at Green Swamp Preserve, North Carolina.
Oblong-leaved sundew at Green Swamp Preserve, North Carolina. © Christian Ziegler

Places We Protect

Black Pond Bog Nature Preserve

Massachusetts

Our first preserve in the state, Black Pond features unspoiled wetlands and dry upland forest.

Why You Should Visit 

The Black Pond Nature Preserve encompasses several habitat types: Atlantic white cedar swamp, forest, a small meadow and — most significant ecologically — a bog surrounding Black Pond. The pond itself is a deep glacial kettlehole which has a limited water supply. Its water is naturally extremely acidic and low in nutrients. These factors, in combination with a cool, coastal climate, make the bog plant community unusual.

Suitable for all ages, this short trail and connecting boardwalk will take you through upland forest and cedar swamp to close-up views of the bog’s rich and unique vegetation. For a longer hike, trails connect with a trail system on abutting town land, the Cuffey Hill Reservation.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The quaking sphagnum bog creates habitat for a unique plant community at Black Pond, which was the first Nature Conservancy preserve in Massachusetts.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

The first tracts at the preserve were acquired by TNC in 1962, mainly through the efforts of William "Cap'n Bill" Vinal, a life-long resident of Norwell. Since then TNC has protected 101 acres in 9 tracts. A portion of the boardwalk was elevated from 2006-2008. The 50th anniversary of the preserve was celebrated at the site in June 2012.

What to See

As plants grow inward from the edges of Black Pond, they cover the water with a floating, sponge-like mat of sphagnum moss which harbors sundew, sedges, cranberry, cottongrass, swamp loosetrife and Virginia chain fern. Surrounding the bog mat is a wet shrubby zone containing wild blueberry plants and Atlantic white cedar. The shrub zone grades into a red maple swamp as one moves away from the pond, and at the perimeter of the swamp is an upland forest dominated by oak, beech and hemlock, with scattered American holly.

Preserve Policies

  • Preserve open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Foot traffic only
  • Groups larger than 10 people are asked to coordinate their visit with our Boston office 617-532-8300.
  • Please stay on the trail
  • No collecting of plants or animals
  • No pets
  • Carry out all litter
  • No fires, smoking or camping

Accessibility

All reasonable requests for special accommodations will be made with ample notice.
If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Boston office at 617-532-8300.

Suitable for all ages, this short trail and connecting boardwalk will take you through upland forest and cedar swamp to close-up views of the bog’s rich and unique vegetation. For a longer hike, this path connects with a trail system on abutting town land. 

Looking for something else to do while you're in the area? Consider visiting the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.

Please contact our Boston office at (617) 532-8300 to arrange a visit. Groups can obtain permission to use the parking lot when you contact us.

Black Pond Bog and Wes Osborne Check out a great video by Jeff Gold about Black Pond Bog and Wes Osborne, the preserve's longtime champion and caretaker.