644 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Wildlands Trust
An 80-acre woodland on Long Pond Road in Plymouth, with about a half mile of trails. Part of a 3-mile trail loop within the Davis-Douglas Conservation Area. Other related properties nearby include: Emery Preserve West, Emery Preserve East, and Davis-Douglas Farm, along with conservation land in Plymouth.
While only a half mile of trail passes through this property, the Six Ponds East Preserve comprises a full 80 acres. It’s an important part of the interlinked properties in this section of Plymouth, along with the Emery Preserve, some Plymouth Conservation land, and Davis-Douglas Farm. Six Ponds includes pitch pine/scrub oak forests on both sides of Long Pond Road and Route 3.
According to the website of the Wildlands Trust, this area was protected thanks in large part to the local Six Ponds Community. In 1973, the preserves known as Emery East and Emery West were donated to the Wildlands Trust by Mary B. Emery, Arthur H. Emery, Edward S. Emery, III, Richard B. Emery, Mary Charlotte (Emery) Russell, H. Shippen, and Lydia Goodhue. Then, in 2001, Six Ponds East Preserve was acquired. In 2010, the Town of Plymouth acquired a parcel of land in between Six Ponds East Preserve and Emery West Preserve with the assistance of Wildlands Trust. And then in 2012, the Wildlands Trust purchased Davis-Douglas Farm, with funding from public and private sources. It became the organization’s headquarters in 2014. Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit.
There is an unmarked trailhead on Long Pond Road, a little to the left of the Six Ponds East property sign. (This area is also suitable for parking.). Follow the trail through the woods for about 1/3 mile, up and down some moderate hills. It links directly to Emery Preserve West. Follow the trail markers (red and green) to enjoy a 3-mile loop through the woods.
You can also access Six Ponds East from Davis-Douglas Farm. Park in the parking area, follow the trail signs across Long Pond Road into Emery Preserve West. Turn left on the trail, and after 0.38 miles, you will cross into Six Ponds East.
Habitats and Wildlife
The forest here is primarily scrub oak and pitch pines with some maples, beech and sassafras, and an understory of ferns, viburnum and sweet pepperbush.
Interpretive signage at Davis-Douglas Farm nearby offers fascinating detail about this property’s geography. It is situated on an outwash plain — thick layers of sand and gravel deposited by retreating glaciers 14,000 years ago. Kettle ponds, esker ridges, and kames (steep-sided mounds of sand and gravel) — common characteristic features of outwash plains — are all present here. The soil is sandy, acidic, and well-drained, which is why Pine Barrens have flourished here. Part of the Cape Cod Bay watershed, the streams here flow east and empty into the Atlantic Ocean near Ship Pond.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 80 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited parking near the Six Ponds East property sign on Long Pond Road. Or access via Davis-Douglas Farm/Emery Preserve West.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Cape Cod Bay watershed