32 New Driftway, Scituate, MA 02066, USA
Owned By: Town of Scituate
The Herring River Trail runs 0.4-miles along a former railroad bed through the marshes to the Herring River. The railroad bed continues through the marshes to the North River, but there is no public access to this section. Stroller-friendly. Continue your walk on the Driftway Multi-Purpose Path, which continues past the James Landing Walkway to Driftway Conservation Park, Widow’s Walk Golf Course, the Scituate Dog Park, and beyond.
From 1871 to the late 1930’s the Old Colony Railroad traveled through Scituate and Marshfield. In 1938 a hurricane severely damaged the tracks, which were subsequently removed. Here, a small portion of the railroad bed has been converted into a bike/walking trail.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.
Nature is reclaiming this former railroad bed. There are now trees and shrubs lining the gravel trail as it leads through the marsh to the Herring River. A couple of old chunks of concrete along the way could be used as benches. The trail is suitable for walking, bicycles, strollers, and some wheelchairs. Immediately adjacent is the Driftway Multi-Purpose Path, a 1.5 mile paved trail where you can extend your journey. Also check out the 0.3-mile James Landing Walkway, which can be accessed from the Multi-Purpose Path. All of this together makes for a nice walk. Or if you really wish to stretch your legs, add the 1.65-mile trail network of Driftway Conservation Park, also accessible from the Multi-Purpose Path.
Habitats and Wildlife
Some of the trees found here include maple, birch, cedar, oak, and pine. Common sightings along this this trail include coyote, fox, squirrel, birds, and reptiles such as the common snapping turtle. Eagles nest nearby.
First Herring Brook finds its source in Scituate in the area west of Route 3A, between First Parish Road and Old Oaken Bucket Road. It flows through the First Herring Brook Reservoir, and downstream to Old Oaken Bucket Pond, passing through two dams. Below the historic Stockbridge Grist Mill, at the Driftway (just upstream of this site), it flows into Herring River, a major tributary to the North River. Herring River flows into the North River near The Spit.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 0.4 miles
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking. Look for the small town-owned lot near #32 Driftway, next to Dunkin Donuts.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Bike storage rack, picnic table at trailhead. Geocache locations.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Herring River (North River watershed)