Little Duarte’s Pond Preserve
Summer at this property is about variation. The cropland — long known as Thimble Farm — shimmers in the humidity as would any Virginia farm. Bracketed against it, however, is a thick cool wetland, whose waters flow into the Little Duarte’s Pond itself; depending on intensity of rainfall, the pond can be either liquid or muck. The four acres closest to the pond came to the land bank in an interesting manner: when they were contracted for sale and development the towns’ right-of-first refusal, which arises when farmers enroll their lands in the commonwealth’s preferential tax assessment program, kicked in and the Oak Bluffs and Tisbury selectmen assigned their purchase rights to the land bank. The remnants of the former vineyard here are plainly evident: low parallel hummocks sheathed in bearberry. The preserve is the last stretch of grass and water along the Cross-Tisbury trail before it enters the expanse of the Greenlands and the state forest.
Park in the trailhead at the Wapatequa Woods Reservation (property no. 16) and follow signs to designated trails.