Crocker Neck Conservation Area
Octoberr 11, 2009
Crocker Neck is a 97-acre town-owned conservation are in the southwestern corner of Cotuit. It is named for the old Barnstable family that once owned the land. According the the Barnstable Conservation Commission, “The Neck is part of the outwash plain, sands carried south off the melting glacier 12,000 years ago.”
There are a mile and a half of walking trails on the Neck. On this midday Sunday it took me a little over an hour to stroll from the trailhead to the end of the Tidepool Trail on Popponesset Bay and back.
Most the the trail is open. The hike begins on the Dike Trail which is just a five minute walk to Fullers Marsh.
The Dike Trail squeezes into the marsh grass and to the left. I walked down this path a short way until the marsh grass crowded the trail too closely. As I walk, what looked like a Northern Water Snake shot across the path at my feet. It was about the diameter of a quarter and about 20 inches long. It disappeared into the grass before I could find the camera. Where the 10-foot tall phragmite reeds stand there was once a dike that stopped the tidel flow here, so that the area above could be used as a cranberry bog.
The Bank Trail branches to the south off of the Dike Trail at the marsh.
The Bank Trail travels through the woods along the edge of Fuller’s Marsh, which is nearly always visible through the trees.
The Bank Trail ends at another parking area from where the Cove Trail leaves to the left.
As I walked the Cove Trail, I found this old picnic bench off in the woods among some pine trees.
A path leaves the Cove Trail to the left that passes through a pine grove down to the water of Pinquickset Cove.
Continuing on beyond the view of Pinquickset Cove at the Pine Grove, the path becomes the Tidepool Trail. Only a couple of minutes down the trail is this viewing deck.
The Tidepool Trail meanders through open pine woods down toward Popponesset Bay. The trail ends in a small dirt parking area at a beach on the bay.
From the bay an old road called The Lane backtracks to the second trailhead and Santuit Road. This road has sunk over time due to the elements and use. Ground level to the right side of the road is about two feet above the track.
Following The Lane to the Bank Trail I returned the way I had come. At the trailhead on Santuit Road I crossed the small road to the Town Landing.
Shoestring Bay enters Popponesset Bay on the far side of Ryefield Point. Only a light breeze and 64 degree temperatures marked the day. I had the trails pretty much to myself. I crossed paths with three other people. My walk lasted just over an hour over easy trails with great views.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.