Forest Trails

David E. Alper Nature Preserve

100 Little Herring Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

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

Owned By: Town of Plymouth

This 43-acre property offers a 0.75-mile cart path along a ridge between Little Herring Pond and Triangle Pond. There are additional trails that extend to Little Herring Pond, some more accessible than others. Be sure to check out the plant identification tags, created and maintained by the Herring Ponds Watershed Association.

It is possible to portage a canoe or kayak here and explore the pond. Access is somewhat challenging, so be sure to check out the terrain first. This is the only public water access to Little Herring Pond.


This land is within the region of the Wampanoag tribe. To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and the Herring Pond Wampanoag both share information on their websites. 

Trail Description

The preserve is located at the end of Little Herring Pond Road. The main trail is a cart path, suitable for hiking and cross-country skiing. Toward the end, there is a fork. Go right to complete the Plant ID Trail (0.4 miles total). Go left for a short loop with views of Triangle Pond.

Also, near the beginning of the trail, look for a 0.33-mile loop that extends downhill toward Little Herring Pond. At the end, there is an excellent view of the pond, as well as an old dam at the outlet to Carter’s Brook. This would be a good place to spot herring during their spring migration!

If you’re interested in paddling here, you can drive straight into the preserve for about 90 yards, and park to the right, at the top of the hill to unload. Then it’s a long portage down a steep hill, to the pond. There is no official launch area.

Habitats and Wildlife

Little Herring Pond covers 90 acres. It is shallow (average 3-foot depth) and clear, with a mostly sandy bottom. The cold water within is provided by various springs along the bottom of the pond.

The woodland here is composed of oak, white pine, pitch pine, and maple, with some sassafras. There is also some viburnum and sweet pepperbush.

This property is within the Herring River watershed of Plymouth and Bourne. The waters here flow south into Great Herring Pond, which drains to Herring River and eventually Buzzards Bay. Follow the Herring Ponds Watershed Association for more information about the Great Herring Pond watershed.

100 Little Herring Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

Size: 43 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Located at the end of Little Herring Pond Road. Roadside parking in the traffic circle.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium


One bench, with a view of the pond. Geocache location.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Little Herring Pond/Herring River (Bourne) watershed