April 1, 2021: Based on current levels of COVID-19 and guidance from health officials, DNRT is sorry to announce that the Parsons Reserve will again be closed for daffodil season (through early May 2021). During this time, the daffodil fields will not be maintained, the entrances to the Parsons Reserve will be blocked, and DNRT will be monitoring the property to enforce the closure. Bristol County is considered to be at a “very high” risk level and COVID-19 cases are again rising (now above last spring’s peak). Inviting thousands of visitors into a relatively small outdoor area with very narrow trails is contrary to all public health guidance. Thank you for your understanding.
Donor : William Parsons
Acreage : 32 acres
Location : Russell’s Mills Village | View Google Map
Year Acquired : 1992, 1999, and 2005
Access Point : Horseneck Road, just south of Russell’s Mills Village
Directions : There is limited parking at the Russell’s Mills Landing on Horseneck Road, just south of Russell’s Mills Village. After parking, you can carefully cross Horseneck Road north of the tennis courts and look for the Parsons Reserve sign over the wooden fence. The trail goes up the hill into the woods.
Volunteer Stewards : Jim Forbush & Larry Shwartz
Additional Regulations: No mountain biking and no horseback riding.
- At the daffodil field, we will ask for a $2 donation per person for those who are not DNRT members (join DNRT here!)
- Parking is limited. Please park at the Town Landing. If the Landing is full, please proceed south and park in the additional area on the right hand side of the road. There is only space for about 50 cars. Cars parked along the roadside will be ticketed by the Dartmouth Police.
- We highly recommend visiting at less crowded times. School vacation week and weekends are busiest and finding parking can be difficult.
- There is an 8-10 minute hike through the woods from the parking area to the field. This is a steep trail. Please plan accordingly.
- In addition to DNRT’s standard Rules & Regulations:
- Stay on the trail at all times!
- Do not step on the daffodils – if they are crushed, they will die.
- Do not pick the daffodils.
- No commercial photography, no accessories (such as freestanding lights), and no props (such as chairs and balloons) are allowed.
- Dogs must be on leash throughout the entire Reserve and all dog waste must be removed.
The Parsons Reserve is a lovely and ecologically significant property. Destruction Brook meanders through the property on its way to Slocum’s River, the floodplain cutting a wide swath between the towering rock outcroppings that dominate portions of the Reserve. A fecund vernal pool provides habitat for a variety of common and rare species. Wild turkeys roost in the oaks along the edge of the pool, and the beautiful beech grove nearby provides shelter for picnickers. Salamanders, wood frogs and rare plants call the place home, and deer wander the paths, foraging on the young shoots of briars and other understory plants. On the northern end of the property a wooded glade fills with hundreds of daffodils every spring. The Reserve’s southern trail to Horseneck Road is dotted with mature rhododendrons planted by Mr. Parsons when he acquired the property in the 1960s.