The Ashumet Holly Reservation is located off of route 151 in East Falmouth Massachusetts. It was created in 1925 by a horticulturist, Mr. Wilfred Wheeler. Wheeler was the first agricultural commissioner of Massachusetts and served the state from 1913- 1920, becoming Commissioner in 1919. Wilfred Wheeler was a resident of Falmouth.
Today the reservation is owned and run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society and they hold numerous events here and at the Falmouth library during the warmer months of June through October.
This preserved land is 45 acres in size with a large circular walkway of well-groomed paths that span a little more than two miles. There are many very old plants and trees here including over a thousand holly trees of eight different species. As you will see in the photo below, some of these trees are very old and quite grand.
You are greeted near the entrance by the swallow barn, ten acres of agricultural land that is actively farmed and bird houses strewn about the fields. This is a great place for bird watching so bring the binoculars if you have them. While I was there the field was being mowed by a tractor.
You donít really need a map to take your own self guided tour of the place as the trails all circle back onto one another and there are signs pointing out some of the rare attractions along the way. One such treasure here is a very rare Franklinia tree that has been nearly extinct in the wild since the early 19th century, and is mostly only seen today as a cultivated ornamental tree.
The paths are lined with many mature plantings of evergreens and If you go in the warmer weather you will also see many wildflowers. What fascinated me the most was all of the beautiful green moss in the woods. I love moss and was in photography heaven here among all of the old trees that had fallen and become covered with lush green mosses. I totally lost track of time as I pointed my camera lense at scene after scene that looked like something out of Jurassic Park.
The reservation is open year round and the trails are open every day until dusk. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children and seniors, and free for Audubon members of all ages. Parking is available for about 6-10 cars but donít despair if you find it too crowded. The Falmouth bike path is just a hop skip & a jump away and it also makes for a wonderful walk in nature.
Bring your binoculars, camera and bug spray in the warm weather. This is tick country so high topped sneakers or hiking boots are best. Be sure to check yourself for ticks as you leave the park. Since the fields were being mowed while I was there, Iíd also recommend allergy relief for those that suffer from allergies.
Pets are not allowed here and there are no restrooms available at the property.
Ashumet Holly Reservation & Wildlife Sanctuary in the fall
Mosses at Ashumet Holly Reservation
|This is the field guide that I am using to identify birds in New England. |
I took these photos with this Panasonic camera. It does a great job right out of the box. Point and shoot.