Spanning all over the state of Massachusetts and the Cape Cod region, the Audubon Preserves are a set of wildlife refuge parks that aim to preserve the plants, animals, and land of the area for their preservation and survival, as well as for our enjoyment and study.

Replete with stunning panoramic views, beautiful nature trails with fascinating informational guides, and even exhibits in their nature centers on the local flora and fauna, the Audubon Preserves are truly a must-see attraction during your time here on Cape Cod.

Further Details on the Audubon Preserves

Cape Cod’s Audubon Preserves include the Ashumet Holly in Falmouth, the Barnstable Great Marsh in Barnstable, the Long Pasture in Barnstable, the Skunknett River in Barnstable, and Wellfleet Bay in Wellfleet. While there are additional properties that are included as a part of the preserves, these are the most visitor-ready with signs, information, and parking available for your convenience.

Ashumet Holly holds a rare phenomenon; an eight-acre pond of the coastal plain variety that attracts upwards of thirty species of dragonflies. There are also sixty-five types of holly trees, the threatened Spadefoot Toad, and a sanctuary for migratory birds like the Barn Swallow and the Baltimore Oriole. The trail here spans a mile and a half, and includes the Franklinia tree, which is no longer found in the wild.

Home to three of the five properties on the list, Barnstable is ripe with wildlife viewing opportunities. The Barnstable Great Marsh features incredible views of the Barnstable Harbor and the Sandy Neck Barrier Beach, as well as a sanctuary for ground nesting birds such as the Northern Harrier, American Woodcock, Willet, and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow. It has a mile and a half long trail which weaves through two ponds and forests of shady oak. For a longer trek filled with butterflies, meadows, and tidal flats, you can hike the two and a half mile trail at Long Pasture. Meanwhile, Skunknett River’s one mile trail is a great place to see the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, cranberry bogs, and American Eels.

Finally, Wellfleet Bay has the most extensive trail at five miles in length, showcasing an exquisite view of Wellfleet Harbor and expansive salt marshes, forests of pine, and a sandy barrier beach. The exhibits at Wellfleet Bay are also the most renowned, with a field school for adults, year-round programs for all ages, summer camp programs, and more. Wellfleet Bay is also notable for its populations of Fiddler Crabs and Green Herons.

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