Dartmouth trades paradise for new hiking trails

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Acres of new public recreation land will open this year in the Fisher Road area of ​​Dartmouth. Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, Inc. (DNRT) has acquired a parcel of conservation land which will form part of a new nature reserve, Russells Mills Woods. It will connect to the existing trail system at Destruction Brook Woods, across Fisher Road.

A letter recently sent to owners said some of the new hiking trails planned for Russells Mills Woods should be open to the public by the end of this year. The rest should be available in early 2023.

DNRT Land Manager Linda Vanderveer said the acquisition of the land was possible through cooperation with the Dartmouth Conservation Commission and funding from the Community Preservation Committee and the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions Grants Program for Natural Diversity.

Courtesy of Dr. Nancy Duncan

Courtesy of Dr. Nancy Duncan

Part of the plot that will become Russells Mills Woods was once home to Camp Paradise, a day camp founded and operated by the Greater New Bedford Inter-Church Council. Little information is available on Camp Paradise.

Reverend David Lima, a longtime member of the Inter-Church Council, heard about the camp but could not give any details. The websites of the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, Inc. and the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society do not contain any information about Camp Paradise.

Russells Mills Woods, DNRT

Dr. Nancy Duncan Photo

What’s left of Camp Paradise—old sinks, bricks, other building materials, and miscellaneous trash—must be removed from the woods before new trails are forged. A DNRT map highlights the boundaries of the new nature reserve, including the area once occupied by Camp Paradise.

Do any of you remember Camp Paradise? Did you attend camp as a child? Please share any information or photos you may have.

Dartmouth Camp Paradise

The former Camp Paradise site in Dartmouth will soon be transformed into new nature trails. Here’s a final look at what’s left of the camp before it’s removed to clear the area for the new trails.

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