139 Thicket St, Weymouth, MA 02190, USA
Owned By: Town of Weymouth
This quiet property features a 1-mile trail network through the woods and along the shore of Great Pond. Please note that dogs are prohibited from this property, in order to protect the town’s public water supply.
The Great Pond Trail connects the Richard E Gifford Playground (aka Gifford Park) with Negus Park, and extends along the edge of the town’s public water supply. To protect the quality of the drinking water, fishing, boating and swimming are prohibited here, as are dogs. Look for some large glacial erratic boulders at the property’s center, and don’t miss the views of the pond itself!
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe. A circa-1500 B.C.E. dugout canoe was discovered in 1965, partially buried in the shoreline of Great Pond. Likely an artifact of the Massachuseuk indigenous tribe, the canoe at Tufts Library in Weymouth, adjacent to Weston Park. Additional artifacts (tools and a fire pit) were unearthed nearby in 2023, during the construction of the new Tri-Town Water Treatment plant. Work was temporarily halted at the site, to allow three tribal groups and an archaeology consultant to consider next steps.
Look for the trailhead at the rear of Gifford Playground. It heads into the woods and across some wetlands, with two boardwalks traversing the damper areas. There are options here — some trails stay close to the pond, and others extend through the woods, closer to the residential areas bordering the property. You can walk just over a mile to Negus Park, and then perhaps choose different trail options on your return trip. The trail is wide and flat at times, and more rugged at others, but generally clear and easy to follow. It is blazed in yellow.
Habitats and Wildlife
The woods here are primarily beech and pine, with some oak, maple, hemlock, yellow birch, and holly.
Great Pond provides drinking water for the Town of Weymouth. It is part of the Weymouth Back River watershed, with its waters flowing northeast toward Whitman’s Pond and the Weymouth Back River.
The Weymouth Back River rises from several ponds and swamps, including Whitman’s Pond. It flows for about 10 miles, and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Hingham Bay, just south of Grape Island and Slate Island.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 1.1 mile
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Ample parking at Gifford Playground and at Negus Park.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Boardwalks, informational kiosks.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Weymouth Back River watershed