where wonder happens
Norris Reservation
south-of-boston Norwell, MA
129 acres

Hike past a former mill pond, cross a wetlands boardwalk, and explore a forest of pine and oak on your way to a boathouse on the banks of the tidal North River.

What makes the Norris Reservation a special place?
We think it’s the varied natural environment, which features a mill pond, stands of white pine and oak, salt marsh and the tidal North River, the center of colonial-era shipbuilding in New England. A herring brook wends along the western edge of the reservation, which also boasts boulders left by the glacier, a riverside boathouse, and several prime picnic spots.

You can choose from several loop or out-and-back routes along carriage roads padded with generations of pine needles. For many walkers, reaching the lovely curve in the North River is ample reward; currents can be especially dynamic at this stretch of the meandering tidal stream. Stop at the boat house or at an overlook bench and wait for wading birds, hawks, and kingfishers – and the occasional boater – to pass by. Within the reservation’s interior, the Gordon’s pond boardwalk can put kids at a water bug’s level. Look for crumbling beaver dams in the wetlands or listen for an owl’s hoot.

Trout rise in the mill pond beyond the parking lot, while striped bass course along the North River on the far edge of the property. In between, treetop birds and wetland frogs compete in a songfest.This suburban oasis boasts a pond and the remains of a water mill, a gurgling brook and surrounding wetland, pine forest, and frontage on the meandering North River.

Trails
2 miles of trails. Easy walking.

When to Visit
Daily, sunrise to sunset.

Facilities
Benches. Boat House overlooking North River (tie-ups not permitted).

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