Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Oktoberfest on the Trails: Pairing Hikes with Local Breweries

Fall is here! It’s time to pull on your flannel shirt, lace up your hiking shoes, and get back into the woods. Need an incentive? Well, the foliage has already begun to transform, so it’s beautiful out there. Need more of an incentive? Consider pairing your walk with a stop at a local brewery! The South Shore has quite a few of them.


For this month’s article, I’ve compiled a list of local breweries along with a beautiful hiking spot nearby. Spend some time exploring the woods -- or a river, or a pond, or a marshland -- and then reward yourself with a tasty beverage. You’ll be supporting an independent local business, so it’s a “win” all around! And for those who prefer not to imbibe, these walks can be taken just as easily without the beer stop.

Also, be sure to keep up with our 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. Each week, we suggest a different outdoor activity. This month’s themes include: Visit an Audubon Sanctuary, Visit a Wildlands Trust Property, Visit a Trustees Property, and Pair a Hike with a Local Brewery! To help you meet these challenges, every day in October we’ll feature a relevant property on Instagram and Facebook. 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. 




Untold Brewing + Driftway Conservation Park

Start with a walk through the woods and marshes while enjoying views of the Herring River at the majestic Driftway Conservation Park in Scituate. Then scoot around the corner to the flagship location of Untold Brewing, just one mile away on Old Country Way. 






Stellwagen Beer Company + Jose Carreiro Woodland

Park at the end of Maryland Street in Marshfield and explore the forest trails within Jose Carreiro Woodland, then follow the loop around Two Mile Reservation, right next door. Be sure to check out the views of the North River and its marshes. When you’re done, Stellwagen Beer Company is just 2 miles away, at 100 Enterprise Drive.





Burke’s Alewerks + Jacobs Pond Conservation Area

Jacobs Pond Conservation Area is located on Jacobs Lane, just off Route 123 in Norwell. A network of trails extends along three sides of the 60-acre pond, which is a headwater to Third Herring Brook and the North River. Just over the town line in Hanover, 1 mile away at 200 Webster Street (also right off Route 123) you’ll find Burke’s Alewerks.







Vitamin Sea Brewing + Bradford Torrey Bird Sanctuary

Begin on the grounds of Weymouth High School, near the rock that’s painted like the American flag, and look for the trailhead to the Bradford Torrey Bird Sanctuary. This preserve features a 2.5-mile loop through the woods, past rocky outcroppings and a stream that flows toward Whitman’s Pond in Weymouth, a headwater to the Back River. Then continue a mile or so down Pleasant Street to Vitamin Sea Brewing, at 30 Moore Road.






Barrel House Z + Cavern Rock Park

Explore the rocky, challenging loop trail at Cavern Rock Park on Westminster Road in Weymouth, located on a highland overlooking Whitman’s Pond. Then hop on over to Barrel House Z, a mile and a half away, at 95 Woodrock Road, for some refreshment.







Article 15 Brewing + Twin Ponds Trail

On Spruce Street in Abington, a stone’s throw from the Rockland town line, you’ll find trailheads for both the Twin Ponds and Thompson Ponds Trails. Both trail systems were created by the Wildlands Trust along French’s Stream, on property that was once part of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station. The Twin Ponds Trail extends for 2 miles into Rockland. When you’re done exploring, cruise over to 406 VFW Highway, 2 miles away, where you’ll find Article 15 Brewing.







Old Colony Brewing + Island Grove Park 

The crown jewel of Abington’s public parks, Island Grove is a diverse, 53-acre property on the Shumatuscacant River, with ample parking on Park Avenue. Then continue south to Whitman, and check out Old Colony Brewing at 599 Washington Street (Route 123), about 2.6 miles away.






10th District Brewing + Ames Nowell State Park

Also in Abington, explore the 700-acre Ames Nowell State Park on Linwood Road, where you’ll enjoy trails with views of Cleveland Pond, part of the Taunton River watershed. Afterward, take a break at 10th District Brewing, located at 748 Brockton Ave. (Route 123), just 2 miles away.




Widowmaker Brewing + Quincy Quarries Reservation

Quincy Quarries Reservation, at the edge of Blue Hills Reservation on Ricciuti Drive in Quincy, is unusual and fascinating – well worth a couple hours of your time. When you’re done exploring, continue 3.6 miles along the park’s border to 220 Wood Road in Braintree, and enjoy a pint at Widowmaker Brewing.





Mayflower Brewing Company + Camp Nekon

Formerly a Girl Scout Camp, the 193 forested acres now known as Camp Nekon (Monks Hill Road, Kingston) feature quiet trails and numerous ponds within the Smelt Book/Jones River watershed. When you’re done exploring, Mayflower Brewing is waiting for you just around the corner, at 12 Resnik Road in Plymouth. 






Independent Fermentations + Eel River Preserve

What happens when dams are removed and a river is permitted to return to its natural state? Find out at the secluded and intriguing Eel River Preserve, located at 4 Boot Pond Road in Plymouth. Then head north on Long Pond Road to 27 Camelot Drive. Indie Ferm is a cozy spot that offers a full range of beers as well as kombucha. 






Second Wind Brewing + Plymouth Harbor Jetty

Would you prefer something entirely different in Plymouth? Consider the Plymouth Harbor Jetty, accessible from the Leo F. DeMarsh State Boat Ramp, off Water Street. Extending for more than a half mile into the Atlantic, this rugged terrain makes for a slow walk … but the scenery is amazing. Your next destination, Second Wind Brewing, is just a couple blocks away, at 7 Howland Street.


 




LlamaNama Beer Labs + Town Brook Park 

Also in Plymouth, there’s a lovely trail along Town Brook that extends from Brewster Gardens, past the Plimoth Grist Mill, through Town Brook Park, and all the way to Morton Park. Walk it in both directions and then take a load off at LlamaNama Beer Labs at 10 Water Street.


by Kezia Bacon

October 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. Click here for more information about the 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. This article is Powered by Planet Subaru: https://www.planetsubaru.com

 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Enjoy the View: 15 Noteworthy Benches



We are fortunate to have access to hundreds of miles of trails on the South Shore. Some lead through forests, others through fields, and still others along the water’s edge. Some of my favorites feature benches in special spots. Perhaps it’s a secluded glen, or an overlook with a particularly lovely view. But you don’t have to be on a trail to enjoy a bench with a view. There are plenty more that you can access quickly and easily … especially helpful if you use a walker or a wheelchair to get around. Below is a list of 15 Noteworthy Benches. Some a tucked away in the woods and require a bit of a walk. Others are right out in the open. All offer a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the view. I hope you’ll take some time this month to check them out.

 

Also, be sure to keep up with our 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. Each week, we suggest a different outdoor activity. This month’s themes include: Pick Apples, Be An Advocate, Join a Trail Maintenance Crew, and Try Forest Bathing or Outdoor Meditation. To help you meet these challenges, every day in September we’ll feature a relevant property on Instagram and Facebook. 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. 

 



Island Grove Park, Abington

This large town-owned park features wide forest trails and views of the Shumatuscacant River, plus an impressive memorial archway. My favorite benches are the ones overlooking the water. Ample parking on Wilson Place and Park Street. 



 

Watson Park, Braintee

Head toward the water at this town-owned athletic complex, and you’ll find the Monatiqout River Walk, a one-mile trail along the river’s edge. There are numerous benches along the way, each with its own distinct view. Ample parking on-site and on Gordon Road.




George Ingram Park, Cohasset

This beguiling 27-acre town-owned property features wooded trails and rocky outcroppings. On top of one particular rock is a very well-placed bench. A wonderful surprise within the hardwood forest (Bound Brook/Gulf River watershed). Limited parking across the street on Heritage Lane.




Howland’s Landing Park, Duxbury

Drive right up to this waterfront park and enjoy the view of Kingston Bay! There are grassy areas as well as a wooded hillside, plus benches and picnic tables where you can pause to enjoy your surroundings. Limited on-site parking off Crescent Street.




Fern Hill Cemetery, Hanson

A cemetery might not be your first thought when contemplating a nature excursion, but please keep reading. This historic spot is surprisingly inviting, especially with its views of Wampatuck Pond (Indian Head River watershed). Limited on-site parking: follow the paved road from the northernmost entrance on High Street to the rear of the cemetery, overlooking the pond. That’s where you’ll find the bench!




Tindale Bog, Hanover

This small town-owned property, accessible on foot from the Nava-Stasiluk Conservation Area, offers forest trails and views of a small pond (Indian Head River watershed), plus one well-placed bench. Look for the parking area near 526 Center Street.



 

Monument Park, Hingham

So many of Hingham’s parks and conservation areas feature benches with views. This one is accessible to all, from the large paved parking area at Hingham Town Landing. Look for the benches overlooking the harbor. Another great spot nearby is Governor Long Bird Sanctuary, on the hilltop overlooking the park.



 

The Nook Preserve, Kingston

Follow the trail through this small Wildlands Trust property to the edge of the marsh, where you’ll find a bench with a gorgeous view of the Jones River estuary. Limited roadside parking on Howlands Lane.



 

Pudding Hill Reservation, Marshfield

The hill itself makes up the bulk of this Wildlands Trust property, but if you set off in the opposite direction from the parking area on Pudding Hill Lane, you’ll find a pleasant bench overlooking Chandler’s Pond (South River watershed). 




Donovan/Wildcat, Norwell

The town-owned Donovan-Wildcat Conservation area is large and diverse. My favorite bench on-site is along the D1 trail, which follows Margaret’s Brook (North River watershed). It is especially pretty in the wintertime, when there’s snow on the ground. Parking area on Circuit Street.




Tucker Preserve, Pembroke

The Tucker Preserve, owned by the Wildlands Trust, offers some of the best views of the Indian Head River, as well as a handful of benches in quiet spots overlooking some smaller tributary streams. To find them, follow the trail from the parking area at Luddam’s Ford in Pembroke.



 

Stephens Field, Plymouth

This athletic complex on Plymouth Bay features spectacular views of the ocean as well as a small pond, each with a single bench. For additional benches with a similar view, visit Nelson Memorial Park, a little farther north. 




Twin Ponds Trail, Rockland

The trail on this town-owned property, formerly part of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, extends for two miles through the woods, crossing the East Branch of French’s Stream (North River watershed), and passing through some wonderful stands of beech trees. Along the way you’ll find a few well-placed benches for rest and contemplation. Limited parking on Spruce Street.





Bates Lane Conservation Area, Scituate

This large town-owned property features several miles of woodland trails bordered by stone walls and glacial erratic boulders. There is also a babbling brook (Gulf River watershed) with a bench in just the right spot for viewing it! On-site parking on Bates Lane.



Webb Memorial State Park, Weymouth

There are lots of benches on this peninsula between the Fore and Back Rivers, many with views of Boston Harbor. Some are close to the parking area (River Street), and some require a longer walk, but the trails are generally flat and easy to navigate. This 36-acre state park is the only mainland portion of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. 


by Kezia Bacon

September 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. Click here for more information about the 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. This article is Powered by Planet Subaru: https://www.planetsubaru.com