World's End
Find Your Place

About World's End

Rolling hills and rocky shorelines offer sweeping views of the Boston skyline, while tree-lined carriage paths designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted make delightful walking trails.

What makes World’s End a special place?
We think it’s the tree-lined carriage paths and sweeping views of the Boston skyline, only 15 miles away. The 251-acre coastscape includes rocky shores, broad hillsides, and open fields bracketed by pockets of woodlands. The property is ideal for walking, picnicking, jogging, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, or simply enjoying nature and the outdoors.

The retreating glacier helped create the geology of Boston Harbor, including the islands and the four spoon-shaped hills (called drumlins) that comprise World’s End. This landscape also features saltwater marshes, meadows, woodlands, and granite ledges covered with red cedars and blueberry thickets.

World’s End was once an island at high tide, but colonial farmers dammed the salt marsh to grow hay and cleared almost all the trees for cropland. In the 1880s, wealthy Boston businessman John Brewer built a farming estate. In 1890, he hired Frederick Law Olmsted to design a large subdivision. While the homes were never built, four miles of carriage roads remain.

Tides once again nourish former salt marsh through specially built culverts, which promote habitat health and diversity. Grasslands maintained by carefully timed mowing provide important habitat for the birds that depend on them, as well as native plant species. And Olmsted’s designed landscape is preserved through mowing, pruning, cutting, and planting.

World’s End was once one of Massachusetts’ most threatened coastal landscapes. In 1890, plans were drawn up for a 163-house residential subdivision. In 1945, the property was short-listed for the site of the United Nations headquarters, which ultimately found its home in New York City. Twenty years later, it was eyed as a possible site for a nuclear power plant. But in 1967, thanks to local commitment and tremendous fundraising efforts, dedicated residents from Hingham and surrounding communities, and The Trustees, were able to preserve this special place.

Did you know World's End is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area? Learn more!

Trails
4.5 miles of carriage paths and footpaths. Moderate hiking.

Facilities
Public restrooms. Benches. Drinking water fountain.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 8 a.m. to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

  • Mountain biking permitted only on dirt roads.

  • Unauthorized vehicles are not permitted on the reservation.

Directions

Martin’s Lane
Hingham, MA 02043
Telephone: 781.740.7233
Gatehouse: 781.740.6665
Email: greaterboston@ttor.org

Latitude: 42.2584
Longitude: -70.8734

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Rt. 3, take Exit 14, Rt. 228 North for 6.5 mi. Turn left onto Rt. 3A and follow for 0.7 mi. Turn right onto Summer St. and, at major intersection with Rockland St., continue straight across onto Martin’s Lane. Follow for 0.7 mi. to entrance and parking (70 cars) at end. Roadside parking is not permitted.

Admission

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 8AM to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours.

Admission Fees & Permits
Trustees members and children free. Nonmember adults: $6. Annual horseback riding permit required. Call for details.

Property History

John Brewer built a mansion along Martin's Lane in 1856 and, over the next thirty years, acquired most of the peninsula as well as Sarah and Langley Islands. His farming estate was vast and varied. He produced hay and crops and raised thoroughbred horses, Jersey cattle, pigs, chickens, and sheep. To support these operations, Brewer built a complex of farm buildings that included a blacksmith shop, greenhouses, a smokehouse, and homes for farmhands and their families.

In 1889, Brewer asked landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design a residential subdivision for World’s End. His plan included 163 house plots connected by tree-lined roads. The cart paths were cut and the trees planted, but the development never occurred.

At the time of its acquisition by The Trustees in 1967, World’s End was one of the most threatened landscapes on Massachusetts’ entire coast. The peninsula had survived a 1945 proposal to construct a new United Nations Headquarters and a 1965 proposal to build a nuclear power plant.

Property Acquisition History
Purchased in 1967.

Programs

Summer Camp
Looking for summer camps for your kids? Look no further! We've got South Shore Summer Adventures at Weir River Farm and World's End planned for kids from four to 16. Get more info >>

Conservation and Stewardship

Management Planning for Our Properties
 


Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have worked to protect special places in Massachusetts and maintain them to the highest standards. To ensure these standards are met, a program of careful planning and sound management is essential. Comprehensive property management plans are created for each reservation and are completely updated approximately every ten years. We often work with volunteers, property users, and members of the community to carry out this planning, which typically involves several steps:
 


  • Describing in detail the site’s natural, scenic, and historical resources; identifying management issues related to the protection of those resources. 

  • Describing how visitors use the property; outlining the opportunities that the property provides for people to become involved in the work of conservation and caring for their community.

  • Developing a detailed list of management recommendations, a work plan, and a description of financial needs for implementing the actions.

  • Developing a prescribed routine management program for the reservation that will guide staff work plans, volunteer involvement, and the allocation of human and financial resources.


View World's End management plan.

View our Damde Meadows salt marsh restoration guide. Created by volunteer, Veronica Palmero.

Maps and Resources

Printed trail maps are distributed free from the bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.



Planning Your Visit

Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.

Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.


Submitted by RainyDayInterns on: November 5, 2012
Here are some pics of our visit to World's End in the Fall: http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2012/Home/November/Week2/RDMHomeNov0512.htm#Edge80AtWorldsEnd Glad we made it there before Hurricane Sandy!!!



Submitted by Liz & Peter August on: May 19, 2012
We went to World's End today for our engagement photos and couldn't be happier. Such a gorgeous backdrop for photos that we will look at for the rest of our lives.



Submitted by dogwalking on: October 22, 2010
We had a wonderful time yesterday at World's End. We are from RI and love the shore. We hike some of the National Wildlife Refuges near to us in RI, so it was a joy to find such a nice nature preserve up here near Boston! We were thrilled to see the hawks! And our dog was in heaven!



Submitted by naturelover on: August 9, 2010
I brought my wife and dog to Worlds End.. their 1st time! Within 20 minutes of arrival We saw an adult red fox walking down the trail about 20 yards in front of us up wind.. he was clearly on the scent trail of his possible lunch! Also there were a pair of Red Tail Hawks overhead all day... swoopin.. diving... awesome! Towards the end of ouir day we saw a great egret fishing near the cliffs. All in all an awesome day filled with cool animal sightings!



Submitted by Waltham Walkers on: June 2, 2010
The website said there would be a drinking fountain but I could not find it. I thought I could fill my water bottle on site and was very thirsty. I was disappointed with port-a-potty bathrooms after paying such a high admission fee. Otherwise, beautiful property and I was very happy with trail maintenance. I appreciated the number of available benches.



Submitted by M&M on: June 1, 2010
We vistited for the first time on 5/30/2010 and had a glorious day. Came from MetroWest and it was an easy hour's drive. Home via Wollaston Beach with a stop for fried clams late lunch. Will definitely be back. Only suggestion would be the addition of trail markers at merges. We had the trail guide but found ourselves at the entrance after a short walk. We set out again and covered a lot more trails. Beautiful place, beautiful day. Thanks!



Submitted by Healthworks Hiking Club on: May 25, 2010
the healthworks hiking club will be visiting World's End on Sunday June 13th at 9am! looking forward to our first visit!



Submitted by moms day is coming!! on: May 5, 2010
im taking my mom to worlds end for mothers day! going to bring a picnic lunch and ride bikes there!



Submitted by ke on: October 16, 2009
My daughters and I discovered World's End in July and came back in October for a birthday celebration. We live north of Boston and have been slow to discover anything other than the Cape that requires crossing the city--but it's a beautiful, special place and worth the drive.



Submitted by Cat on: October 12, 2009
I was at World's End this Sunday, October 11,2009 and it was just a beautiful day and a wonderful hike through the beauty of the place!



Submitted by Lovetogonewplaces on: September 5, 2009
Had a great time today. Next time we will bring the dog and maybe the bikes for the girls. Girls threw rocks in the ocean for a long time.



Nickname
Email Address
(Your email will be kept private)
Comment
Enter this word
 
Announcements & Alerts

See World's End like you've never seen it before. Watch this special video:

World's End Video

Upcoming Things To Do


Saturday, August 23
Kayak Tour - Boston Harbor

Other Trustees Properties You Might Like:

Whitney and Thayer Woods
Hingham & Cohasset, MA

Weir River Farm
Hingham, MA

Norris Reservation
Norwell, MA


World's End in the News

Conversation with Barbara Erickson
Apr 12 – Comcast Newsmakers