Ames Nowell State Park

Ames Nowell State Park, Linwood Street, Abington, MA, USA


Owned By: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ames Nowell State Park is a 700 acre property located in Abington, with  10+ miles of paved and unpaved trails through forest and wetlands. Equestrians and cyclists are welcome. Launch your non-motorized boat on Cleveland Pond, the centerpiece of the park.


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 Massachusett (or Massachuseuk) 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.

To learn more about local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag share information on their websites. 

Trail Description

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.

  • A photograph of a property sign in a wooded setting.
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  • A photograph of a pond with two people walking beside it.
  • A photograph of a pond with a fishing pier.
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  • A photograph of a pond with a few kayakers.
  • A photograph of a picnic area in a woodland, with a sign about dog waste protocol.
  • A photograph of a large white bird on a pond.
  • A photograph of a broad grassy area bordered by trees and fence.
  • A photograph of a wide trail through the woods.
  • A photograph of a pond as viewed through the woods.
  • A photograph of a picnic area in a woodland.
  • A photograph of a trail across a grassy area.
  • A photograph of a boardwalk through a woodland.
  • A photograph of a pond with a granite ledge in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a rocky stream within a woodland.
  • A photograph of a dam and a pond.
Ames Nowell State Park, Linwood Street, Abington, MA, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

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)