Town Forest Conservation Area, 127 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Town of Plymouth
The 317-acre Plymouth Town Forest features 4 ponds and 2.5 miles of woodland trails. It is bordered by Rocky Pond Road, Drew Road, and Long Pond Road. Driving Drew Road (unpaved) is a pleasant way to see the forest, but bear in mind that parking is generally not permitted along it. Public trails within the property provide views of Cook’s Pond and pedestrian access to Little South Pond and Great South Pond.
Look for fishing and paddling access at Little South Pond (limited parking), near the intersection of Drew and Rocky Pond Roads.
For pedestrian access to South Triangle Pond, visit the Wildlands Trust’s South Triangle Pond Conservation Area, where you’ll find 2 additional miles of trails. (Look for designated parking on Drew Road.)
Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit.
The trail begins at the Town Forest sign at the intersection of Drew Road and Long Pond Road. It is narrow to start, but soon widens. Some sections are flat and even, and some are deeply rutted. Follow the trail markers, as other existing (unmarked) trails may cause some confusion. At 0.22 miles, you’ll arrive at the first intersection with the trail loop. You can turn right here to traverse the 0.81-mile loop, or continue straight for another .34 miles to reach the other access point to the loop. The loop trail extends through mature white pine forest and offers views of Cook’s Pond (a couple short spur trails will bring you closer to the water). The loop trail also passes relatively close to Plymouth Intermediate School.
An alternative is to bypass the first loop and follow the marked trail across South Triangle Pond Road. It extends for another 1.1 mile through the forest, and ends between Little South Pond (where there is another, much smaller loop) and Great South Pond. Along the way, you’ll enjoy views of both ponds. Bear in mind, this is an out-and-back trail, so you’ll have to backtrack to return to your starting point.
Habitats and Wildlife
The forest here is primarily white pine, with plenty of oak, as well as fern, blueberry, viburnum, fern, maple, and sassafras. Sandy soil is visible beneath the leaf litter.
There are 4 ponds within the Plymouth Town Forest: Little South Pond, Great South Pond, Cook’s Pond, and South Triangle Pond. According to the Plymouth Trail Guide, “These … are coastal plain ponds, whose water levels fluctuate widely from season to season. The sandy apron of the pond widens as the water level drops in summer.”
The streams and surface waters in the Plymouth Town Forest are part of the Town Brook watershed. They flow north through Cooks Pond to Billington Sea, the 269-acre freshwater pond that is the headwaters for Town Brook. The brook flows for 1.5 miles before emptying into Plymouth Harbor.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 317 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: There is one small parking area (5 vehicles) for hikers near the Long Pond Road entrance, and an additional small parking area (2 vehicles) for anglers and cartop boat users near the Rocky Pond Road entrance.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Town Brook watershed