Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Nature Walks: 22 Places To Explore in 2022!

At NSRWA, we have been working steadily behind the scenes, expanding the Get Outdoors section of our website. It now features 300 detailed listings of local places to hike, paddle, fish, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors! In 2021, we added 47 properties from Braintree to Brockton to Plymouth. See below for a selection of new places to explore this year. Before you go, visit our website for trail maps, parking info, and other essentials. 


This year we also refined the search options for Get Outdoors. There are now 8 additional categories to connect you quickly with the experiences you seek. Looking for a playground, a dog park, or a place to cross-country ski? Or perhaps a picnic area, paved trail, or a spot to shoot some nature photos? We can help!

In 2022, we’re changing up our Explore South Shore Contest. This year, instead of places to visit, we’re suggesting outdoor activities to try. Each week we will announce a new Explore South Shore challenge and suggest places where you can go to complete the challenge. January is a time of new beginnings, so this month we’ll encourage you to visit a place that’s unfamiliar to you, try a new nature activity, take your dog someplace different, learn something, and read a river book. That ought to keep you busy! 

 

We’ll be featuring a relevant property every day in January on Instagram and Facebook. Are you up for a challenge? Post photos from your adventures to Instagram with the hashtag #ExploreSouthShore. Each month we randomly select a winner from the posts to receive a prize package. 




Monatiquot River Walk, Braintree: This 1-mile pathway extends from Smith Beach in Braintree, along the Monatiquot River through Watson Park, then across the Fore River to the Weymouth Landing Access Ramp. Combining crushed stone and pavement, it offers numerous river views, plus opportunities for quiet contemplation in the otherwise bustling Weymouth Landing neighborhood.




King Oak Hill Park, Weymouth:

This 24-acre hilltop park on Emery Lane features a 0.25-mile paved walking loop, a shade pavilion, and views of the Boston Skyline. Looking for something else in Weymouth? Consider Great Hill Park for more skyline views, Weston Park for a combined stroll and library visit, or Lovell Field for a different paved loop, in Jackson Square.




Whortleberry Hollow, Hingham: How about a quick walk in the woods before or after your shopping trip? This 13-acre woodland parcel is just around the corner from Derby Street, on Cushing Street. The 0.4-mile trail is not only conveniently located, it features a gorgeous grove of beech trees!




Leavitt Street Entrance - Wompatuck, Hingham: - Located at the end of Leavitt Street, this alternate entrance to the 3500-acre state park features paved trails plus access to plenty of unpaved ones, including a loop around Triphammer Pond. Please note that parking is restricted on school days from 7-3, to accommodate a school bus turnaround.




Wheelwright Park and the Barnes Wildlife Sanctuary, Cohasset: The town of Cohasset is home to quite a few nature preserves, and we’ll be featuring them all in an article later this year. These two share a trail system, and are located side by side on North Main Street, with a total of 232 acres. Enjoy a long forest walk plus views of several glacial erratic boulders. Also nearby: Great Brewster Woods.




Brass Kettle Conservation Area and the Pape Reservation, Cohasset: Also located side by side, these two properties on King Street feature views of Brass Kettle Brook and Lily Pond, plus trail access to Wompatuck State Park and Whitney & Thayer Woods. Totaling 131 acres, this is a lovely destination for a serene walk in the woods! Also nearby: George Ingram Park.

 


Brockton Audubon Preserve, Brockton: Donated to the Wildlands Trust by the now-defunct Brockton Audubon Society, this 126-acre woodland is located on the Brockton-Easton town line. It features boardwalks, old stone walls, and one very large glacial erratic. Limited on-site parking on Pleasant Street.




Striar Conservancy, Halifax: Another Wildlands Trust property, this 168-acre woodland features a meandering 1.4-mile trail, plus views of the Winnetuxet River. Limited on-site parking on Thompson Street (Route 105). 



 

Williams Preserve, Duxbury: Birders will especially enjoy this newly-opened parcel off Church Street (Route 139). A 3-mile network of woodland trails offers views of wetlands, cranberry bogs, and the secluded Wright Reservoir. Limited on-site parking on Frontage Road.




Cranberry Watershed Preserve, Kingston: We added numerous Kingston properties to our website this year. These sprawling 240-acres feature several miles of walking trails through woodlands and wetlands. Limited on-site parking on Lake Street, just down the road from Silver Lake High School. Looking for something smaller but still woodsy? Visit Kingston’s Patuxet Park, off Route 3A.




Beaver Dam Conservation Area, Plymouth: As we extended our listings into Plymouth, this 783-acre property was a delightful surprise! The water views are quite nice, but there are also some challenging hillside trails -- a rarity among South Shore nature preserves. Limited roadside parking on Beaver Dam Road, just northeast of the Plymouth Transfer Station.



 

North Plymouth Rail Trail, Plymouth: In the mood for something less challenging? Try this. Begin at Nelson Memorial Park and follow the rail trail north along the edge of the Holmes Reservation, all the way to Cordage Park. The total distance is 1.2 miles. Don’t miss the side trail that leads up onto a cliff overlooking Plymouth Bay. There is parking at both ends, as well as several spots in between.


by Kezia Bacon

January 2022

 

Kezia Bacon's articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to protecting our waters. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org. You will also find 25+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2021 Contest, visit https://www.nsrwa.org/get-outdoors/explore-south-shore-2021-contest/  This article is Powered by Planet Subaru: https://www.planetsubaru.com

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Easy Access: 18 Paved Walks


As beautiful as the woods may be, forest trails are not everyone’s preference. The terrain can be challenging and unpredictable. For many, pavement has more appeal. You might be pushing a stroller, or operating a wheelchair, or walking with an assistive device, … or perhaps you’re just in the mood for an obstacle-free stroll. Good news! There are numerous parks and nature preserves on the South Shore that offer asphalt as an alternative to rocks, grass, and dirt! Ready to hit the pavement? Check out the trails listed below. Most of them are paved, although a few offer a combination of asphalt and gravel.

 

We’ll be featuring a Paved Walk every day in December on Instagram. Also, we’ve now entered the final chapter of our 2021 Explore South Shore ContestPost photos from your adventures to Instagram with the hashtag #ExploreSouthShore. Each month we randomly select a winner from the posts to receive a prize package. 




Wompatuck State Park, Hingham and Cohasset

This 3500-acre state park offers 10 miles of paved trails! Access them directly from the Main Entrance on Lazell Street in Hingham, as well as Leavitt Street in Hingham, and Doane Street in Cohasset.



 

Whitney Spur Rail Trail, Cohasset

This 1.5-mile rail trail connects the Route 3A MBTA station with Whitney & Thayer Woods, Turkey Hill, and Wompatuck. Composed of graded crushed stone, with a very gentle uphill slope, it is suitable for bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers. Designated parking at 156 Chief Justice Cushing Highway.




King Oak Hill Park, Weymouth

This 24-acre hilltop park on Emery Lane features a paved 0.25-mile walking loop and stunning views of the Boston Skyline. Also nearby, with paved trails: Weston Park behind the Tufts Library, and Lovell Field in Jackson Square. On-site parking.




Abigail Adams State Park, Weymouth

Enjoy views of the Back River while strolling this 7.6-acre property’s 0.7 miles of paved trails. For additional views and access, consider Stodder’s Neck, just across the river in Hingham, but note that it is primarily used as a dog park. Both parks offer on-site parking (Route 3A).




Osprey Overlook Park, Weymouth

A scenic spot with stunning views of the Back River, Osprey Overlook connects directly to Great Esker Park. Paved trails offer access for all. On-site parking on Wharf Street.





Bare Cove Park, Hingham

Located directly across the river, this former military base features 5 miles of trails, mostly paved. As above, the views are spectacular. On-site parking on Fort Hill Street.



 

Pond Meadow Park, Braintree

Paved trails around a large pond plus additional woodland paths. 320 acres. On-site parking on Liberty Street.


 



Rockland Rail Trail

This 3-mile paved trail extends from the Hanover town line to North Abington, with numerous access points. Park at the Rockland’s Police Department or Senior Center. If you enjoy rail trails, also consider North Plymouth.

 



Forge Pond Park, Hanover

A wide, paved, 1-mile trail extends around the perimeter of this 40-acre athletic complex on King Street. Ample on-site parking.





Norwell Pathway

A two-mile network of paved trails, sidewalks and boardwalks, the Norwell Pathway extends from Gaffield Park to Norwell High School, and connects to several conservation properties. On-site parking at various points.




 

Widow’s Walk, Scituate

Each year from January 1 to early March, this public golf course opens its cart paths to the public. Dog-friendly. Walkers and birders welcome. On-site parking on The Driftway. Extend your journey on the Driftway Multi-Purpose Path, across the road.




Harbor Walk, Marshfield

The poured concrete Harbor Walk extends for 1 mile from the Marshfield Town Pier, to Peter Igo Park, and across the Brant Rock Dike to Careswell Street. There is also a spur trail to the Brant Rock Esplanade. On-site parking on Joseph Driebeck Way.


 

Kezia Bacon's articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to protecting our waters. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org. You will also find 25+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2021 Contest, visit https://www.nsrwa.org/get-outdoors/explore-south-shore-2021-contest/  This article is Powered by Planet Subaru: https://www.planetsubaru.com