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Step back in time to woodlands dotted with glacial erratics and vernal pools featuring bridges over streams, carefully sited benches, a hermit’s shelter, and secluded holly grove.
What makes Whitney and Thayer Woods a special place?
We think it’s the 10 miles of carriage roads along which you can amble through resurgent hardwood forests to open fields and spectacular vistas of the South Shore and Boston skyline. Look for solitary boulders left by the last ice age and explore a hermit’s cave along the way. Cross the street to family-friendly Weir River Farm where you and your kids can get up-close to horses, sheep, and chickens.
Along the 10 miles of trails you’ll find the Milliken Memorial Path, which is lined with rhododendrons, azaleas, and other bright, blooming shrubs from more southerly climes. Planted in the late 1920s, the serene pathway was dedicated in memory of Mabel Minott Milliken by her husband, Arthur N. Milliken.
You’ll also see several glacial erratics that dot the landscape, including a grouping called Ode’s Den, named after Theodore “Ode” Pritchard, who lived under one of the boulders after losing his home in 1830. Bigelow Boulder honors the author of the first volume of The Narrative History of Cohasset. The American holly grove is a delightful spot, though it’s a little off the beaten path and might be too far for young children.
The 62-acre Turkey Hill is co-managed with the Towns of Cohasset and Hingham. Its 187-foot summit affords spectacular views. A cinderblock NIKE building is all that remains of an anti-missile radar control station sited here during the Cold War to thwart potential nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.
The fields atop Turkey Hill and at adjacent Weir River Farm are annually mowed and otherwise maintained as an ongoing effort to restore grassland birds species, including bobolink and meadowlark, to this part of the reservation. In 2006, additional tree removal took place at the farm to further this goal.
10 miles of trails including the Milliken Memorial path, a “wild garden” that was created in the late 1920s by Mabel Minott Milliken. Moderate hiking.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours, 3 hours if also visiting Weir River Farm.