81 Beaver Dam Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Town of Plymouth
The Foothills Preserve showcases the most recent of Plymouth’s three major cranberry bog restoration projects, along with the Eel River Preserve and Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary. About 1 mile of the newly-named Manomet Brook was returned to a more natural state, and several ponds were created, to provide habitat for ducks and other waterfowl. This work was completed in the spring of 2021, however many of the newly planted trees, shrubs and other vegetation on site remain fragile, so be sure to stay on the trail when passing through sensitive areas.
Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit.
Foothills Preserve features a long loop trail, with a path across the middle. Another way to view this is as two intersecting loop trails. From the parking area, set off in either direction on the loop. Because this property is so open and flat, you can gauge your progress on the loop from any point. Along the way, there are occasional wooden bridges that pass over streams. On the eastern side of the loop, you’ll also be able to enjoy views of Manomet Brook. There’s a bench in that quadrant as well — sit down and enjoy the view! According to the Plymouth Trail Guide, sunrises and sunsets are especially nice here.
Also according to the Plymouth Trail Guide, there is a partial whale skeleton in the southwest corner of the property, near the Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs storage barn. “The whale washed up on a Plymouth shore years ago, and the bones are in the process of drying and bleaching in the sun.”
Habitats and Wildlife
The terrain of this property is mostly grass and wetlands, with bog roads and berms providing the trails. There are a few cedar trees, as well as some oaks and maples, plus pitch pine, birch and bayberry. Watch for hawks and owls hunting in the trees
Manomet Brook flows through this property for about a mile. After passing under Beaver Dam Road, it joins Beaver Dam Brook, which flows through the Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary and onward to the sea at White Horse Beach. Look for the return of fish species to this watershed, including blueback herring, brook trout and American eel, as they re-establish former spawning areas.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 126 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: On-site parking lot (6 vehicles).
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Benches, informational kiosk.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Manomet Brook (Cape Cod Bay watershed)