About Slocum's River Reserve
Thread your way through woodlands and cross open fields that descend to one of the state’s loveliest tidal rivers. Watch for great blue herons and other waders in the shallows, and northern harriers overhead.
What makes Slocum's River Reserve a special place?
We think it’s the variety of natural environments – woods, fields, and tidal river – visitors can experience, all within 47 acres. A longtime coastal farm and one of many such agricultural tracts that define South Dartmouth, the reserve offers a glimpse into the town's rural heritage, and offers spectacular views of the South Coast and Buzzards Bay.
One of the sensory delights of Slocum’s River Reserve is the heady salt air that wafts in from the ocean and up the meandering channel. From Angelica's Overlook on a clear day, the eye can take in the sparkling river, Buzzards Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, and, on the far southeast horizon, even the shimmering cliffs of Martha's Vineyard.
Visitors can amble along two miles of woodland trails before reaching the western shoreline of the river, an expanse of tidal flats. More than 3,000 feet of critical shoreline and saltmarsh habitat have been protected here.
Visitors looking to enjoy a longer walk that explores the uplands just above the tidal lands can follow a trail that loops around the adjacent Dartmoor Farm Wildlife Management Area, a property of the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The 3.6-mile route passes through a thick forest of pine and oak.
The Trustees of Reservations and Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) jointly own and manage the property.
Two miles of trails cross the reservation and connect to trail easements over an adjoining 60 acres of private land. Easy walking.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1½ hours.
Regulations & Advisories
- Mountain biking is not allowed.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
- Small water craft may be carried to and launched from the beach.
Dartmouth, MA 02748
Telephone: 508.636.4693 (Trustees); 508.991.2289 (DNRT)
Get directions on Google Maps.
From Rt. 140 South, turn right onto Rt. 6 West. At third set of traffic lights, turn left onto Old Westport Rd. and follow for 0.4 mi. Bear left onto Chase Rd. and follow for 3.6 mi. to end. Turn right onto Russells Mills Rd. and follow for 1 mi. through Russells Mills Village and straight onto Horseneck Rd. Follow for 1.4 mi. to entrance and parking (10 cars) on left. Roadside parking is not permitted.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1.5 hrs.
FREE to all
Fields and pasture, and stone walls and woods roads that crisscross the property, bear witness to the agricultural uses and settlement that dominated this area for three centuries.
Property Acquisition History
Purchased in 2000 with co-owner Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust.
Slocum's River Project: Sculpture Inspired by the Natural Beauty of Slocum’s River Reserve
This special sculpture exhibit will be on display through March 13, 2010. Download the trail map and artists’ statements.
Artist and Curator Stacy Latt-Savage writes: The seeds of this exhibition were sewn during walks in the woods where the dialogue between art and nature became illuminated. This concept seemed worth exploring further in our community. To that end, and in collaboration with my colleagues at UMass Dartmouth, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, The Trustees of Reservations, and the Gustin Gallery, I invited six regionally based sculptors to engage in this discussion.
Using the Slocum’s River Reserve’s diverse and stunning landscape as a backdrop, these artists created sculptures aimed at underscoring the relationship between art and nature. Each artist visited the property throughout the seasons, selected specific sites for their sculptures, talked with one another to explore struggles and successes, and retreated to their personal studios to work through their respective creative processes. Each sculpture on site at the Reserve represents the individual vision of each artist and his/her perspective regarding this landscape.
Maps and Resources
Trail maps are available at the kiosk at the reservation. Please understand that supplies periodically run out.
Planning Your Visit
Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.
Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:
- Protect wildlife and plants.
- Guard against all risk of fire.
- Help keep air and water clean.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
- Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
- Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
- Enjoy and share the landscape with others.
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
Enjoying Trustees Reservations
About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land
Tell Us What You Think
We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:
Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.
Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.
Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.