by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent
Friendship, the outdoors, exercise and caffeine… A great way to combine some of the best things in life is to grab coffee with a friend and go for a walk. Nearly every South Shore town has its own independent coffee shop. In this article, I’ll highlight 14 of them, along with a favorite walking trail nearby. Imagine how fun it would be, to work your way through this list – supporting local businesses and exploring new trails while spending time with some of the best people in your life!
Don’t miss our 2023 Explore South Shore Challenge, Know Your Local Waters. Each week we feature a river, stream, pond or other waterway, and highlight public places you can visit to experience it first-hand. Come explore and learn with us throughout the year! Watch for daily posts on Facebook and Instagram. Know Your Local Waters also includes a weekly trivia question, with a chance to win a custom NSRWA prize package. Share your guesses through our social media feed. Each month, we’ll choose one lucky winner.
Marshfield: SlackTide Coffee Roasters and Pudding Hill Reservation
I’ll admit, I have an affinity for SlackTide Coffee Roasters (1871 Ocean Street), not only because I was their very first customer, back in 2019, but because their coffee is consistently excellent. Just over a mile away, check out Pudding Hill Reservation. This 37-acre Wildlands Trust property offers hilly terrain to get your heart pumping, plus views of Chandler’s Pond and the South River.
Duxbury: Uncommon Grounds and Green’s Harbor Path & Kettle Hole Loop
This unassuming shop at 282 Saint George Street roasts its own coffee beans on site. Fuel up, and proceed just over a mile on Route 3A to Green’s Harbor Path and Kettle Hole Loop, which are part of Duxbury’s Knapp Town Forest and the Duck Hill River watershed. You’ll find trail access behind the Town Offices. Bring a map!
Scituate: Lucky Finn and Widow’s Walk Golf Course
Don’t delay! Widow’s Walk Golf Course is open to the public every winter for walking, and it’s a beautiful place to explore! Don’t miss the view, from the Signature Hole, of Herring River and the North River mouth. A short distance down the Driftway, you’ll find a brand-new outpost of Lucky Finn.
Cohasset: Seabird Coffee and Wheelwright Park
Wheelwright Park is a large wooded town-owned property with broad trails and captivating glacial erratic boulders, in the watershed of James and Richardson Brooks. Just down the road, at 24 South Main Street, slake your thirst at Seabird Coffee.
Hingham: RedEye Coffee Roasters and More-Brewer Park
Look for RedEye Coffee Roasters at Bare Cove Marina, on Route 3A in downtown Hingham. Then cruise 3 miles up Central and Hobart Streets to More-Brewer Park, a conservation area with an inspiring hilltop meadow plus a network of trails around Brewer Pond.
Braintree: The Casual Cup and Pond Meadow Park
Pond Meadow Park is not only scenic – with trails through forest and meadow and numerous water views — it’s also stroller- and wheelchair-friendly! Grab a Casual Cup in South Braintree Square, and then it’s just a 2-mile drive to the park headquarters. This Weymouth- and Braintree-owned park is part of the Fore River watershed.
Plymouth: Kiskadee Coffee Company and Town Brook Trail
In downtown Plymouth, it’s just a short walk from Kiskadee Coffee Company (18 Main Street) to the Town Brook Trail, which you can access both at Brewster Gardens and Town Brook Park. Enjoy views of the brook and its herring run as you follow the trail upstream, all the way to Billington Sea. Bonus: the first half mile of this linear town-owned property is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.
Whitman: Restoration Coffee and Hobart Pond
For a short, scenic walk in Whitman, don’t miss the stroller- and wheelchair-friendly boulevard that extends along one side of Hobart Pond. It’s only 1/3 of a mile, but it’s a pretty spot, and there are benches where you can pause to enjoy the view. The Shumatuscacant River flows through the pond. A half mile away, check out the Whitman branch of Restoration Coffee, at 564 Washington Street.
Weymouth: Slow Coffee and Bradford Torrey Bird Sanctuary
There’s a brand-new coffee shop at 12 Columbian Street called Slow Coffee. Pair it with an exploration of the Bradford Torrey Bird Sanctuary, a conservation area that’s about 1.5 miles away. Part of the Back River watershed, it features rocky outcroppings and 3 miles of woodland trails.
Hull: BreadBasket Café and Nantasket Beach Reservation
You can stroll along the ocean for at least a mile at DCR’s Nantasket Beach Reservation, enjoying the ocean breezes. From there, it’s just a short hop to BreadBasket Bakery and Café (307 Nantasket Ave.) Stroller- and wheelchair-friendly, this is an inviting option for a sunny day!
Norwell: Pour and Fogg Forest
The family-owned café known as Pour is quickly becoming an area favorite. Their 686 Main Street location is just a half mile from the parking lot for Fogg Forest. Explore the watershed of Second Herring Brook in this surprisingly large conservation area with more than 2 miles of trails.
Pembroke: Gunther Tootie’s and Two Mile Farm
Renowned for its house-made bagels, this small local chain also boasts a broad selection of coffees. Stock up, and then continue around the corner. Just over the Marshfield town line, you’ll find Two Mile Farm, a Trustees property on a hillside overlooking the North River. The coffee will come in handy after you follow the trails downhill… because eventually you’ll have to climb back up again!
Kingston: The Blueberry Muffin and Sampson Park
Enjoy coffee – and of course a muffin! – at the Kingston branch of this popular breakfast joint, and then continue 1.5 miles to Sampson Park at 67 Elm Street. First, step onto the observation deck for a glimpse of the Jones River, which thanks to a 2019 dam removal, is now flowing more freely. In the woods, enjoy more than a mile of trails.
Hanover: SlackTide Coffee Roasters and Folly Hill/Bog Iron Trails
SlackTide is one of several shops housed within Previte’s Marketplace. Coffee in hand, proceed up Broadway to #519, an access point for the Folly Hill and Bog Iron Trails. This 38-acre town property offers more than 3 miles of forest trails, and numerous views of streams and wetlands.
Kezia Bacon’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to protecting our waters. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org. You will also find 26+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2023 Challenge, click here.