Spring has sprung! And if this warmer weather has got you searching for a trip to the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. Our four coastal villages are filled with open spaces and gorgeous natural habitats just waiting for your visit. We invite you to bask in the warm sun and all the glory of being in the fresh outdoors. From open parks to nature trails, here are some stops you might want to explore this spring…
Tiverton is known for it’s hidden treasures and certainly Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge is one of these. Situated just minutes north of historic Tiverton Four Corners on Sepowet Ave, this preserve features 50 acres of accessible tree-lined trails welcoming to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts and encouraging to hopeful bird watchers; Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Glossy Ibis are just some of the birds you might encounter on your peaceful walk through the trails. What to bring: your binoculars and sketch pad; this refuge will delight you with stunning views of salt marshes and the sparkling Sakonnet River.
Weetamoo Woods, part of Pardon Gray Reserve, is another option for hiking in Tiverton. While you can travel through Pardon Gray to get to the forest trails, many prefer the entrance on East Rd. which gives direct access to over 5 miles of mapped trails. This healthy trek is a paradise for budding botanists and historians alike. Here you’ll find a showcase of nature’s most resilient mosses, mushrooms, and wild plants, and remnence of Weetamoo’s original Wampanoag ownership with historic stone walls, cellar holes and even a village sawmill. What to bring: Your pup and a few dollars for ice cream. Wetamoo is right across from iconic Tiverton ice cream parlor, Gray’s!
In Little Compton
Although the entrance may be easy to pass by, don’t drive by Simmon’s Mill Pond in Little Compton, especially if you’ve brought your fishing gear. Over 400 acres of land sit under forest cover with wide hiking trails and at the pond, we hear, an abundance of trout in the spring. Hike about a 1/2 mile from the entrance on Colebrook Rd. and find a beautiful place to spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy the sounds of nature. What to bring: sturdy shoes and your fishing pole.
If you find yourself in this summer beach town make your way over to Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and explore the coastal wetlands. Two entrances give access to over 7 hiking routes, boasting 6 miles of trails and “first-class bird watching,” each with their own unique display of this rich New England habitat. Parking on Horseneck Rd. brings you to the Quansett Trail System including a breathtaking Beach Loop filled with gorgeous views of Buzzard’s Bay. Just up the street, parking on Allen’s Neck Road brings you to the Allen’s Neck Trail System through old pastures and grasslands to giant boulders and vernal pools.What to bring: a wind jacket and a bird dictionary; Over 300 species of birds have been spotted here!
Located on Barney’s Joy Rd., Demarest Lloyd State Park is rightfully called one of the best-kept secrets in southern Massachusetts. In a harmonious blending of farm and sea, hiking trails open onto a beautiful accessible beach. Visitors say traveling here feels like being a kid again, uncovering a secret treasure you’ll want to visit again and again. What to bring: sand shovels and buckets for collecting rocks and shells. Also in Dartmouth, managed jointly by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and Trustees of Reservations, Slocum River Reserve is a beautiful hike for those who appreciate a peek at the water featuring 2 miles of walking trails along the stunning Slocum River. To add to it’s appeal, over the passed year an art exhibit, The River Project, was installed inviting visitors to view large scale sculptures by local artists amidst the trails through May 18th 2013. What to Bring: your artistic side and a bit of bug spray.
Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust manages over ten popular trails in the area including the popular Daffodil fields in Parson’s Preserve, a springtime delight for all ages. The organization hosts events and guided walks throughout the year.Visit their website for specific trail information. Another great destination in Dartmouth is the Lloyd Center for the Environment with five family friendly trails over 55 acres of lush forest and wetlands. Colorful trail maps available at the education center guide you through the reserve but don’t forget to spend some time in the indoor aquaria room! The Lloyd Center is also a great spot for canoeing and kayaking. What to Bring: all your friends!
Recently, the name FarmCoast New England was adopted to denote an incredibly beautiful and unique stretch of land from Tiverton Four Corners to Padanaram Village– the towns of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport, and Dartmouth. These four towns and the many villages in between share a common rural lifestyle rooted in art, food, farming, and exploration of the natural world. The name FarmCoast gives the business in this area a chance to connect with one another, and invites visitors from New England and beyond to explore the towns together, as one picturesque, farm-loving unit.
While many people are familiar with parts of the FarmCoast, the name as a travel destination is still gaining popularity. The best way to navigate the area is it’s customized map, but here’s a little help with the lingo…
SEASONAL RAMBLE: This is a visit, drive, or gallivant through the four towns of the FarmCoast stopping at designated or self-designed stops. A grown-up road-trip of sorts. The Farmcoast website has suggestions for different rambles…or you can design your own….maybe a farm ramble, arts ramble, ice cream ramble? Whatever suits you, and your traveling companions.
CLAM JAM, SMOKE & PICKLE: Two delicious catering options you don’t want to pass up. Besides offering vacation and local area things-to-do, the FarmCoast offers an array of gorgeous wedding accommodations, including catering, places to stay, photography, flowers, and stunning event locations.
FEROLBINK: A bed and breakfast set amidst farming pastures of Feroblink Farm, a charming, generational family establishment. Many of the businesses on the FarmCoast are family-run, or otherwise preserved to honor the history of the land. Ferolbink is one of many places to stay along the FarmCoast.
WEETAMOO: A perfect place for solitude. Weetamoo Woods boasts over 5 miles of hiking trails perfect for walking the dog, spotting wildlife, and becoming one with this historic nature spot.
MACOMBER: It’s a turnip, a specially-bred turnip right here on the FarmCoast. Macombers were “discovered” in Westport in 1876 when two young farmers crossbred radishes and rutabagas resulting in a delightfully sweet new veggie. Macombers are in season and a wonderful alternative to mashed potatoes.
To learn more about what the area has to offer pick up our map, available at business along the FC, or downloadable here. It might take a a few visits to familiarize with the names of villages, and business, but it will only take a minute to fall in love with the enchanting New England destination known as the FarmCoast.