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Hiking

Russell & Sawmill Ponds Conservation Area

75 Bourne St, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

Owned By: Town of Plymouth

Two ponds set within 64 acres of forest in North Plymouth, plus 2.8 miles of trails. The ponds are stocked annually with trout, making this a nice spot for fishing.

Note: Sometimes confused with the Russell Mill Pond Conservation Area on Long Pond Road in Plymouth.

Features

Given its name, Sawmill Pond was likely once home to a sawmill, but no vestiges remain. Both ponds are held in place by a dam, and were part of the Plymouth Cordage Company, which was located across Route 3A, on the waterfront. Founded in 1824, it became the largest rope and twine manufacturer in the world, specializing in ship rigging, and producing the rope used on the USS Constitution. The company was also Plymouth’s largest employer for 100+ years. It ceased operations in 1964.

The property was purchased, for conservation, by the town in 1969. In earlier times, this land was within the region of the Patuxet, members of the Wampanoag tribe, who inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth.

Trail Description

A wide causeway extends between the two ponds, to the property boundary. There are also some loop trails around Russell Pond and the pine forest that borders it. Altogether, there are about 2.8 miles of trails. Some are easy-going, and some feature moderate elevation.

Habitats and Wildlife

There are two, approx. 4-acre, ponds on this property — Russell Pond and Sawmill Pond, which is labeled on some maps as Stone Pond. Russell Pond finds its source in the springs and wetlands at its west end. Sawmill Pond is fed by a brook that arises in wetlands east and south of Cherry Street and Squanto Road. The waters on this property flow, via the brook, to the Atlantic Ocean at Kingston Bay.

The property is mostly mature pine forest, with some beech, oak, cherry, and birch. There are some dry kettle holes within the woods. There is also a grassy area, off the causeway, and a flat section of open forest next to Sawmill Pond.

The ponds are stocked annually with trout by the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries & Wildlife. Other fish commonly found here include sunfish, golden shiners, American eel, chain pickerel and large mouth bass.

75 Bourne St, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

Size: 64 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Ample on-site parking.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium

Facilities:

Trash receptacles.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Cape Cod Bay watershed