Bell’s Neck Conservation Lands
Total Trail Length: 2.75 miles
Conservation History and Importance:
In 1668, settler John Bell is believed to have acquired much of this land from the Saquatucket Native Americans. The land passed through multiple owners until nearly 300 years later, the town purchased it to protect the Herring River, West Reservoir, and buffering woodlands. Additional acreage was added over the years. The land surrounds the West Reservoir (fresh water) and East Reservoir (brackish). Trails offer views of wind ruffled water and sweeping salt marsh. Watch for ospreys and the secretive black-crowned night heron in spring and summer. Each April, herring swim upstream along a herring ladder at the west trailhead. Canoeists and kayakers can launch near each trailhead.
West Trailhead Parking:
- From Rt. 28 in Dennisport, take Depot St. north for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto a dirt road (to identify this dirt road, look for an open gate) and travel for 0.2 mile until you reach the parking area.
- From Great Western Road, take Depot Street south 0.6 mile. Turn left onto a dirt road (to identify this dirt road, look for an open gate) and travel for 0.2 mile until you reach the parking area.
East Trailhead Parking:
- From Great Western Road, take Bell’s Neck Road (dirt) south.
- Drive 0.25 mile and on the left will be a small trailhead kiosk and parking area.
In order to protect the sensitive river herring migration, the west trailhead parking is closed to vehicle access from April 10 to June 15. State law prohibits the taking of herring.