30 Whiting St, Hanover, MA 02339, USA
Owned By: Town of Hanover
A diverse and inviting 147-acre property with 3 miles of trails through woods and wetlands. Features include boardwalks, a bridge over Cushing Brook, an observation deck on Cushing Brook Marsh, and the historic West Hanover Cemetery.
Extend your walk on the Rockland Rail Trail/Hanover Branch Rail Trail. Two trails at the southern end of the property link directly to it! Also nearby, the Melzar Hatch Preserve. Look for the trailhead behind Hanover Middle School.
The West Hanover Cemetery is also known as the Darling Cemetery. Gravestones date back to the early 1800s.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett). To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett, and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag, both share information on their websites.
In total there are 3.1 miles of trails. Many are flat and wide, some include boardwalks, and some are narrower, with steep or root-filled sections. Be careful: the bridge and boardwalks can be slippery when wet.
When you access the property from its Whiting Street entrance, you will find yourself on a boardwalk. Hanover Conservation blazes mark all of the trails. The main trail (green) extends through the woods, first west and then south, to the West Hanover Cemetery. Along the way there are several short loop trails (marked in red) that offer additional perspectives. There is also a spur trail that leads to the Rockland Rail Trail/Hanover Branch Rail Trail.
Habitats and Wildlife
In the uplands, you’ll see pine, oak, holly, hemlock, greenbrier, and a gorgeous grove of mature beech trees. In the wetlands, look for ferns, sweet pepper bush, and maples. Be sure to check out the observation deck that overlooks Cushing Brook Marsh.
A gracefully arching wooden bridge spans Cushing Brook. You can hear the brook before you see it! Beside the brook itself, there is a perfectly situated bench — a lovely spot to sit and contemplate your surroundings.
Cushing Brook is a tributary to the Drinkwater River. According to Martha Campbell’s Remembering Old Abington, the name “Drinkwater River” is said to be an Anglicized version of the original Native American name for the stream, Nannumackeuitt, “which meant that a hollow stem had to be used as a straw when sucking up water from this shallow, sluggish stream.”
French’s Stream and the Drinkwater River flow together just upstream of Forge Pond. The Drinkwater River continues to flow southeast of Forge Pond, into Factory Pond. From there, the waterway turns east and is known as the Indian Head River. It joins Herring Brook in Pembroke to form the North River, which flows 12 miles through Hanover, Pembroke, Norwell, Marshfield, and Scituate, to the Atlantic Ocean.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 147 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Park at Hanover Middle School, and cross Whiting Street to the well-marked trailhead. Additional (roadside) parking and pedestrian access on Circuit Street in West Hanover. Park on Circuit Street and follow signs to the West Hanover Cemetery, behind #970 Circuit.) Please be mindful of private property.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Benches and boardwalks. Observation deck on Cushing Brook Marsh. Bridge over Cushing Brook.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Cushing Brook (North River watershed)