There’s a lot of undeveloped land between Airline Road inDennis, Slough Road in Brewster and the northwest corner of Harwich. Many thinkthe area, with its myriad network of trails, is preserved open space. Some ofit is, like the 60 acres around Mother’s Bog purchased by Brewster, withsupport from Dennis, in 2006. Some of it is protected as wellfield by theDennis Water District. Some belongs to Cape Cod Fish and Game Association. Andsome is in the hands of private developers like Peter Copelas, who has aproposal before the Cape Cod Commission for a 22-house subdivision calledWindrift Acres on 55 acres off Slough Road in Brewster. Of course, if theDennis Water District puts in the two proposed 400-foot wind turbines, it mightaffect Copelas’ business plan.
Unlike its 800-plus acre neighbor to the east, the PunkhornParklands, which was purchased by Brewster in the 1980s for conservation, the woodlandtriangle in the three towns could change dramatically if it’s not legallyprotected.
The intriguing web of fire roads and trails – even a dirt bywaythat appears on the map as Quaker Path in Dennis, is popular with horsebackriders, hikers and all-terrain vehicle riders, judging from the tracks I followed.Limited primitive hunting is allowed in parts of Mother’s Bog Conservation Area,away from the bog path.
Two geocaches placed last year offer a tour around “QuakerPath” and “The Trail to Pine Pond,” on the Dennis side. Continue about half amile farther and you come to a new cache, “Since I was in the area,” alongMother’s Bog in Brewster.
The area is a hidden gem of wooded upland, wetlands, oldcranberry bogs and small kettle ponds. It protects the water supply andprovides habitat for diverse wildlife. Large contiguous parcels of open spaceare becoming scarcer as development chips away at the Cape’s interior. How muchlonger will we have these vast woodlands, before they pave paradise and put upa parking lot?
Images, from top:
Mother's Bog path