Find Your Next Adventure

NATURE
by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

In May, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association launched its much-improved and updated website, ExploreSouthShore.org. There are so many useful features!

Let’s say you want to go for a walk in the woods, but you’d like to go someplace different this time. The only problem is: you don’t know where else to go. Visit ExploreSouthShore.org, click on “Hiking,” and you’ll find information on 64 different hiking trails on the South Shore. Not only their names, but detailed notes about each property, its history, its trail system, the wildlife that inhabits it, and even where to park. Those 64 trails are only the beginning. NSRWA will continue to add new sites, and expand and update the information it presents.

ExploreSouthShore.org is not just for hikers. If you’d like to go kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding on the North and South Rivers and their tributaries, you’ll find information about public launch sites, including the essential “Tide Math” that every paddler needs to know before setting out on a tidal river. There’s also information on fishing, recreational boating spots, shellfishing sites, and herring runs, plus NSRWA’s annual summer program, Yoga at the River’s Edge.

The website also offers a comprehensive listing of historical sites along the North and South Rivers. Back in 1919, the North River Historical Association placed ten large bronze markers along the banks of the rivers, to commemorate some of the area’s most productive 18th and 19th century shipyards. ExploreSouthShore.org identifies their locations, as well as numerous other river-related spots that you may have read about in local history books. Ever wonder where Job’s Landing was? Or the Rainbow Bridge? Would you like to see the remains of shipwrecks? The website will show you where to find these landmarks.

Full disclosure: there are 105 listings so far on ExploreSouthShore.org, and I got to write them all! This was a dream job for me — researching, fact-checking, revisiting favorite properties, and exploring new ones. I took a deep dive into local history, searching for relevant information to share. I got out on the trails, and tried to figure out what a newcomer would need to know. Now that paddling weather has arrived, I am looking forward to getting out on the water so I can expand those listings. I will be working with NSRWA’s staff to update what we’ve created so far, and also to add more sites. Our To Do List is already more than 150 items long!

One of my favorite discoveries in the process of creating the website was the true identities of some wrecked vessels in the North and South Rivers. For example, amateur archaeologist and Marshfield resident Paul McCarthy set us straight on what we thought was an old gundalow (salt haying skiff) in the marsh adjacent to the Union Street Bridge. It turns out that it’s actually the remains of a ferry, from the days, before 1850, when Oakman’s Ferry transported people and horses back and forth across the river at that spot. Thanks to thanks to longtime Seaview resident W. Ray Freden we also learned about a ship wrecked on the Hanover Flats in the South River – a submarine chaser and rum runner from Prohibition days. At low tide, you can still see its remains!

Memorial Day weekend is behind us and summer is just a few weeks away. It’s time to get outdoors! There are so many different outdoor spots to visit on the South Shore – beautiful, historic, and intriguing. Visit ExploreSouthShore.org and find your next adventure!

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 20+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there.