Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Green Heron perched on a log, surrounded by Lily Pads with a fish in its beak.
Rocky Hill, Groton © Amy Severino

Picturesque Ponds

August 11, 2023

Take a beat from your busy summer to sit by a peaceful pond and ground yourself in nature. Listen to the chirps of nearby birds or the kerplunk of a turtle jumping into the water. Here are a few favorite ponds that will have you feeling calm and reconnected in no time.

Pleasant Valley, Lenox 

Walk on the newly constructed All Persons Trail at Pleasant Valley, which follows a scenic stretch of the Pike’s Pond shoreline. Flanked by tall pines and other trees, this pond is a perfect place to get your water and forest fix. Sit on the boardwalk bench to try and spot the bobbing heads and flat tails of beavers cruising the pond at dawn or dusk. Can you find any painted turtles or garter snakes soaking up the sun? 

A boardwalk curves around a pond and green forest.
Pleasant Valley, Lenox

Waseeka, Hopkinton 

Take the Cart Path to the dam at Waseeka for a peaceful pond view. A manmade dam flooded the area, leaving the tall, bare trees standing in place. In the trees, find Ospreys or Belted Kingfishers on the hunt for their next meal or Black-capped Chickadees nesting in tree cavities. In the center of the pond is a well-constructed beaver lodge. Continue onto the dam to search for the shiny red “dewdrops” the carnivorous Sundew plant uses to lure its insect prey. 

A pond with tall dead trees and green vegetation. A large bird nest is built on one of the dead trees.
Waseeka, Hopkinton

Museum of American Bird Art (MABA) Education Center, Canton 

The Main Loop Trail at the MABA Education Center winds through peaceful meadows; seasonal vernal pools; and a small, tranquil pond. Keep an eye out for frogs peeking out of the water, Scarlet Tanagers nesting in the trees, and singing Red-eyed Vireos. 

A brown frog with just it's head out of the water and front hands on a stick in the water.
Wood Frog, MABA, Canton

Oak Knoll, Attleboro 

Looking out over Lake Talaquega at Oak Knoll, it’s hard to imagine that this serene setting was once a buzzing entertainment destination, complete with a casino and hotel. However, extra dry weather reveals that history—at the bottom of the pond is a century-old trolley. Nowadays, you can sit on a nearby bench to experience a pond alive with playful otters, sleek minks, and loud bullfrogs. 

A pond with lily pads and a forest on behind.
Oak Knoll, Attleboro

Rocky Hill, Groton 

Walk along a dense, green forest on the Heronry Trail at Rocky Hill in Groton to get a look at Lower Long Pond. Marshy vegetation and lily pads cover most of the pond at this time of year, and tall trees standing in the water make a perfect nesting area for Great Blue Herons. 

Great Blue Heron standing in a large nest on a dead tree. Numerous dead trees surround the bird's nest and lush green trees in the background.
Rocky Hill, Groton

Marblehead Neck, Marblehead 

For a quick hike, visit the bustling pond and lively forest in Marblehead Neck. Once you get to the pond from the Audubon Trail, keep an eye out for Painted Turtles sunning on a rock or log. Later in the year, you may spot a roosting Black-crowned Night-Heron near the pond. During songbird migration in September, hike up the Warbler Trail and stop at the Migration Outlook to scan trees and shrubs for foraging birds.

Boardwalk over water and mud leading into a dense forest and shrubby area.
Marblehead Neck, Marblehead

 

Ready to Explore More? 

Mass Audubon has over 60 wildlife sanctuaries around the state waiting for you to discover. 

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