Bourne Four Ponds Conservation Area and Town Forest
Septemner 20, 2009
The Bourne Four Ponds Conservation Area off Barlows Landing Road is named for the four ponds within. From the northeast to southwest they are Upper Pond, Freeman Pond, The Basin and Shop Pond. A fifth outside the Conservation Area across County Road is Mill Pond. The Conservation Area abuts the Bourne Town Forest making the area a combined 280 acres of walking trails.
I spent better that two hours on a bright sunny afternoon strolling through this area. The temperature was in the low to mid 60′s with little wind; a perfect day for a walk.
The trails are fairly well marked as you start out on the Pine Trail. The trail is open and makes its way up the south side of Upper Pond, which at times is visable through the trees. A large rock, deposited by the glacier and a bench mark a trail intersection. Here the Pine Trail continues to the left, not along the more worn path straigh ahead.
Once past the rock and out of sight of Upper Pond the Pine Trail crosses a small brook, which at this time of the season was only a bed of wet leaves.
The Pine Trail rolls easily along with nothing very difficult as far as climbs or descents. There are markers placed at most trail intersections and some along the path.
Within the Bourne Conservation area the trail was easy walking.
The Pine Trail intersects the Town Forest Trail while still within the boundry of the Conservation Area. A fire road is the first indication that you are entering the Town Forest.
The Pine Trail continues into the Town Forest slowly climbing to a ridge top, which the trail follows. Unfortunately, there are no views along the ridge, however, the terrain does drop off to either side at times steeply.
It is possible to walk the Town Forest Trail in a wider arc around the Town Forest. The Town Forest Trail goes to the north of a wetland, while the Pine Trail stays to the south along the ridge top. The Pine Trail and Town Forest Trail cross one another several times.
Once back within the boundary of the Conservation Land is is a short walk to Upper Pond.
This large pine tree was about four feet in diameter at the base.
The Pine Trail meets with the Lions Trail at the foot of Upper Pond.
The Pine Trail crosses between Upper Pond and Freeman Pond, however, I took the Lions Trail south along the western side of Freeman Pond.
At the foot of Freeman Pond the flow splits with most of the water traveling down a brook into The Basin, while some of the flow goes to the right an into a marshy area. At the foot of Freeman Pond are a series of small step bridges allowing walkers to cross the brook and continue around Freeman Pond on the Lions Trail or head along the brook to The Basin.
This was a pretty area and I had been walking for about two hours. There was a bench beside the brook, so I sat and had a rest and a snack.
After crossing another wooded bridge The Basin, the third in the string of ponds came into view on the right.
The Eagle Trail goes around The Basin, but if at the foot of the pond you walk straight you will come to Shop Pond, a small pond that runs to County Road and Mill Pond. Traveling around The Basin there is a nice bench just off the trail.
The ponds are what is left of a spring feed brook that was impounded so as to provide a power source for the Pocasset Iron Works in the 19th century. I spent two and a half hours at a leisurely pace, venturing down a few of the many side paths to explore. The total distance, if you stick to the Pine Trail making the loop is roughly 3.5 miles.
The Four Ponds Conservation Area is within a mile of Route 28 and at times it is possible to hear the highway traffic.
On this Sunday afternoon I ran into just six other people and four dogs and there was evidence of there having been horse traffic on the paths.
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