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Forest Trails

Burns Memorial Park

98 Hersey St, Hingham, MA 02043, USA

Hingham Conservation: 781-741-1445

Owned By: Town of Hingham

This small, pretty, 26-acre park features a 0.32-mile trail extending through an open woodland. Enjoy rocky outcroppings, stone walls, flowering shrubs, wetlands, and a small stream.

Note: Reports indicate that the trail at this park is currently (April 2024) blocked by cut trees and brush. Check back in the future for an update!

Features

This property once belonged to the Burns family, and was sold to the Town of Hingham in 1972 for conservation. A section of it is part of the historic Tranquility Grove, which was owned by Henry and Edward Thaxter, and often employed by the townspeople for outdoor gatherings such as church picnics.

According to the Hingham Conservation Commission, Sydney Howard Gay, a Hingham native and the editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York, suggested Tranquility Grove as an ideal location for a gathering of abolitionists to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the end of slavery in the British West Indies. Known as the “Great Abolitionist Pic Nic,” the event was held on August 2, 1844, and is believed to be the largest such abolitionist event in US history, gathering 6,000-10,000 attendees from New England, New York and Pennsylvania. Notable participants included William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and the Hutchinson Family Singers. A lengthy, impassioned letter from then-Congressman John Quincy Adams was read aloud.

This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.

Trail Description

Park at the DPW facility on Hersey Street. Cross the road and take the stairs up to the trail that leads into Burns Memorial Park. A narrow path extends through open woods, passing by stone walls, rocky outcroppings, wetlands, and a small stream. The out-and-back trail has a loop at the end. Total distance is 0.56 miles from the entrance, around the trail loop, and back again.

Habitats and Wildlife

The open woodland park features oak and pine covered ledges, freshwater meadow, red maple swampland, flowering shrubs, and a stream that flows into Tower Brook.

Tower Brook feeds the Weir River in its upper reaches. The Weir River flows north through Hingham, gradually turning northeast and flowing for another into to Foundry Pond. The Weir River Estuary, designated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Area of Critical Concern, begins just below the manmade dam at the pond. The mile-wide estuary forms the border between Hingham and Hull, and empties into Hingham Bay. For more information about the Weir River, follow the Weir River Watershed Association.

98 Hersey St, Hingham, MA 02043, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 26 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Park across the road, at the former Hingham DPW facility, on Hersey Street.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Facilities:

Informational kiosk. Geocache location.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Tower Brook (Weir River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site