by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

As beautiful as the woods may be, forest trails are not everyone’s preference. The terrain can be challenging and unpredictable. For many, pavement has more appeal. You might be pushing a stroller, operating a wheelchair, or walking with an assistive device… or perhaps you’re just in the mood for an obstacle-free stroll. Good news! There are numerous parks and nature preserves on the South Shore that offer asphalt as an alternative to rocks, grass, and dirt! Ready to hit the pavement? Check out the trails listed below. Most of them are paved, although a few offer a combination of asphalt and gravel.

We’ll be featuring a Paved Walk every day in December on Instagram. Also, we’ve now entered the final chapter of our 2021 Explore South Shore Contest. Post photos from your adventures to Instagram with the hashtag #ExploreSouthShore. Each month we randomly select a winner from the posts to receive a prize package.

Wompatuck State Park, Hingham and Cohasset

This 3,500-acre state park offers 10 miles of paved trails! Access them directly from the Main Entrance on Lazell Street in Hingham, as well as Leavitt Street in Hingham, and Doane Street in Cohasset.

Whitney Spur Rail Trail, Cohasset

This 1.5-mile rail trail connects the Route 3A MBTA station with Whitney & Thayer Woods, Turkey Hill, and Wompatuck. Composed of graded crushed stone, with a very gentle uphill slope, it is suitable for bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers. Designated parking at 156 Chief Justice Cushing Highway.

King Oak Hill Park, Weymouth

This 24-acre hilltop park on Emery Lane features a paved 0.25-mile walking loop and stunning views of the Boston Skyline. Also nearby, with paved trails: Weston Park behind the Tufts Library, and Lovell Field in Jackson Square. On-site parking.

Abigail Adams State Park, Weymouth

Enjoy views of the Back River while strolling this 7.6-acre property’s 0.7 miles of paved trails. For additional views and access, consider Stodder’s Neck, just across the river in Hingham, but note that it is primarily used as a dog park. Both parks offer on-site parking (Route 3A).

Osprey Overlook Park, Weymouth

A scenic spot with stunning views of the Back River, Osprey Overlook connects directly to Great Esker Park. Paved trails offer access for all. On-site parking on Wharf Street.

Bare Cove Park, Hingham

Located directly across the river, this former military base features 5 miles of trails, mostly paved. As above, the views are spectacular. On-site parking on Fort Hill Street.

Pond Meadow Park, Braintree

Paved trails around a large pond plus additional woodland paths. 320 acres. On-site parking on Liberty Street.

Rockland Rail Trail

This 3-mile paved trail extends from the Hanover town line to North Abington, with numerous access points. Park at the Rockland Police Department or Senior Center. If you enjoy rail trails, also consider North Plymouth.

Forge Pond Park, Hanover

A wide, paved, 1-mile trail extends around the perimeter of this 40-acre athletic complex on King Street. Ample on-site parking.

Norwell Pathway

A two-mile network of paved trails, sidewalks and boardwalks, the Norwell Pathway extends from Gaffield Park to Norwell High School, and connects to several conservation properties. On-site parking at various points.

Widow’s Walk, Scituate

Each year from January 1 to early March, this public golf course opens its cart paths to the public. Dog-friendly. Walkers and birders welcome. On-site parking on The Driftway. Extend your journey on the Driftway Multi-Purpose Path, across the road.

Harbor Walk, Marshfield

The poured concrete Harbor Walk extends for 1 mile from the Marshfield Town Pier, to Peter Igo Park, and across the Brant Rock Dike to Careswell Street. There is also a spur trail to the Brant Rock Esplanade. On-site parking on Joseph Driebeck Way.

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 You will also find 25+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2021 Contest, visit  

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