Peirson Woods and Howland Marsh

The Sundays of spring are sacred inside the cathedral of the woods. And this past Sunday, the first springy Sunday of the season, I found two wildlife reserves in the throes of this emerging spring, far off from the beaten path of Route 6 in Marion.

Hello fellow nemophilists, and welcome to the third installment of Take a Hike! This time, we found ourselves far down Point Road, where a chorus of peepers sang love songs, and rows of budding daffodils lined the sides to the entrance to Peirson Woods – a place bursting with the momentum of the awakening life force.

Greeting me was my first butterfly of the season, and judging by the way it fluttered around me, I was its first human of the season. I was definitely smitten with this property right from the start.

The Sippican Lands Trust does a superb job marking their trailheads and paths and maintaining the trails in very good condition. Each bend in the path seemed thoughtfully plotted out, and it makes you feel like you belong there – not at all like a trespasser.

The loop is not a long hike, but it is a satisfying one. There is a lot of beauty to take in. The trail opens up at the sea and offers a fantastic vista of the water and marsh. There is a wooden observation deck you can climb for a better view, which you should do just because it is there. There is a sturdy picnic table beside a boulder with a plaque paying homage to a beloved local woman – a peaceful spot to stop along the way and watch the Red-tailed Hawks circling above the trees.

The second leg of the hike had me brushing up against the undergrowth, reminding me that it is indeed tick season and from now on insect repellant is essential.

Since we were already on Point Road, why not head farther down and visit the small, but splendid, Howland Marsh? There is no off-street parking and it is easy to drive by it, so keep an eye out for the small white sign on the right.

After a short woodland walk, the landscape changes and there is a wall of reeds and a narrow raised wooden walkway that takes you to the marsh where the presence of a healthy osprey population is evident from every direction. You could walk all the way to the edge of the water, but there are some swampy patches that could be hiding beneath the carpet of reeds.

There is a letterbox hidden in a tree stump on the property that you can find without too much effort, if you are into letterboxing or geocaching.

Tri-Town has a lot to offer suburban forest freaks like us who need to bathe themselves in the peaceful beauty of the woods to restore their reserves every now and then. Sometimes we forget what lies beyond Route 6 as we drive back and forth every day.

Do you have any suggestions or secret spots you are willing to share with us? Send an email to so we can check them out…

By Jean Perry

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