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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.
World’s End is very popular on weekend afternoons and parking is limited. Follow us on Twitter @worldsend02043 for updates on weekend parking availability and other news about the property.