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The Best South Shore Walking Trails



With the warm weather upon us, we thought it would be a great time to share some of our favorite South Shore walking trails. We love getting outside in the fresh air and are lucky to be a short drive from so many great spots. As a bonus, most of these are dog-friendly for on-leash pets.



Ames Nowell State Park, Abington

Ames Nowell State Park is located on Linwood Street, with plenty of parking. Cleveland Pond is popular with boaters and fisherman and there are several miles of walking trails along the pond edge and surrounding woods. Trails are a mix of paved and dirt and there is a picnic area near the entrance to the park.




Jacobs Pond Conservation Area, Norwell

Jacobs Pond Conservation Area is a 189-acre property surrounding Jacobs Pond. Find parking areas at 48 Jacobs Lane and on Duncan Drive. From the Jacobs Lane parking area, a dirt road leads to the pond and access to the trails. Trails are flat, but not paved. Travel time varies on speed and ability, but for an average, moderate walker plan on 1.5 hours for a loop around the pond. You can also find picnic tables, benches, fishing and a boat dock at the end of Jacobs Lane. 



Norris Reservation, Norwell

Norris Reservation is a Trustees of the Reservation property, with the entrance and parking located on Dover Street. Choose from several loop or out-and-back routes along (unpaved) carriage roads. Stop at the boathouse or at an overlook bench and wait for the wading birds, hawks, and kingfishers. Fishing is also popular here.



Rockland Town Forest 

The Rockland Town Forest is a fun walk featuring stone lined paths, wooden bridges, a winding stream, and a number of little surprises along the way (Storywalk, painted rocks, tree ornaments, and fairy houses). Located on North Avenue, walk this as a loop or continue on to the Twin Ponds Trail System.



Thompson Pond/Twin Ponds Trail System, Rockland & Abington

Another great place to hike is at the Thompson Pond and Twin Ponds Trail System. There are several different trails here—one goes all the way to Union Point. We enjoy walking the wooded paths that lead to Thompson Pond on one side and Twin Ponds on the other. The trails are clearly marked, they have nice sturdy bridges built over streams and marshy areas (which adds to the fun), and they both end with scenic views of the ponds. If you do not access this trail from Rockland Town Forest, you can access it from Spruce Street, in Abington.



Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area, Hanson

Burrage Pond is a popular hiking and mountain biking destination in Hanson. There are 15 miles of bike trails and a flat 3.3-mile (out and back) trail with the pond on one side and retired cranberry bogs on the other. The Main Parking Lot is at 15 Hawks Avenue, in Hanson.



lindo-realty-group-alton-j-smith-reservePhoto courtesy of North and South Rivers Watershed Association

Alton J. Smith Reserve, Hanson

Indian Head Pond is a large pond perfect for fishing, paddling, ice skating and ice fishing. Walking trails are available at the adjacent Alton J. Smith Reserve with paths running along a retired cranberry bog and through the surrounding woods. Trails here connect with Camp Kiwanee in Hanson. Stroller-friendly. Park at the Camp Kiwanee parking area across from the Gate Keeper’s Cottage at the end of the Camp Kiwanee Drive. Cross the street and look for the Bay Circuit Trail and Conservation Commission markers just to the right of the Cottage.



Photo courtesy of North and South Rivers Watershed Association

Wampatuck Pond/Veteran's Memorial Town Forest, Hanson

Wampatuck Pond is located behind the Hanson Town Hall. It is a 62-acre man-made pond with a boat ramp for canoes, kayaks, and small powerboats. Perfect for fishing and paddling. There are walking trails adjacent to the pond in Veteran’s Memorial Town Forest, which is a quiet 35-acre area of woods and wetlands. Three footbridges were added in 2021/2022 to facilitate trail access. About 1 mile of trails, including a section of the Bay Circuit Trail.


Whitney and Thayer Woods, Hingham & Cohasset

Whitney and Thayer Woods include woodlands dotted with glacial erratics and vernal pools, bridges over streams, benches and a hermit's shelter. There are 10 miles of trails here including the Milliken Memorial path. Some trails are best for moderate hikers. You can also connect to trails on Weir River Farm from here. Enter at Howes Lane, in Cohasset.



World's End, Hingham

Four and a half miles of tree-lined carriage paths and footpaths offer views of the Weir River, Hingham Harbor, and the Boston skyline. Find parking at Martin’s Lane, in Hingham (this is a residential neighborhood so drive slow.) This a Trustees of the Reservation property and there is a parking fee (free for members; $10 non-member vehicle/weekdays; $15 non-member vehicle/weekends). Advance passes are required for weekends and holidays, and encouraged for weekdays. Trails follow rolling hills to saltwater marshes, meadows, woodlands, and granite ledges covered with red cedars.


Did we miss your favorite walking trail? Email us and we'll add it. Happy walking!


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