Spear Farm Estuary Preserve
Spear Farm Preserve
437 Bayview Street
The Spear Farm Estuary Preserve is a scenic 55-acre property with diverse habitats, ranging from stately oaks and pine forest to the open salt marshes of the Royal River estuary, and a small freshwater pond with a fringing marsh. There is an excellent picnic spot and overlook on the pond’s northern shore. The property includes over two miles of trails perfect for walking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. There are birding sites in the oak and pine stands, along the bluffs, the salt marsh edge, on the earthen dam, and the north end of the freshwater pond. Five interpretive signs stationed along the trail inform on aspects of the local ecology.
Just beyond the information kiosk the trail forks. The right branch crosses a meadow before entering high-canopy forest which extends along the crest of a bluff and offers views of the Royal River and associated salt marshes. It then turns to the left and comes to a “T” intersection above the freshwater pond. Bearing right leads to a clearing by the salt marsh and the pond’s earthen dam, where you can often see painted turtles on logs. Across the dam the trail loops around the east side of the pond along an apple orchard, to the north end of the pond where trails split right uphill and back to the parking area, or left along the pond to the overlook mentioned above. The open point is ideal for picnics, bird watching, or just peaceful contemplation. Although not maintained for ice skating, if the conditions are right it can make a pleasant afternoon.
If you go to the left at the “T” junction near the pond, the trail slowly descends across a small freshwater marsh before coming to another trail junction. The trail to the right leads to the north end of the freshwater pond. If you head straight, the trail climbs uphill back to the parking area.
From Route 88 (Spring Street) turn southeast onto Bayview Street, cross the bridge over I-295, and go 0.9 mile to a small parking area on the right, set back from the road with a small barn and kiosk at the edge of the field.
Hunting is allowed by permit from Town Hall. No discharge of firearms is allowed within 300 feet of a home, road or trail. Wear blaze orange in season.