Center Hill Preserve

158 Center Hill Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

Plymouth Parks & Forestr: 508-830-4162, ext. 12116

Owned By: Town of Plymouth

This diverse 98-acre property features a 2.4-mile trail network that traverses woods, wetlands, ocean shoreline, as well as a former cranberry bog. Located on Cape Cod Bay. The beach is rocky, but otherwise suitable for swimming in the summer.


This property was preserved with Community Preservation funds in 2015, as well as with grants from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Wildlands Trust helped to facilitate the acquisition process.

The easternmost point in Plymouth is located here. Henry David Thoreau walked through this property during the trek he chronicled in his book Cape Cod.

Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit. To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and the Herring Pond Wampanoag also share information on their websites. 

Trail Description

There are two sides to the preserve, with a total of 2.4 miles of trails.

The 28-acre east side provides a short, winding trail through an open woodland, along the edge of a marsh and Center Hill Pond, and then along a boardwalk to sand dunes and a rocky beach on Cape Cod Bay. The beach itself, with 1/2 mile of accessible coastline, is open to the public, but please be mindful of private property.

The 70-acre west side provides a network of trails (blazed in white) through the woods and around an old cranberry bog. The terrain is a series of rolling hills, with some moderate elevations. There is a wind turbine immediately adjacent.

Habitats and Wildlife

On the east/ocean side of the property, watch for harbor seals and gray seals swimming in the water or lounging on the rocks. (Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, remain at least 150 feet away at all times.) It’s important to know that seals and sharks tend to enjoy the same water areas. At low tide, hunt for crabs, periwinkles and seaweed in the tide pools along the shore. The sand dunes are prime habitat for shorebirds such as piping plover. There is also an osprey nest platform. On a clear day, you may be able to see across the water to Race Point in Provincetown.

Some of the west side of the property is a pine barrens. The Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA) Discovery Center is on site. Some of the trees here include pitch pine, sassafras, oak, birch, white pine and cedar. Look for white-tailed deer in the woods and all sorts of waterfowl around the old bog.

158 Center Hill Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: Yes

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 98 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited on-site parking on Center Hill Road (2 small parking lots)

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium


Informational kiosk, interpretive signs, bench, pet waste bag receptacle, picnic table, sandy beach. Geocache location.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Cape Cod Bay/Atlantic Ocean