Folly Hill and Bog Iron Trails

519 Broadway, Hanover, MA 02339, USA

Owned By: Town of Hanover

130 acres of Hanover Conservation and water protection land, with 3.6 miles of trails and the occasional footbridge. Wooded trails lead around an extensive network of former cranberry bogs. Iron Mine Brook runs through this property.  The eastern side includes some town Water Protection facilities as well as at least one vernal pool.

Pedestrian entrances on Willow Road, Beechtree Road, and the Legion Senior Housing Complex. Additional trailheads with parking at the Water Department land on Broadway, and behind both the Lutheran Church of the Cross and the Hanover Police station on Rockland Street.


According to Hanover Historian Barbara Barker’s “Focus on History,” Folly Hill takes its name from “Hanover’s Folly,” a phrase attributed to Captain John Cushing that came into local parlance when today’s Rockland Street was constructed in the early 1860s. The new road provided a more direct connection between Four Corners and the town center, updating the old route from Washington Street, to Old Hanover Street, to the Drinkwater Road (today’s Hanover Street/Route 139). But this new road led up a steep hill…not so much an issue today as it would have been in the days of horses and buggies!

Look for a fallen chimney, the last remains of a long-vanished house in the western corner of the property.

The Single Path, named for Pastor Paul Single from Hanover’s Lutheran Church of the Cross (1969-1981), was added to the property in 2014, with the help of Eagle Scout Christian Lyttle, and officially dedicated in 2019. Single — who was blind — lived on Karen Road and would walk with his seeing-eye dog through the woods to the church along this path.

According to Hanover Conservation, the brook that flows through this property was identified as Trout Brook on 1848 and 1849 maps, and retained that name until 1976. It then became known as Iron Mine Brook, a name it carries to this day. This can be cause for confusion, especially when reading history books. A different brook, a short distance west, was identified as Iron Mine Brook on an 1848 map and retained that name going forward … but then lost its name entirely in 1976! To this day, it bears no name. Both brooks flow into the Indian Head River.

This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.

Trail Description

This property includes 3.6 miles of intersecting loop trails, with numerous spurs to private property. A map is recommended!

Habitats and Wildlife

The forest here is predominantly pine, with the occasional oak and some holly, birch, beech and maple. Look for wild blueberries in the summer. There are wetlands around Iron Mine Brook and at least one vernal pool. Can you discern the naturally occurring streams from those cut by cranberry farmers in centuries past?

Iron Mine Brook is a tributary to the Indian Head River, which joins with Herring Brook on the Hanover/Pembroke line to form the North River. The North River is approximately 10 miles in length. 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.

519 Broadway, Hanover, MA 02339, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 130 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Access and roadside parking via Willow Road, Beechtree Road, and the Legion Senior Housing Complex. Additional access with parking at the Water Department land on Broadway, the Lutheran Church on Rockland Street, and the Hanover Police Station.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Iron Mine Brook (North River watershed)

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