Ames Nowell State Park, Linwood Street, Abington, MA, USA
Owned By: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Cleveland Pond sits at the center of this large property, with 10+ miles of paved and unpaved trails through forest and wetlands. Launch your non-motorized boat on the pond. Equestrians and cyclists are welcome.
A sawmill, and then a grist mill, stood at the northern end of the property in the 1700s, on Beaver Brook. In the 1920s, Edwin Holmes purchased the land and dammed the brook, creating Cleveland Pond. Holmes maintained the land as a bird sanctuary and hunting spot, but was unable to pay taxes on it during the Depression. Ames Nowell — the grandson of Massachusetts Governor Oliver Ames, purchased it next. The park is named for him. Old stone walls deep within the property reveal an agricultural past.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe. According to Martha Campbell’s Remembering Old Abington, the original town of Abington included today’s Abington and Rockland as well as most of Whitman. in the 1660s, European settlers from Weymouth began establishing homesteads within the town. While the settlers came from Massachusetts Bay Colony, the land was part of Plymouth Colony. All of the 18 original land grants were along the Satucket Path, a trail established by Native Americans that extended from Wessagusset Beach in North Weymouth to Robbins Pond in East Bridgewater. Campbell also explains how the Native American name for the town was Manamooskeagin, translated from the Algonquin as “great green place of shaking grass.” The Abington town seal incorporates its Algonquian name.
Ten miles of trails and unpaved roads. Some trails are wide, some are narrow. Many are marked with numbered blue blazes, but quite a few are not. Even with the official map, it can be easy to lose your way.
Habitats and Wildlife
The woods surrounding Cleveland Pond are primarily pine and oak, with some beech and holly. There are wetlands too, with swampy areas as well as freshwater marshes. Beaver Brook enters the property from the north and flows through the pond. The pond was created in the 1920s when the brook was dammed for industrial use. Beaver Brook flows south through Abington and Bridgewater, eventually merging with Spring Brook and emptying into the Taunton River.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 700 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Ample on-site parking.
Cost: Free. Swimming requires an additional fee.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Restrooms, pavilion, picnic area with grills, ball field, fishing pier, benches, two boardwalks. Geocache location.
Dogs: All pets must be leashed. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Beaver Brook (Taunton River watershed)