The Raymond J. Syrjala Conservation Area is a 15 acre area located between Winslow Gray Road and West Yarmouth Road, just north of Route 28. The beginning of the trail follows along the bank of Plashes Brook into a thick wooded area and then along a fence to an opening with the six cranberry bogs. The public is allowed to travel around the bogs with their leashed pets if they are respectful to those who are working.
There is a small reservoir that is full of life on the north side of the conservation land. Black racer snakes, frogs, turtles, and great blue heron flourish in the area with lots of vegetation and waterlilies. Around the bogs and in the uplands many deer, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, and various songbirds can be seen. Raptors such as hawks and ospreys are often seen soaring high above the forest canopy and wood ducks can sometimes be spotted in the reservoir. Other vegetation includes highbush blueberry, sweet pepperbush, gray birch, tupelo, maleberry, sheep laurel, huckleberry, inkberry, and fetterbush. Greenbrier is also abundant and is an excellent food source for deer. Ground covers such as Canadian mayflower, teaberry, and starflower dot the herbaceous layer while bracken and cinnamon fern add greenery to the forest floor. For assistance identifying these plants and more in the field visit https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/.
The area is named after one of the Yarmouth Conservation Commission’s charter members, Raymond J. Syrjala. The land was owned and farmed by the Kittila family of West Yarmouth and was conveyed to the Town in 1981.
Leashed dogs are welcome on the trails any time of year. Please respect workers on the bog.