Posted on April 17, 2017 and last updated on November 25, 2021

Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve, Bristol


  • Preserve Size: 78 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 1.1-mile walk
  • Pets: no
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: tide pools, cobble beach, oak-pine forest

You can go for a 1.2-mile walk at the 78-acre Salt Pond Preserve, which starts on the north side of Route 32, but be sure to also stop at the shore and check out the tidal pools. The Nature Conservancy preserve here was one of legendary scientist and environmentalist Rachel Carson’s favorite spots and inspired some of the research for her book, The Edge of the Sea.

The trail starts off on a hill, but flattens out in about a quarter of a mile for a quiet walk in the forest.

Directions: After turning from Route 130 onto Route 32, go about 1.1 miles. The trailhead is near the intersection of Salt Pond Road and Route 32, and you’ll see pull-off on the roadside where you can park. The sign for the path is not quite directly across the road from the staircase to the shore, but quite close.

Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!