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Boating

Damon’s Point

299 Damons Point Rd, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Owned By: Town of Marshfield

A Marshfield Town Pier is located here, offering a fine scenic vista with wooden benches. On the western side, there is a small launch for kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Use extreme caution if paddling through, and past, Damon’s Point toward the Spit, because of dangerous currents.

Tide Math: High tide at Damon’s Point is about 20 minutes after the Boston high tide.

NORTH, SOUTH, & HERRING RIVER SHELLFISH BEDS REMAIN CLOSED! Due to a recently-enforced (2020) federal regulation regarding proximity to wastewater treatment plants, the North, South and Herring Rivers will not re-open this year. Historically, you could set off from here to go clamming. (See the North River Shellfishing Map for locations.) The clam flats in both the North and South Rivers are typically open from November 1 to May 31st. If there is a Red Tide, they may close sooner. They are not open this year.

Features

Located at a beautiful spot within the North River estuary, the pier is a popular destination for photography and a nice place to watch the sunset.

From 1871 to the late 1930’s the Duxbury and Cohasset Railroad (later the Old Colony Railroad) traveled through Scituate and Marshfield. A portion of the railroad bed ran along the course of today’s Damons Point Road. The pier was constructed atop the remains of the railroad trestle. Look across the river to see the route the railroad traveled through the salt marsh, from Scituate. You can visit another portion of this old railroad bed at Herring River Trail in Scituate.

Building the railroad bridge at Damon’s Point was a major challenge. The river seemed bottomless, making it difficult to put the wooden support pilings in place. The first bridge was too low, preventing a number of vessels from passing beneath it, especially at high tide. After the Portland Gale washed the bridge away and destroyed much of the railbed in the adjacent marsh, the bridge was rebuilt at a higher elevation. It contained a removable section that was designed to allow larger crafts to pass. However removing this section often involved several days’ work by rail crews, interrupting regular train service. The bridge was replaced again in 1910/1911 with a man-powered drawbridge. This remained in place until rail service ended in 1939. It was removed in the early 1940s, but some of the pilings remain.

The Marshfield Hills station was located at the inland end of today’s Damons Point Road, near the intersection with Summer Street. Adjacent to it was Herbert Macomber’s livery barn. Railroad commuters would leave their horses and/or carriages at Macomber’s for the day, while they traveled to and from Boston.

After train service was terminated, a portion of the railroad bed became Damons Point Road. Much of the original railroad bed has been preserved for public access as Marshfield’s Bridle Trail and Rail Trail. The section between the Marshfield Hills station (Summer Street) and the Seaview station (Station Street) does not currently offer public access.

Trail Description

A small pier extends into the North River with a spectacular view.

Suggested paddling excursions from this location (timing is approximate and depends quite a bit on wind, tide, and your own strength and stamina):

• Put your boat in the water a little before ocean high tide and paddle upstream to Cove Creek. Explore the creek and then return downstream to your starting place. (2+ hours)

• Put your boat in the water an hour before ocean high tide and paddle upstream to the Union Street Bridge, then return downstream to your starting place. (2+ hours)

• Put your boat in the water an hour before ocean high tide and paddle downstream to Driftway Conservation Park. Then return to your starting place. (1-2+ hours)

• Stage a second vehicle at Driftway Conservation Park. Return to Damon’s Point and put your boat in the water around the time of ocean high tide, then take a one-way trip to your second vehicle. (1+ hour)

• Stage a second vehicle at Marshfield Launch and put your boat in the water 1-3 hours before ocean high tide, then take a one-way trip with the incoming tide to your second vehicle. (1-2+ hours)

Habitats and Wildlife

Many local species of mammals, fish, and birds can be spotted wandering the river and the river edge. Raccoons, fox, and squirrels can be found in the nearby woodlands and marshes. This is a popular spot to observe migrating shorebirds from June to September. Watch for the occasional harbor seal in the water. Bald eagles nest nearby, so you may see adult or young eagles. Also watch for the peregrine falcons, which sometimes chase terns.

Macombers Creek and Macombers Island are located just east of Damons Point Road. The creek drains to the mouth of the North and South Rivers.

299 Damons Point Rd, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited public on-site parking. Marshfield beach sticker required for most spots.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Facilities:

Benches

Dogs: Yes

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: North River