The Great River Preserve (GRP) is 125 acres of woodland, field, and riparian (Google it!) habitats. You may find box turtles or hear bullfrogs along your way, and you’ll most certainly be treated to beautiful views of the Taunton River. Hot and buggy in the summer and wet in the spring, you might have the best experience exploring this preserve in the fall or winter. The 2.5 red loop is easy to follow and features wide, gently undulating trails that are accessible with a jogging stroller. The coolest spot at the GRP is the lookout found at the end of the paved road. The lookout provides three things: a great place to fish, a neat view of what remains of the Auburn St. Bridge, and sweeping views of the Taunton River.
HOW TO GET THERE
Great River Preserve
1025 Auburn St.
Bridgewater, MA 02324
There is a lot that fits 9-10 cars, and street parking is allowed.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP:
In the spring, the field portion of the trail gets very wet and impassable. However, if the fields appear dry, follow the paved road until you’re almost to the lookout and then take a right at the kiosk onto the grass/mowed path. The path hugs the river, so it’s hard to get lost. The benches along the trail make good trail markers so that it’s easy to follow the map. Furthermore, once you’re in the woods, you can follow the red blazes and the triangular Wildlands signs. If you want to make the walk a bit shorter, you can take one of the two mown paths right up the middle of the field. These are the black dotted trails on the map, and either one will shave off a portion of the red loop.
HUNTING IS ALLOWED ON THIS PRESERVE. Stay on marked trails and wear bright clothing during hunting season. More information on hunting seasons HERE.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 4 (there is a designated parking lot and ample street parking)
I – Interest Level – 2 (The lookout is cool, but our kids weren’t super impressed with what this place has to offer. The fields were boring for all of us–and would be hot in the summer. The woods and the views of the river are nice, but it’s only about a third of the trail.)
N – Navigation – 4 (well-marked trails)
T – Terrain – 4 (fairly flat, smooth, wide paths over grass or forest floor (without stumps, roots, or rocks); could be accessed with a jogging stroller)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions on this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Honestly, this is not really a point of interest–more of a landmark! Look for the rock at the entrance and the kiosks with maps. Then keep walking straight down the paved road and look for the second kiosk. That is where you’ll enter the mowed path on the field.
2. The views of the Taunton River are pretty stunning, even in early spring when the scenery is stark.
3. These benches are scattered around the trails and offer both a nice place to rest and an easy way of marking where you are on the trail!
4. The lookout spot at the end of the paved road is our favorite part of this whole place. We’d like to come back here with our fishing rods! If you’re interested in the history of the Auburn St. Bridge and its demise, you can read more here!
Here are a few more pictures from our day!