Coonamessett Reservation

About Coonamessett Reservation

The first land purchases promoted by The 300 Committee in 1986 included the 212-acre Coonamessett property in Hatchville. Had town meeting and voters not supported the land trust’s recommendation, 225 homes would have been built on the property.

Instead, the town saved an area that lies in the recharge zone for the Coonamessett and Crooked Pond town well sites, which provides a critical link between the two sections of the state Crane Wildlife Management Area, contains a variety of plant and wildlife habitats and guarantees public access to a beach on the largest pond in Falmouth. The polo field on Ranch Road is a remnant of the sandplain grasslands, now rare, that are one of the Cape’s distinguishing critical habitats for endangered species.

The reservation has a rich history. Eighty years ago, when Hatchville was an important dairy center, the land was part of The Coonamessett Ranch Corporation owned by the Crane family in Woods Hole. (The company controlled about 14,000 acres on the Upper Cape.) The family leased the property to Edna Harris in 1930, and under her direction the Coonamessett Inn—predecessor to the inn on Gifford Street—grew in fame and prosperity.

The inn and several derelict buildings on the site were demolished in 1987, but a parking lot of the old inn remains. A year later, The 300 Committee dedicated a plaque placed on a boulder above the pond “honoring the foresight of the people of Falmouth” who voted in favor of the land purchase.

The reservation was created out of numerous parcels surrounding the golf course, and as a result there are several points of access. A small parking lot on Ranch Road, off Route 151, provides access to the former polo field as well as to trails on the other side of Ranch Road leading to Little Jenkins Pond. A kiosk at the trail head contains a map of the trails. Parking for the beach on Coonamessett Pond is available on Boxberry Hill Road.