Asking Questions and Doing Things

Hidden Treasures of Falmouth

Peter Spiller leading a mushroom walk at Peterson Farm. (Photograph courtesy of The 300 Committee, Falmouth’s Land Trust)

FALMOUTH, MA – Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and ability levels are encouraged to explore protected open space in Falmouth to experience nature in all its splendor.

Some of Falmouth’s conservation areas, especially those with easy access and well-established trails, are widely used and appreciated by the public.

Beebe Woods, Peterson Farm, Sea Farms Marsh and the state Crane Wildlife Management Area are very well known.

However the town has numerous other parcels of open space, hidden treasures of woods, ponds and marsh that are often used by residents in the immediate neighborhood but not known by the community at large.

Cyclists and nature lovers recently participated in “Pedal to Parcels” a bike event that exposed bicyclists to conservation land in West Falmouth.

According to 300 Committee Administrator Jessica Whritenour, volunteers were stationed at conservation parcels along the Shining Sea Bikeway armed with trail maps to expose people to the intricacies of conservation land along the route.

Participants learned about osprey nests, cranberry bogs, cattle tunnels and wild flowers.

A posting on the organizations website reads, “While some environmentally fragile areas are not suitable for trails, The 300 Committee believes that public access to conservation land is important. Personal knowledge of the land is the best way to foster appreciation of our natural places.”

Dozens of easy-to-follow Trail Maps, many drawn by the late Falmouth Naturalist Beth Schwarzman, are available free of charge courtesy of The 300 Committee.

The requests for trail maps that The 300 Committee regularly receives from residents and visitors indicate a strong interest in the outdoors as recreation.

Kettle hole ponds created by the leading edge of the Wisconsin Glacier’s visit to Cape Cod thousands of years ago provide local fishing holes and quiet retreats for nature hikes and wildlife watching.

When the Laurentide ice sheet retreated some 15,000 years ago, it left behind in this part of the Cape a wrinkled, rocky landscape dotted with kettle ponds, a landscape very different from the sandy outwash plains found elsewhere on the peninsula

Photographers and bird watchers exploring Falmouth’s glacial moraines will find an abundance of wildlife and opportunities for peaceful, quiet solitude.

An hike along the Moraine Trail, in Beebe Woods, the shores of West Falmouth Harbor or a stroll along the beach are especially pleasant.

Low impact activity seekers will enjoy well marked trail heads throughout the Crane Wildlife Management Area and along old carriage roads in Beebe Woods.

The Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary offers an easy jaunt around a grassy pond with something for everyone.

Flower and plant lovers will enjoy the fine collection of native and non-native trees and shrubs, the variety of forest, meadow, and wetland wildflowers, some quite rare, and, of course, the magnificent holly trees.

The 300 Committee website http://www.300committee.org offers a schedule of upcoming events, including stewardship workdays to maintain and beautify the properties where volunteers remove invasive plants from kettle ponds, clean up from storm damage and clear trails.

To stay informed about upcoming walks, talks, and other events join their email list at saveland@300committee.org

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