One of Fall River’s most surprising features is its abundance of natural resources. The area within Fall River’s borders is 50% water and protected forestland! Residents and visitors are often surprised and delighted to find the beautiful natural resources beyond Fall River’s urban center.
No environment is more far removed from Fall River’s industrial reputation than the Copicut Woods. Copicut is a word from the area’s indigenous Wampanoag tribe meaning “deep woods”. The Copicut Woods, located to the East of the Watuppa Pond, are the unofficial gateway to Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, one of Massachusett’s largest areas of protected land, containing 13,600 acres of pristine wildlife.
The Copicut Woods itself spans 516 acres, offering a diverse landscape that includes woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. The Woods provides a number of trails at all skill levels. Trails are well-marked, making it easy for visitors to navigate and choose routes based on their preferences and hiking abilities. Leashed dogs are welcome, and picnic tables are available for those looking to rest or enjoy a meal before or after their hike.
How to access the Copicut Woods:
Parking is available and the trailhead is accessible from Indian Town Road. For GPS, use the address “1700 Indian Town Rd, Fall River, MA 02790”.
From Points North and West: I-195 to Exit 9 (Sanford Rd.) and turn left. Road bears right and becomes Old Bedford Rd. Next, take left onto Blossom Rd.; follow 1.3 miles. Bear right onto Indian Town Rd.; follow for 1.7 miles to parking area (12 cars) on left; roadside parking also available.
From Points East: I-195 to Exit 10, Rt. 88 South. Take first exit for Rt. 6 West. At first traffic light, turn right onto Sanford Rd. Follow under highway; continue as described above.
A full map of all trails within the Copicut Woods can be found here: https://thetrustees.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Copicut-Woods-Trail-Map.pdf
Looking for a bigger challenge? Try the epic 20-mile Loop Trail, moving through the Copicut Woods and other portions of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve. The Loop Trail can be accessed at multiple points. More information can be found here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/massachusetts/bioreserve-land-and-freetown-fall-river-loop
Events & guided exploration:
The land is managed by the Trustees of Reservations, who organize guided explorations for children and adults alike. Previous events have explored the supernatural history of the Woods, lead bird watching expeditions and taught wildlife tracking. Trustees events can be found here: https://thetrustees.org/place/copicut-woods/
The Appalachian Mountain Club has also offered free group hikes in the Copicut Woods and adjoining Bioreserve. All hikes are posted here: https://activities.outdoors.org/search/?mode=tile&grp=10&pg=2
Every year, the Northeast Race Management group put on a trail race through the reservation, with runners tackling 10k, 30k and even 50k tracks. Details can be found at their website, https://www.northeastracers.com/watuppa/.