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!
4.5 miles of carriage paths and footpaths. Moderate hiking.
Public restrooms. Benches. Drinking water fountain.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 8 a.m. to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours.
Hingham, MA 02043
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.
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.
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.
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 >>
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:
View our Damde Meadows salt marsh restoration guide. Created by volunteer, Veronica Palmero.
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.
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:
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:
See World's End like you've never seen it before. Watch this special video:
Conversation with Barbara Erickson
Apr 12 – Comcast Newsmakers