The Reubens Point trail leads to a rock outcropping overlooking Allens Pond.

Coastal Variety: Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Wetsport, MA

Text & Photography by Tom Richardson

This extensive network of Mass Audubon trails in Westport, Massachusetts, winds through a remarkable variety of coastal habitat, ranging from shady hardwood forest to open grass meadows to saltmarsh and even ocean beachfront. The sanctuary has three separate parking areas, and 10 different trails that can be tackled individually or linked together to make for hikes of up to 14 miles round-trip.

 

Well-groomed trails lead through woods, fields, and wetlands.

All trails are well marked and maintained, and feature sturdy boardwalks over wetlands and streams. Several scenic overlooks and wildlife-viewing stations are scattered throughout the sanctuary, including two on Allens Pond itself—a large salt pond that drains to Buzzards Bay, and serves as critical habitat for juvenile fish, eels, and shellfish, as well as wading birds.

Boardwalks span wetland portions of the trails.

As you would imagine, the sanctuary is popular among birders, who can expect to see everything from warblers to raptors on any given day. Common species include osprey, redwing blackbirds, towhees, blue and white heron, terns, egrets, willet, plovers, yellow warblers, wood thrush, ovenbirds, cardinals, sharpshinned hawks, song sparrows, catbirds, and tree swallows.

Vast meadows afford food and shelter for many bird species, including tree swallows.

Restrooms can be found only at the Stone Barn Farm parking area, off East Horseneck Road. Be sure to wear tick-resistant clothing and insect repellent, as well as sunscreen and appropriate footwear for sometimes muddy conditions.

No pets are allowed on Mass Audubon trails except for service animals.

 

Download Trail Map

 

Restrooms are available at the Stone Barn parking area.