Dartmouth Trades Paradise for New Hiking Trails
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 that will become part of a new nature preserve, Russells Mills Woods. It will connect to the existing network of trails at Destruction Brook Woods on the other side of Fisher Road.
A letter mailed recently to property abutters said some of the new hiking trails planned for Russells Mills Woods should be open for public use by the end of this year. The remainder should be accessible by early 2023.
DNRT Land Manager Linda Vanderveer said the land acquisition was possible with the cooperation of the Dartmouth Conservation Commission and funding from the Community Preservation Committee and the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity Land grant program.
A portion of the parcel to become Russells Mills Woods was once home to Camp Paradise, a day camp founded and operated by the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford. Little information is available about Camp Paradise.
Longtime Inter-Church Council member Rev. David Lima has heard of the camp but could offer no details. The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, Inc. and the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society websites contain no information about Camp Paradise.
What remains of Camp Paradise – old sinks, bricks, other building materials, and assorted junk – has to be removed from the woods before new trails are forged. A DNRT map highlights the boundaries of the new nature preserve, including the area that Camp Paradise once occupied.
Do any of you remember Camp Paradise? Did you attend the camp as a child? Please share any information or photos you might have.
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property before it opens to the public. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.