parking on Anchorage Lane.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy



Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Bluefish River (Duxbury Back River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site