by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent
We are fortunate to have access to hundreds of miles of trails on the South Shore. Some lead through forests, others through fields, and still others along the water’s edge. Some of my favorites feature benches in special spots. Perhaps it’s a secluded glen, or an overlook with a particularly lovely view. But you don’t have to be on a trail to enjoy a bench with a view. There are plenty more that you can access quickly and easily … especially helpful if you use a walker or a wheelchair to get around. Below is a list of 15 Noteworthy Benches. Some a tucked away in the woods and require a bit of a walk. Others are right out in the open. All offer a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the view. I hope you’ll take some time this month to check them out.
Also, be sure to keep up with our 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. Each week, we suggest a different outdoor activity. This month’s themes include: Pick Apples, Be An Advocate, Join a Trail Maintenance Crew, and Try Forest Bathing or Outdoor Meditation. To help you meet these challenges, every day in September we’ll feature a relevant property on Instagram and Facebook. 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.
Island Grove Park, Abington
This large town-owned park features wide forest trails and views of the Shumatuscacant River, plus an impressive memorial archway. My favorite benches are the ones overlooking the water. Ample parking on Wilson Place and Park Street.
Watson Park, Braintee
Head toward the water at this town-owned athletic complex, and you’ll find the Monatiqout River Walk, a one-mile trail along the river’s edge. There are numerous benches along the way, each with its own distinct view. Ample parking on-site and on Gordon Road.
George Ingram Park, Cohasset
This beguiling 27-acre town-owned property features wooded trails and rocky outcroppings. On top of one particular rock is a very well-placed bench. A wonderful surprise within the hardwood forest (Bound Brook/Gulf River watershed). Limited parking across the street on Heritage Lane.
Howland’s Landing Park, Duxbury
Drive right up to this waterfront park and enjoy the view of Kingston Bay! There are grassy areas as well as a wooded hillside, plus benches and picnic tables where you can pause to enjoy your surroundings. Limited on-site parking off Crescent Street.
Fern Hill Cemetery, Hanson
A cemetery might not be your first thought when contemplating a nature excursion, but please keep reading. This historic spot is surprisingly inviting, especially with its views of Wampatuck Pond (Indian Head River watershed). Limited on-site parking: follow the paved road from the northernmost entrance on High Street to the rear of the cemetery, overlooking the pond. That’s where you’ll find the bench!
Tindale Bog, Hanover
This small town-owned property, accessible on foot from the Nava-Stasiluk Conservation Area, offers forest trails and views of a small pond (Indian Head River watershed), plus one well-placed bench. Look for the parking area near 526 Center Street.
Monument Park, Hingham
So many of Hingham’s parks and conservation areas feature benches with views. This one is accessible to all, from the large paved parking area at Hingham Town Landing. Look for the benches overlooking the harbor. Another great spot nearby is Governor Long Bird Sanctuary, on the hilltop overlooking the park.
The Nook Preserve, Kingston
Follow the trail through this small Wildlands Trust property to the edge of the marsh, where you’ll find a bench with a gorgeous view of the Jones River estuary. Limited roadside parking on Howlands Lane.
Pudding Hill Reservation, Marshfield
The hill itself makes up the bulk of this Wildlands Trust property, but if you set off in the opposite direction from the parking area on Pudding Hill Lane, you’ll find a pleasant bench overlooking Chandler’s Pond (South River watershed).
The town-owned Donovan-Wildcat Conservation area is large and diverse. My favorite bench on-site is along the D1 trail, which follows Margaret’s Brook (North River watershed). It is especially pretty in the wintertime, when there’s snow on the ground. Parking area on Circuit Street.
Tucker Preserve, Pembroke
The Tucker Preserve, owned by the Wildlands Trust, offers some of the best views of the Indian Head River, as well as a handful of benches in quiet spots overlooking some smaller tributary streams. To find them, follow the trail from the parking area at Luddam’s Ford in Pembroke.
Stephens Field, Plymouth
This athletic complex on Plymouth Bay features spectacular views of the ocean as well as a small pond, each with a single bench. For additional benches with a similar view, visit Nelson Memorial Park, a little farther north.
Twin Ponds Trail, Rockland
The trail on this town-owned property, formerly part of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, extends for two miles through the woods, crossing the East Branch of French’s Stream (North River watershed), and passing through some wonderful stands of beech trees. Along the way you’ll find a few well-placed benches for rest and contemplation. Limited parking on Spruce Street.
Bates Lane Conservation Area, Scituate
This large town-owned property features several miles of woodland trails bordered by stone walls and glacial erratic boulders. There is also a babbling brook (Gulf River watershed) with a bench in just the right spot for viewing it! On-site parking on Bates Lane.
Webb Memorial State Park, Weymouth
There are lots of benches on this peninsula between the Fore and Back Rivers, many with views of Boston Harbor. Some are close to the parking area (River Street), and some require a longer walk, but the trails are generally flat and easy to navigate. This 36-acre state park is the only mainland portion of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.
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 25+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. Click here for more information about the 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. This article is Powered by Planet Subaru: https://www.planetsubaru.com