181 Mt Blue St, Norwell, MA 02061, USA
Owned By: Town of Norwell
350 acres of Norwell Conservation land including Black Pond Bog and Black Pond Swamp. Portions owned by The Nature Conservancy.
The Cuffee Hill Conservation Area is part of a unique sensitive ecosystem. Black Pond Bog, a 83-acre preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy, is a significant feature. The Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program classifies Black Pond Bog as a "quaking" or "level" bog. The extreme acidity of the bog water limits nutrient availability and thus the types of plants that can grow there. Dense woods and cedar swamps surround the bog.
The property is named for Cuffee Lane, a historic cart path lined with stone walls. It begins on Mount Blue Street and extends through the property. Cuff Grandison and his wife established a farm on the property in the 1700s. They were among the town's earliest African American settlers. Their descendants, including Simeon and Charles Grandison, continued to farm the land for several generations. Members of the Grandson family served with the Green Mountain Boys in the American Revolution.
The town of Norwell purchased the property in 2013. It is the largest contiguous area of protected, town-owned open space in Norwell. Black Pond Brook flows through the property, eventually joining Second Herring Brook, which flows into the North River.
The Cuffee Hill Trail begins at Mount Blue Street and passes through an eastern hemlock grove before ascending Cuffee Hill. It continues under power lines through a large beech forest and then loops back. The trail leads back to Mount Blue Street through property owned by The Nature Conservancy. The trail is rocky and uneven in many places. There are at least two spur trails off the main trail.
Adjacent to The Cuffee Hill Trail, farther down Mount Blue Street, is the Merrick Trail, which is also a loop. The two trails come together briefly on Cuffee Hill. A boardwalk spur extends from the Merrick Trail into Black Pond Bog.
A third trail leads from another location on Mount Blue Street, along the border of Black Pond Bog, and eventually intersects with the Merrick Trail.
There is also a power line easement through the property that intersects with all of the trails outlined above.
Habitats and Wildlife
Black Pond Bog - There are pockets of white cedar swamp growing out of the thick sphagnum moss mat that encircles the pond. Preserving this area protects the biodiversity and ecological integrity of this special environment.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 350 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Off-street parking on Mt. Blue Street. There are 3 different places to park.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes