Owned By: Town of Marshfield
123 acres owned by the Town of Marshfield. The property is comprised of forest, freshwater wetlands, brooks, and salt marsh, with two miles of rustic trails and recently-renovated boardwalks. Now heavily wooded, this was once prime agricultural land. A number of old stone walls remain.
This property was acquired by the Town of Marshfield as conservation land in the 1970s, with an additional acquisition in 1980. In the 1700s and 1800s, several members of the Rogers Family lived on today’s Corn Hill Lane (then Gravelly Beach Lane). Very likely, Cornhill Woodland was part of their acreage. The Rogers Family also owned the lands that make up today’s Nelson Forest. The Rogers shipyard was located at the end of Cornhill Lane. It operated from 1790-1819, with Samuel, Stephen, Joseph and Thomas Rogers all building ships there. In addition, the family operated a blacksmith shop near the intersection of Highland and Union Streets. Circa 1800, this was the center of North Marshfield Village. Nearby were a store, a post office, and the Corn Hill School District No. 6 school (1838-1920).
From the ferry crossing, and later the bridge at Union Street, a cart path extended south along the edge of the marsh. In the woods at Cornhill Woodland, and along the end of Cornhill Lane, where it runs parallel to the North River, its easy to imagine the route of this path. The cart path continued to Two Mile Brook, and beyond to today’s Maryland Street.
Corn Hill Woodland is a great place for a long, peaceful walk. There are number of trails, mostly through the forest, totaling about 2 miles. There are three loop trails, plus a spur that heads down to the salt marsh, and three additional spurs that lead to roadside trail heads. Some of the paths are quite narrow – especially if you go in the summer, when the ferns are leafed out in their entirety . . . There are places where the ferns are so lush that you can’t see the ground at all! The blazes posted just above eye level on some of the trails are extremely helpful. Not especially stroller-friendly.
Habitats and Wildlife
There are a number of beech trees along the trails in the eastern half of the property. In the summer, the ferns can be spectacular!
There’s so much undisturbed land in Cornhill Woodland — wildlife thrives here. Watch for red fox hunting for small mammals, and listen for forest song birds in the trees.
It’s difficult to imagine, but just a century ago (1919), all of the land on this property — once known as the Garner Farm — was cleared and plowed for planting. Look closely between the tall pine trees and you may still see grooves from the plows.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 123 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Boardwalks and an information kiosk.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: North River