Shifting Lots Preserve

101 Lookout Point Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA


Owned By: Wildlands Trust

A beautiful, secluded spot on Ellisville Harbor with marsh views and a short trail to the beach. A prime location for birding! Extend your visit to the area with a stop (and a longer walk) at Ellisville Harbor State Park, just around the corner.

For up-to-date information and real time trail conditions, visit


Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit. To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag and the Herring Pond Wampanoag both share information on their websites. 

Around 1700, members of the Ellis family made their home nearby, followed by the Harlow family, who “fished, farmed, grew cranberries and harvested timber.” (Source: signage within Ellisville Harbor State Park). The harbor itself — known then as Great Salt Pond, was a popular fishing spot, as well as a prime location for shipping timber to Boston on vessels known as wood-coasters. Seaweed was harvested regularly (especially after storms) for use as fertilizer. Farming continued in the area until 1962.

Ellisville Harbor State Park, across the water, was established in 1991. This property was donated to the Wildlands Trust in 2003 by Elin Danielson, Ruth Lapham, Albert & Laura Marsh, and Donald P. Quinn.

Trail Description

A very short (0.04 mile) trail extends from the parking area to the beach. Please remain on the trail to minimize damage to sensitive grasses.

Habitats and Wildlife

This property includes the salt marsh estuary at the southern end of Ellisville Harbor, as well as sand dunes and a migrating barrier beach. Vegetation incudes dune/beach grasses and low-lying shrubs, rosa rugosa, cedar trees, and goldenrod. According to the Wildlands Trust, “The barrier beach …  serves as crucial nesting and foraging habitat for migrating shorebirds, including the federally threatened piping plover and several species of terns.” Look for great blue herons in the marsh areas!

101 Lookout Point Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: Yes

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 51.3 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: On-site parking for 4 cars from September 15 to May 15. In summer, pedestrian access only. (But you can park nearby at Ellisville Harbor State Park.)

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Informational kiosk.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Cape Cod Bay (Atlantic Ocean)

Other Things to Do at This Site