Cold Brook Preserve

Cold Brook Preserve

Bank Street Harwich Port, Massachusetts 02646

Official Website
Cold Brook Preserve map

Birds of Interest

American Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe, Virginia Rail, Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Flicker, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellow-throat, raptors

About this Location

In 2001, Harwich Conservation Trust preserved 66 acres of wetland and surrounding upland in the heart of Harwich Port. The Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve protects wildlife habitat, water quality, and walking trails. Cold Brook flows through 66 acres to Saquatucket Harbor on Nantucket Sound. In the fall of 2015, the Preserve was named in honor of Robert F. Smith, Harwich Conservation Trust Founding Trustee and President for 27 years.

The Preserve is a botanist’s delight as it hosts more than 280 plant species. This is Harwich Conservation Trust’s largest conservation destination and includes a Bluebird Trail with 44 nest boxes monitored by volunteers from the Cape Cod Bird Club and Harwich Conservation Trust. Enjoy watching the brilliant bluebirds and iridescent blue-green tree swallows, but please keep your distance from their nest boxes and keep your pets leashed.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Cold Brook Preserve.

The trails here are well maintained, and flat and wide, but are completely unmarked.  I've included the numbers of some of the bluebird boxes that Harwich Conservation Trust monitors to aid in navigation.  

You enter the bogs from the parking lot on Bank Street.  There is a small spur going back toward Bank Street, but mainly you'll head to the left.  This first section is like a big figure 8 on its side. There is a loop trail around the whole section and a crossover about midway.  The trail follows the channels and ditches from when it was a commercial bog. The vegetation has grown up so much that other than the channels and culverts it hardly has a cranberry bog feel to it anymore.  Way on the eastern side of this is a sandy section mostly filled with young pine trees.  North of this, past the tall flag pole and out-of-place industrial garage, is a wooded section of the path (by box 13).  If instead, you go south of the pine grove, you come to a stand of established deciduous trees (boxes 31 and 32).  To your right across the ditch is another wood, but its unmaintained trail is no longer penetrable.  Walking between these 2 wooded sections will bring you to the narrow pond in the southern part of the preserve.  Visibility to the pond is somewhat obstructed by vegetation, but there are a couple of places you can walk right to the edge.  Going back to the stand of old trees, turn right, pass box 29, and come to the intersection at box 26.  You can return to box 32, or you can head east or northeast.  If you head all the way east, when you reach the border of the property (box 22) you can head south (right) to find a Fairy Garden (a collection of miniatures and figurines) but this is a dead end.  Or you can head north around these bogs to eventually wind up at the other end of the northern wooded section (boxes 15 and 16).  There are multiple paths and ways to put them together, but again, they are all unmarked.

Content from Official Website