Jehu Pond Conservation Area
October 12, 2009
Just after noon on Columbus Day I pulled into the parking are at the Jehu Pond Conservation Area off Great Neck Road in Mashpee. Jehu Pond Conservation Area is part of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge established in 1995 to preserve and protect the natural resources associated with the Waquoit Bay area. When complete the plan calls for the refuge to encompas 5,871 acres.
The Jehu Pond Area enters on a wide dirt road. This is the Amy Brown Road which runs for just over a mile through the refuge. There are other dirt roads off the Amy Brown and several trails, some to Jehu Pond and others north in the direction of Red Brook Road. However, nothing is marked, so it’s important to maintain your bearings when wandering the trails.
About five minutes up the road on the left is this grassy path. I decided to give it a look.
The side trail ended less than a quarter mile down, but did pass by a nice marsh view.
Back on the Amy Brown Road I walked about another five minute before coming to another side trail. This one looked like it might provide a closer look at Jehu Pond.
Jehu Pond is a saltwater pond that leads into Waquoit Bay. The pond is surrounded by marsh. As I got closer to the marsh the trail began to close in.
The ground was spongy. I got as close to the marsh as I could without sinking in.
This was about as close as I was going to get to the pond, so I turned up the trail and headed back into the woods. I didn’t know where the trail would go. I was hoping it was a loop back to the Amy Brown Road.
I walked this trail for about 10 minutes before it came to a road that looked like it might be the Amy Brown Road. I looked around and found my footprints and followed them back to where I had left the road to head down to the pond. As I continued Jehu Pond was occasionally visible through the trees.
Continuing along the road I came to what looked like it had once been a trail. I decided to check it out.
It was in fact once a trail and ended at the northern end of the marsh above Jehu Pond.
Back on the Amy Brown Road evidence of a four-wheel quad was seen.
The rider was blazing new trails through the woods. I followed one of these trails to see where it went. Up a hill and down the other side it ripped up the bushes and trees and dug deep ruts in the ground. There were several spots in the refuge where four-wheel vehicles had been used.
The entire area is clearly posted as a protected area.
The area I was in was called the Abigail Brook Area. I thought I’d look for Abigail Brook. Aside from the Refuge signs, there are no other markers. This was the only brook I could find.
Happy that I found a brook, possibly Abigail Brook, I stopped here for a snack.
There was a trail that lead alongside a marsh that I thought might take me to where the brook entered.
This opened up with some nice views of this marsh.
There were several side trails. I came to a crossroads and since the brook went right, so did I. Near this trail intersection there was this cement structure. I don’t know what it might have been.
The map didn’t have the majority of the trails on it and none of them have names or markings. It would be easy to become turned around. I followed the new trail with the brook and the sun on my right side.
The brook wandered in and out of sight along the trail. To my left was higher ground and probably no place for a brook. I continued to follow the stream until the trail ran out. The brook continued into the woods, but the trail climbed a hill to a “T” intersection at the top. Here I decided that since I had lost the brook, I’d put the sun on my left shoulder. I took a left on this new trail.
It was a very nice trail, wide and easy walking. It went through an area of mostly pines, with a few oak, beech and birch. There were occasional holly trees sprinkled in. Again side trails to either side invited investigation, but not really knowing where this one I was on would lead, I figured I stick with it for a while. About 15 minutes after climbing the hill and setting off I came to a dirt road. But, what dirt road.
I didn’t recognize anything and I didn’t see my footprints in the soft dirt. This time I figured I head toward the sun, or in this case the southwest. It seemed like a good idea.
I hadn’t been strolling along for long when I came to this fork in the road. I actually arrived here by coming down the fork on the right. The trail, it turns out, had brought me to the Great Hay Road, which I then followed to the intersection of the Amy Brown Road. My map did have this intersection indicated on it. So now for the first time in about the last hour, I knew where I was.
In celebration of heading back to the trailhead and my truck, I ate my last granola bar as I walked.
It was a two hour walk though a very pretty area. The temperature was in the mid 50′s and clouds were moving in from the west as rain was predicted for the next day. As for my distance walked, it was probably close to three miles. It’s hard to say. The views of Jehu Pond are limited, but for an easy afternoon walk in the woods, the Amy Brown Road (No Vehicles Allowed) is a nice stroll.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.