Crawley Woodlands Preserve, 331 Billington St, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Town of Plymouth
A hilly 70-acre woodland with 2.5 miles of trails and views of Billington Sea and Lout Pond, plus a few glacial erratic boulders. Some trails are steep! Also in this area, check out Black Cat Preserve and Morton Park.
This property was once owned by the family of Elaine and David Crawley. Look for the 3 granite benches placed in their honor, about 0.7 miles down the trail. They offer a nice view of Billington Sea.
Before the arrival of European colonists in Plymouth in 1620, the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans inhabited this area.
The 2.5-mile out-and-back trail begins just west of the parking lot. It starts with an uphill climb, and continues along numerous ups-and-downs, traversing ridges, hills and hollows. Sometimes the trail is as wide as a cart path, other times it is more narrow. In general, it is very well-maintained. At the half-mile point, there’s a lovely view of Billington Sea. When you arrive at the T intersection, shortly after a stream/ditch crossing, turn left. You’ll find an open area with the ruins of a pump house and a sluice gate. Look for the stairs that lead to a trio of granite benches, where you can rest and enjoy the view.
Returning to the main trail, continue straight to explore more of the property. A broad, relatively flat trail passes along the edges of long-abandoned cranberry bogs now returning to their natural state. Toward the end, the trail comes to another T as it approaches Lout Pond. The trail continues a short distance in both directions to the property’s boundaries. This is an out-and-back trail, so please respect private property and retrace your footsteps back to the parking area. Both Lout Pond Road and Branch’s Point Road are privately owned.
Habitats and Wildlife
The woods here are primarily white pine, oak, maple, and beech, with some sassafras plus plenty of sweet pepperbush and blueberry shrubs.
The 269-acre freshwater pond known as Billington Sea is the headwaters for Town Brook. The brook flows for 1.5 miles before emptying into Plymouth Harbor. Town Brook is home to a herring run on the rebound! Every spring, thousands of alewife herring swim upstream, en route to their spawning grounds in the Billington Sea. In 2003, about 7,000 herring were counted here. In 2016, there were nearly 200,000! This is thanks largely to the 21st-century removal of four local dams that impeded fish passage.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 70 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Look for the property sign and parking area near 331 Billington Street, at Lout Pond Road. Parking for 4-6 vehicles.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Billington Sea (Town Brook watershed)