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Hiking

Cranberry Pond Conservation Area

Eutaw Ave, Braintree, MA 02184, USA

Owned By: Town of Braintree

This 140-acre wooded property on the Braintree-Holbrook line features 2 miles of trails, plus views of Cranberry Pond and Cranberry Brook. The landscape is scattered with rocky outcroppings and glacial erratic boulders. Adjacent to the Devon Woods Open Space Area. Trail access to the Holbrook Town Forest.

Features

The Cranberry Pond Conservation Area was acquired by the Town of Braintree as conservation land in 1965.

This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe. To learn more about our local Native American 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. 

Trail Description

There are trailheads on Eutaw Road and Hillsdale Road. Look for the informational kiosk at the Eutaw Road entrance, where you can access a long loop trail, blazed in red. It skirts the eastern perimeter of the property and connects with the Holbrook Town Forest. From this loop, there are additional, shorter trails (blue, yellow, orange, green), most of which offer close-up views of Cranberry Pond.

The red trail eventually connects with the blue trail, which skirts the western perimeter of the property, and ends at the Hillsdale Road entrance. Return to your starting place with a short neighborhood walk down Braemore and Hillsdale Roads.

There are 2 miles of trails here, traversing rolling forest hills, sandy power easements, and wetlands, with the occasional bridge or boardwalk. The trail crosses Cranberry Brook twice. While the trails are mostly color-coded and blazed, they are sometimes difficult to follow. We recommend bringing a trail map.

Habitats and Wildlife

Cranberry Pond itself is relatively small (7.5 acres), compared with the overall size of this property. Around the pond are vernal pools, bogs and Atlantic White Cedar swamps. The forest is primarily chestnut oak, along with beech, black birch, white pine and some low-bush blueberries.

Cranberry Brook flows through the property, and is bordered by wetlands. In 1983, the 1050-acre Cranberry Brook watershed was established as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), designated by the Secretary of Environmental Affairs for its unique and significant natural resources. It includes 157 acres of wetlands, as well as a pond, a brook, two quaking bogs, a marsh, and wooded swamps.

Cranberry Brook originates in Holbrook, near the Town Forest and flows north through Braintree’s Cranberry Pond Conservation Area before turning west to enter the Braintree Town Forest. After passing under Route 37, it flows into the Cochato River. Farther downstream, within the Braintree Municipal Golf Course, the Cochato and Farm Rivers flow together to form the Monatiquot River.

The Monatiquot River flows northeast for 4.9 miles before merging with Smelt Brook to form the Fore River. The Fore River serves as the boundary line between the towns of Weymouth and Braintree. It flows for about 3 miles, into Quincy, where it meets Town River, and then flows for another 2 miles into Hingham Bay. In its final few miles, the Fore River is nearly a mile wide in some places.

Eutaw Ave, Braintree, MA 02184, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 140 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited on-site parking on Eutaw Road and Hillsdale Road.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium

Facilities:

Informational kiosk.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Cranberry Brook (Fore River watershed)

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