1210 Old Sandwich Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Town of Plymouth
This 116-acre woodland features a 0.85-mile loop trail with a steep climb up Hio Hill. At the top, you can look out across Cape Cod Bay. If you’re up for the challenge, it is well worth it!
Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit. The Dixon Preserve at Hio Hill was acquired by the Town of Plymouth in 2018 using Community Preservation Funds. The following year, the town established a medium-width loop trail that leads from the parking area to the top of the hill, and down again. Hio Hill is one of the tallest hills in Plymouth.
Look for the trailhead beside the parking area. It immediately turns uphill, entering a forest of oak, pine, pitch pine, fern and viburnum. The trail goes up and downhill, past a single holly tree, and arrives at a clearing that has been cut around an impressively tall pitch pine tree. There is a bench here (0.15 miles).
This is also where the 0.7-mile loop trail begins. Choose either path and you will soon be heading uphill. The climb is steep at times, but not especially long. At the top, look to the east and you’ll see the ocean. On a clear day, you may be able to spot Eastham, Wellfleet or Provincetown, along with the Cape Cod Canal. There are also quite a few glacial erratic boulders. The trail continues across the top of the hill, offering a few different vantage points, and eventually turns downhill. Several neighborhood trails intersect with the town trail, so be sure to follow the arrows.
Habitats and Wildlife
The woodland here is primarily oak, white pine and pitch pine, with an understory of fern and viburnum. There is also at least one holly tree, along with some beech. This is excellent habitat for deer and songbirds. In addition, this property contains numerous glacial erratic boulders, which were left behind by receding glaciers 13,000 years ago. They are relatively round in shape, and in many cases covered with lichen.
Waters on this property flow downhill and eventually to Cape Cod Bay near Ship Pond.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 116 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited roadside parking (4 vehicles)
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium, Hard
Bench, informational kiosk. 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 watershed