Wander along carriage roads and foot trails as you pass through groves of American holly that embellish this unique peninsula.
This 135-acre reservation is named for its donor, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, and its stands of some 250 native American holly trees (Ilex opaca), which grow naturally only along the New England coast. While the reservation is a rare example of a Cape Cod old-growth forest, it also reflects the horticultural tastes of Lowell, former president of Harvard University, who added scattered plantings of rosebay and catawba rhododendrons to the grounds. Later, Wilfred Wheeler, Sr., a former Massachusetts Secretary of Agriculture and an enthusiastic member of the American Holly Society, enhanced the landscape by planting 50 varieties of American holly.
Carriage roads follow the shoreline of Mashpee and Wakeby Ponds—both ponds are stocked with fish—and pass through the peninsula’s beech woodlands. The ponds’ shallow waters provide an opportunity for cooling off when the mercury rises, and two peninsular knolls offer spectacular views.
Lowell Holly has a swimming beach with no lifeguard on duty.
FREE to all.
South Sandwich Road
Mashpee and Sandwich, MA 02649
Memorial Day to Labor Day: The gate for limited seasonal beach parking is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9am to 5pm. The gate may be closed once the lot reaches capacity or when staffing or weather conditions warrant otherwise. From Rt. 6, take Exit 2 onto Rt. 130 South and follow for 1.5 mi. Turn left onto Cotuit Rd. and follow for 3.4 mi. Then turn right onto South Sandwich Rd. and follow for 0.7 mi. Turn right onto unmarked road and follow to seasonal entrance and parking area (20 cars).
Year-round: Same directions as above, but, after turning right onto South Sandwich Rd., follow for 0.6 mi to year-round entrance and parking area (6 cars) on right. For immediate access to Mashpee-Wakeby Pond, visitors are advised to use the seasonal parking area when it’s in operation; Mashpee-Wakeby Pond is much further away along a circuitous trail from the year-round parking area.
To view or download a trail map, click here.
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The 135-acre reservation is named for its donor, Abbot Lawrence Lowell, and its stands of some 250 native American holly trees (Ilex opaca), which grow naturally only along the New England coast. Although the reservation is a rare example of a Cape Cod old-growth forest, it also reflects the horticultural tastes of Abbott Lowell, former president of Harvard University.
The Lowell Holly Reservation is a beautiful place to take a long walk amongst the large forest of beech trees, hollies and rhododendrons. I recommend going in the Fall when the beech trees turn a golden yellow and leaves crunch under foot.
– Carol A, TripAdvisor Reviewer
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