Places to Explore — South East

Not sure where to start exploring? Try visiting one of our wildlife sanctuaries in the South East area. 


Nature Center & Trails

Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

Allens Pond beach trail © Linda Lapre
© Linda Lapre

Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: South Dartmouth & Westport
Trails: 7 miles

Spans hundreds of acres of protected beach, fields, woodlands, pond, and marsh and features an extensive trail system with ocean and pond views. Details >

North River Wildlife Sanctuary

North River Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Marshfield
Trails: 2.5 miles

Named for the state-designated Scenic River that winds along its northern boundary, this sanctuary's fields, oak forest, and salt marsh attract a wide variety of birds. Details >

Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary

Homeschool students going ponding at Oak Knoll © Mary Whitty
© Mary Whitty

Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Attleboro
Trails: 1.5 miles

Just minutes from downtown Attleboro, explore wooded trails and a boardwalk winding through a red maple swamp and freshwater marsh, and around the lake’s perimeter. Details >

Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Restored cold stream at Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary
Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Plymouth
Trails: 3 miles

Once a working cranberry farm, this 450-plus acre landscape underwent the largest freshwater ecological restoration ever completed in the Northeast. Details >

Separator


Trails Only

Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary

Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Attleboro
Trails: 3 miles

Once a center for healing, complete with herb gardens, Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary has long been a place for renewal and contemplation. Details > 

Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

Northern Harrier at Daniel Webster © Sean P. Carey
Northern Harrier © Sean P. Carey

Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Marshfield
Trails: 3.5 miles

Take in the panoramic views of the grasslands, traverse wetlands via boardwalks, and stop by an observation blind to watch sunning turtles and a multitude of wetland birds in the shallow pond. Details >

Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Wareham
Trails: 4 miles

Wandering through pine forest on old carriage roads and deer paths, you may encounter a roosting great horned owl or a wading heron at the marsh edge. Details >

North Hill Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

North Hill Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Duxbury
Trails: 5 miles

Situated within Duxbury’s Eastern Greenbelt, 1,000 acres of contiguous open space. Here, a clearly marked trail system circles the 90-acre pond and travels through oak and pine woodlands and wetlands. Details >

Other Sanctuaries - South East


Not Ready for Visitors


Assonet Cedar Swamp Wildlife Sanctuary, Lakeville & Freetown

1,022 ACRES

Assonet Cedar Swamp Wildlife Sanctuary is an Atlantic white cedar wetland, located in Bristol County, primarily in the town of Lakeville but also Freetown.

Conservation Features: Along with the extensive Atlantic White Cedar swamp habitat, it also contains significant amounts of red maple swamp, a remote riparian corridor, and some upland oak-pine and beech-birch forests. The swamp is very important habitat for a variety of plants found more commonly north of Bristol County. It also represents important breeding habitat for birds that favor extensive forest and wooded streams.

Cromeset Neck & Mark's Cove Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Wareham

47 ACRES

Situated along the shore of Buzzards Bay and the Weweantic River in the town of Wareham, this wildlife sanctuary consists of three separate parcels within one mile of each other, including Mark’s Cove Wildlife Sanctuary.

Conservation Features: Salt marsh comprises most of the wildlife sanctuary. The property also contains about six contiguous acres of coastal woodland. Approximately half of the acreage is BioMap2 Core Habitat as classified by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and all is classified as BioMap2 Critical Natural Landscape. 

Gunning Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Westport

12 ACRES

Located in the waters off Westport, this island is part of the Allens Pond and Westport River Watershed Important Bird Area.

Conservation Features: The area surrounding this island supports the densest nesting populations of ospreys along the East Coast and was one of the first areas where the birds recovered from the devastating impacts of DDT. This area also offers nesting, feeding, and staging for a variety of shorebirds. The islands are covered with dense shrubby vegetation including copious amounts of poison ivy.

Little Cedar Swamp Wildlife Sanctuary, Lakeville & Freetown

66 ACRES

Primarily in Lakeville with a small section in Freetown, Little Cedar Swamp is near the largest complex of natural freshwater lakes in Massachusetts. 

Conservation Features: The wildlife sanctuary is comprised of rare Atlantic White Cedar wetland, but also contains oak-pine woodlands and rocky outcroppings.

Little Pine Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Westport

2 ACRES

Located in the waters off Westport, this island is part of the Allens Pond and Westport River Watershed Important Bird Area.

Conservation Features: The area surrounding this island supports the densest nesting populations of ospreys along the East Coast and was one of the first areas where the birds recovered from the devastating impacts of DDT. This area also offers nesting, feeding, and staging for a variety of shorebirds. The islands are covered with dense shrubby vegetation including copious amounts of poison ivy.

Norwell Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Norwell

12 ACRES

This wildlife sanctuary is situated on the banks of the North River, a designated State Scenic and Recreational River, in Norwell.

Conservation Features: This wildlife sanctuary includes a freshwater tidal marsh, a relatively rare natural community in Massachusetts. The wildlife sanctuary is an important part of a larger complex of open space, increasing the overall ecological value of the relatively small parcel. Observe wildlife from a canoe or kayak while paddling along the river (always check tide charts before you go).

Onset Bluff Wildlife Sanctuary, Wareham

3 ACRES

Located about one-quarter mile from Shell Point Bay, Onset Bluff Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Village of Onset, within Town of Wareham.

Conservation Features: Onset Bluff Wildlife Sanctuary contains two ecological communities: coastal woodland (part of a coastal bluff) and wooded swamp invaded with nonnative plants, such as bittersweet, shrub honeysuckle, and common reed.

Pine Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield

6 ACRES

This wildlife sanctuary is a small island property located within the estuary of the North and South rivers in Marshfield. 

Conservation Features: Pine Island is comprised of salt marsh and low wooded and shrubby uplands, often with copious amounts of poison ivy. It has been classified as BioMap2 Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. This island habitat may be best observed and appreciated by canoe or kayak from the adjacent English Marsh Wildlife Management Area.

Stump Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Halifax

263 ACRES

Part of the Taunton River Watershed, this wildlife sanctuary is bordered on its north and west by its namesake brook, on its east by a farm and active cranberry bog, and on the south by a residential area. The wildlife sanctuary also abuts MassWildlife's Burrage Ponds Wildlife Management Area.

Conservation Features: Much of the property is wetland, primarily wooded swamps dominated by red maples and marshes. The wildlife sanctuary also contains one of the few examples of an Atlantic white cedar wetland in the Mass Audubon statewide wildlife sanctuary system. Many species of birds associated with forests, freshwater marshes, and shrublands are found at this site. 

Tilden Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield

25 ACRES

Situated within North Marshfield, this wildlife sanctuary is part of a large complex of protected open space that includes municipal and nonprofit trust conservation lands as well as private properties that are subject to conservation restrictions.

Conservation Features: Tree swallows and chimney swifts along with a variety of butterflies and other pollinators flock to this grassland that is surrounded on three sides by woodlands: a deciduous woodland to the west, a coniferous (white pine) forest to the south, and a mixed deciduous/coniferous woodland to the east.

Tilden Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield

8 ACRES

This wildlife sanctuary is a small island property located within the estuary of the North and South rivers in Marshfield. 

Conservation Features: Tilden Island is comprised of salt marsh and low wooded and shrubby uplands, often with copious amounts of poison ivy. It has been classified as BioMap2 Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. This island habitat may be best observed and appreciated by canoe or kayak from the adjacent English Marsh Wildlife Management Area.

Ward Rock Wildlife Sanctuary, Fairhaven

20 ACRES

This coastal property located on Shaw’s Cove in Fairhaven covers about half of a small peninsula known as Nuland’s Neck. The sanctuary is part of a much larger complex of protected open space, including land owned by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Fairhaven Acushnet Land Preservation Trust, Fairhaven Conservation Commission, and private lands subject to conservation restrictions.

Conservation Features: The property is comprised of coastal forest adjoining salt marsh habitat. The salt marsh serves as a foraging area for Common Terns and Least Terns. It is possible that federally-listed Roseate Terns also forage in the area as their main nesting island—Bird Island in Marion—is approximately six miles northeast of Ward Rock. American Woodcock and Black Ducks have been found on the site.