*Please note that our walks will be cancelled in adverse weather, including heavy snow and thunderstorms. We do our best to announce cancellations well ahead of time via email and our facebook page.
Ice House/Reuben’s Pond Conservation Area
Date: Sunday, December 3
Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Location: Meet at 245 Tonset Road, Orleans
Leader: Bob Prescott, Director of MA Audubon Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary
Details: The 25 acres of land surrounding Ice House and Reuben’s Pond was donated by the Moore, Wilber, and Hopkins families. The 1.5 mile long trail winds through Pine and Oak woodlands with waterfront access to both ponds. This walk, led by Mass Audubon bird expert Bob Prescott, is held as part of the annual Cape Cod Duck Census. Dress warm and bring binoculars!
Directions: From the intersection of Rt. 28 and Main Street in Orleans, drive east on Main Street (.4 mi) towards Nauset Beach. Turn left on Tonset Rd at the lights and follow Tonset Road to destination on right (1.4 mi). Look for OCT kiosk and sign. Parking is along the roadside.
Date: Thursday, January 18
Time: 10:00- 11:00 am
Location: Meet at 70 Quanset Road, South Orleans
Details: Hosea’s Swamp is a unique Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) woodland. This parcel was donated to OCT in 1993 by Rachia Heyelman, and is surrounded by more than 60 acres of preserved Town of Orleans Water District land. Hikers should plan to wear sturdy waterproof shoes.
Directions: From Orleans center, head east on Main Street and turn right on Rt. 28 towards Chatham. Turn left after about two and a half miles onto Quanset Road. Stay right on Quanset and follow for about a half a mile to the entrance of the Town Water Department facility.
Three Ponds Walk (Meadow Bog, Sarah’s Pond, Twinings Pond)
Date: Saturday, February 10
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Meet at 135 Quanset Road, South Orleans (Twinings Pond Trailhead)
Leader: Mon Cochran, former OCT Trustee
Details: A 2 hours historical walk and talk through more than 80 acres of OCT-owned conservation land in the southeastern corner of town. Be prepared for steep slopes, loose stones, and perhaps some bushwhacking.
Directions: From the intersection of Rt. 28 and Main Street in Orleans, follow MA Route 28 towards Chatham for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Quanset Road and veer right at the Y to stay on the road. Follow Quanset Road to trail head on right (.9mi). The trail head will be directly after Forest Way. There are four to five designated parking spaces available and two access points.
Mill Pond Valley Conservation Area
Date: Tuesday, March 13
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am
Location: Meet at 13 Champlain Road, Orleans
Details: The preserve is made up of 13 acres with a 1-mile trail stretching from Champlain Road to the shores of Mill Pond. Just a few of the unique features found on site are the historic stone walls, a vernal pool, and a coastal plain pond that is a hot spot for observing migrating water fowl, including Wood Ducks.
Directions: From the intersection of Rt. 28 and Main Street in Orleans, drive east on Main Street (.4 mi) towards Nauset Beach. Turn left on Tonset Rd. at the lights and follow to Hopkins Lane where you will take a slight right (.5). Continue to Brick Hill Rd and bear left (1 mi), take a slight right on Champlain Rd. Continue to 60 Champlain Rd. (look for OCT sign), parking on side of road along OCT conservation property.
Putnam Farm Conservation Area
Date: Saturday, April 7
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 am
Location: Meet at 50 Bridge Road, Orleans (behind the courthouse)
Details: A short walk through a former working farm that’s now being managed as an early-succession field habitat.
Directions: From Orleans center, head south on Rt. 28 towards Eastham (0.4 miles). Merge onto Rt.6A south and follow to the rotary. Take the second exit onto Smith Lane and take a quick left onto Rock Harbor Road. Follow for .2 miles and take a right into the court house. Follow parking area to the back of the court house and enter conservation area via a dirt road.
Baker’s Pond Conservation Area
Date: Friday, May 4
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Meet at 80 Baker’s Pond Road, Orleans
Details: A 1.75 mile walk on adjoining conservation lands in Orleans and Brewster, totaling an area of 16.5 acres with Bakers Pond to the north. The Bakers Pond Conservation Area is part of a contiguous natural area from Nickerson State Park in Brewster across Route 6 to the watershed in Orleans. Bakers Pond is a classic coastal plain kettle pond with a wide sandy shoreline, which is inundated seasonally when the water table is high. This wide beach supports a substantial and unique plant community including the rare Spatulate-leaved sun-dew and Plymouth gentian.
Directions: From Orleans shopping center follow Rt. 6A west towards Brewster for 1.1 miles. Take a left onto Bakers Pond Road and follow for .6 miles. Town parking will be on your right.