31 Loring St, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Town of Duxbury, Town of Kingston
Large scenic property with 2 miles of trails through woodlands and meadows, plus spectacular views of Kingston Bay. Stroller-friendly in some sections.
The land that is now Bay Farm was occupied by Native Americans long before European settlers arrived. In particular, the Patuxet, members of the Wampanoag tribe, made their home in the area now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth. Numerous artifacts have been found on site, indicating that Bay Farm was likely a spring/summer/fall encampment site.
In 1627, Duxbury landowners began farming here. In the early days of the 20th century, Atherton Loring and his business partners owned a huge tract of land here, from Tremont Street (Route 3A) to Kingston Bay. In 1904, they established the Bay Farm Company. It was primarily a dairy farm, but they also raised horses, hogs, chickens and roosters. By the late 1940s, the White brothers had taken over the enterprise.
After Route 3 was extended through Duxbury (1960s), the population began to rise quickly. Responding to this change, the Conservation Commission sought to preserve the farm as open space. An agreement to purchase 44 acres in 1967 eventually led to the actual purchase in 1973. An adjacent parcel (29 acres) in Kingston was added in 1989. Later, another 7.75-acre parcel was added by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management.
The 42nd parallel runs through the Kingston side of Bay Farm. Look for the marker on Landing Road.
The 2-mile trail network at Bay Farm is expansive and varied. Some trails lead through the woods, others around and through a large open meadow, and others along the bay shore. All are color-coded, and corresponding maps are available online (see above). Bay Farm is also the southern terminus of the Bay Circuit Trail. A short stretch of this 230-mile trail extends through the property. Look for the informational kiosk on the Kingston side of the property, near the shoreline. There is additional pedestrian access from River Street in Kingston.
Habitats and Wildlife
Located directly on Kingston Bay, the Bay Farm Conservation Area offers a variety of habitats from sandy beach, rocky ledge with tide pools, salt marshes, grasslands, wetlands, and woods. There are also some glacial erratic boulders. The open field attracts such wildlife as bobolink, red-tailed hawk, fox, coyote, white-tailed deer, bees, butterflies, and (in June) fireflies. Don’t miss the large grove of cedar trees on the yellow trail. Other trees include oak, pine, birch and beech. These forests are relatively new — about 100 years of age at most, and some much more recent.
Cedar Rocks, the large granite rock outcropping at the edge of the bay, is a popular spot for anglers who favor deep channel fishing. Common species found here include bluefish and striped bass. From this spot, you can see Gurnet Light, Saquish, Clark’s Island, Myles Standish Point, Rocky Nook and the Jones River.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 80 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking on Loring Street, Duxbury.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Benches, boardwalks and footbridges, informational kiosks, trash and dog waste receptacles, bike rack. Geocache location.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Kingston Bay watershed