625 Main St, Norwell, MA 02061, USA
Owned By: Town of Norwell
Just outside Norwell Center, the combined Fogg Forest and Carleton Property provide 154 acres of contiguous conservation land, and at least 2 miles of trails. Look for the trailhead at rear of the field, at the edge of the woods. In the forest, you’ll find a mix of white pine, oak, beech, and maple, plus views of Trout Brook.
This property is named for the Fogg Family. You’ll see their names on the large rock at the trailhead. The parcel was donated to the Town of Norwell in 1972 by Isabella and Helen Fogg, in honor of their husbands, Horace and Faulkner, with the aim of providing and protecting habitat for wildlife. Old stone walls remind us that these woods were once farmland. Deep within the property, near the stream, look for concrete remnants from the days when there was a manmade pond here. The Carleton Property was acquired by the town of Norwell in 2019, adding over 100 acres to the conservation parcel.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.
The trails here are generally clear and well marked. To find the main trailhead, look for the large rock at the rear of the field. This leads to an approx. 1-mile loop trail. One spur trail (FF5) leads to private property and some llamas after about 1/3 mile. Another spur trail, (FF3) features several small bridges and stream crossings, exiting after about 0.35 miles to Central Ave. Yet another spur trail leads into the Carleton Property, where there is an additional 1-mile loop with its own spur trails. Pedestrian access is also available from Central Street.
Habitats and Wildlife
In a white pine and oak forest like Fogg, you are very likely to see squirrels frolicking among the branches of the trees overhead. You might also catch a glimpse of mice, shrews, and chipmunks. Look for white tail deer at dawn and dusk, especially in the field.
Common bird sightings in this type of forest include Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, and Red-tailed Hawk. Watch for wild turkeys too. They can be especially captivating in the spring, when the males (aka “toms”) puff themselves up to attract a mate.
Fogg Forest is especially appealing in the late spring, when the rhododendron that grow there are in bloom. In season, there is also a lot of fern. Beech trees are a common sight as well.
Trout Brook Flows through the rear section of Fogg Forest. It is part of the Second Herring Brook watershed.
Second Herring Brook originates north of Cross Street in Norwell and flows south through Turner Pond and Torrey Pond. Below Torrey Pond, it is joined by Trout Brook. Second Herring Brook continues through Norwell Center and the Norris Reservation, and then empties into the North River.
The North River rises from marshes and springs in Weymouth, Rockland and Hanson. It is approximately 10 miles in length, with its source at the confluence of the Indian Head River (Hanover) and Herring Brook (Pembroke). From there it flows through the towns of Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Norwell, and Scituate to the Atlantic Ocean between Third and Fourth Cliffs, draining approximately 59,000 acres along the way.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 154 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: On-site parking. Drive along the right side of the field and park at the rear of the field. Additional pedestrian access from Central Street.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Benches in various locations, 2 picnic tables in the field. Mailbox containing maps. Geocache locations.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Trout Brook (North River watershed)