Herring Runs

Herring Run Recreation Area

Herring Run Recreation Area, Scenic Highway, Bourne, MA, USA


Owned By: US Army Corps of Engineers

Located on the Cape Cod Canal, the Herring Run Recreation Area in Bourne is a great spot to walk, fish, take a bike ride, or simply enjoy the view. Check out the 1.4-mile Bournedale Hills Trail, or explore the paved 7-mile Cape Cod Canal Bikeway. Stop by in the spring to see herring in the fish ladder, making their way upstream to their spawning grounds.

It’s important to know that some of our freshwater fisheries are contaminated with mercury, PFAS and/or other concerning substances. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health maintains an online database with up-to-date advisories regarding fish consumption, sorted by location. We recommend you consult this valuable resource when planning a fishing excursion.


The 17.4-mile Cape Cod Canal is maintained by the US Army Corp of Engineers. A navigable waterway used by 15,000 vessels each year, it connects Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay. There are numerous recreational opportunities on both sides of the canal. Learn more at the Cape Cod Canal website.

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

Trail Description

Look for the staircase that leads up to the Bournedale Hills Trail, which extends through the woods for 1.4 miles to Bourne Scenic Park. Interpretive signs along the way share some of the area’s history. This property also provides access to the paved 7-mile Cape Cod Canal Bikeway.

Habitats and Wildlife

The Herring River (Bourne) flows into the Cape Cod Canal at this spot. Stop by in the springtime to see herring making their way upstream on their annual migration to their spawning grounds.

The park itself is a long strip of grass with scattered pines and some deciduous trees, plus ornamental plantings.

  • A photograph of a visitor center and property sign, with grass and scattered trees.
  • A photograph of a tall staircase leading down to a paved trail and a canal, with an individual in the background.
  • A photograph of a grassy area with picnic tables, overlooking a canal.
  • A photograph of two people walking on a concrete trail past a picnic table, in a grassy park overlooking a canal.
  • A photograph of a grassy area with scattered trees, with a bench overlooking a canal.
  • A photograph of a man and a dog walking through a grassy park beside a canal.
Herring Run Recreation Area, Scenic Highway, Bourne, MA, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Ample on-site parking at 810 Scenic Highway, Bourne.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Benches, picnic tables, bicycle rack, interpretive signage, seasonal visitor center & restrooms (mid-April through Columbus Day).

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Please clean up after your dog!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Herring River (Bourne)