83 Wapping Rd, Kingston, MA 02364, USA
Owned By: Town of Kingston
77 acres along Spring Brook and the Jones River with 2 miles of established trails, four bridges and a boardwalk. Entrance road may not be suitable for all vehicles. Contiguous with Kingston’s Three Rivers Basin and Cranberry Watershed Preserve (but only on the map — not by trails, … yet).
The access road to this property may not be suitable for all vehicles. Please proceed with caution!
The Town of Kingston used surplus funds and a state Self-Help Grant to purchase the property from Isaac Hathaway in 1996. Farther back in time, in the mid-1700s Steven Bradford, the grandson of Governor William Bradford, was granted rights to the property and a section of the Jones River. Back then it was called Steven Bradford’s Privilege, referring to the sawmill the family operated on the northerly branch of the river. While the sawmill ceased operations around 1900, you can see evidence of it from one of the bridges. Look for cut granite blocks lining the sluiceway.
The Bradford family also made red-ware pottery, using iron-rich clay, extracted from a vernal pool on site. The foundation from a kiln has been documented on site as well, and shards of red clay were found while constructing the boardwalk over Spring Brook (late 1990s). These areas are now environmentally-protected wetlands. Please do not attempt to dig clay on your own! (Source: Wicked Local “Follow Kingston’s Rivers Through Hathaway Preserve;” October 24, 2010.)
The Patuxet, members of the Wampanoag tribe, made their home in the area now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth. Numerous artifacts have been found throughout the region surrounding the Jones River.
Four trails extend from the access road. On the map, they are marked in red, blue, green and orange. On the property itself, look for the small metal squares that mark the trails. The blue trail begins at the parking area. Heading away from the entrance road, it eventually comes to an intersection with the white/orange trail, which goes off to the left. This is a 0.3-mile out-and-back trail that leads to the Jones River. It crosses Spring Brook and includes a boardwalk which is somewhat in disrepair, but still passable.
The blue trail continues through a power easement to an intersection with the red trail, which forms a loop back to the parking area. However there is also a short spur at the end of the blue trail that leads to a different spot on the Jones River. Here you’ll find three bridges. Two are easily passable, but the third and final bridge is broken. Adventurous visitors may wish to try crossing the river on the two wide wooden planks that have been placed over the bridge. However it’s worth noting that the trail ends soon after the river crossing. Rest assured that you won’t miss much if you turn back after enjoying the river view! (The total distance on the blue trail from the parking area through the blue/red intersection, and across the final bridge, is just over 0.5 miles). Also along this spur is an intersection with the yellow trail, which takes a wider arc back to the access road. In addition, a section of the Bay Circuit Trail runs through this property. It is marked in white.
Habitats and Wildlife
Some of the wildlife commonly found here include eastern box turtles, great blue herons, little blue herons, woodpeckers, kingfishers, mockingbirds and chickadees. Also, white-tailed deer, red fox, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, cottontail rabbits, and bats. Listen for spring peepers in the wetland areas, and look for red-backed and spotted salamanders in the vernal pool.
The woodland here is mostly pine, with some oak, maple and yellow birch. There are also occasional beech trees. Most of this property is upland forest, but there are some wetlands areas as well. Spring Brook flows through this property, as well as a 1.2 mile stretch of the Jones River. The Jones River finds its source at Silver Lake and other brooks and springs in Pembroke, Halifax and Kingston. It flows for 7.5 miles through Kingston, and drains into the Atlantic Ocean at Kingston Bay just downstream of this property.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 77 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: The entrance is located on the northern side of Wapping Road (Route 106) along a line of cedar trees just north and west of the cranberry bogs. Follow the dirt road over the hill and then look for the parking area. Be advised that there is two-way traffic on narrow entrance road. Proceed with caution!
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Informational kiosk in parking area.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Spring Brook, Jones River