Forest Trails

Lapham Woods

875 Tremont St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Duxbury Rural and Historical Society: 781-934-6106

Owned By: Duxbury Rural and Historical Society

Lapham Woods is an iconic stretch of woodland that protects the scenic approach to Duxbury’s Town Hall and First Parish Church. It extends along both sides of Depot Street and contains 1.36 miles of trails.


Located at the corner of Tremont and Depot Streets, this woodland was acquired with two purchases by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, in 1931 and 1952. It is named for one of the families who sold the property to the DRHS.

On the east side of the property is the Smith Family tomb, maintained by the Duxbury’s Cemetery Department. The Smith family farm was located across Depot Street. Benjamin Smith was a master mariner and captain of some of the largest ships in the Weston fleet.

This land is within the region of the Patuxet Wampanoag tribe, who for centuries have inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth. To learn more about local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag and the Herring Pond Wampanoag share information on their websites.

Trail Description

Lapham Woods is intended for conservation purposes, but there are some trails available to the public. The DRHS does not provide any warranty on the use or safety of these trails. Most trails are marked with red blazes.

There are several trailheads. One is very close to Boomer Square, on the east side of Depot Street. The trail, which is narrow but relatively clear, extends along the perimeter of the property, with additional trailheads on Surplus Street and at the intersection of Depot and Surplus. This route, including the walk back to the starting point along Depot Street is about 0.6 miles. Some areas are very rooty — step carefully!

On the west side of the property, Depot Street offers an additional trailhead. It begins as a narrow path, but merges with an old cart path that extends along the southern edge of the property, all the way to Prior Farm Road and Tremont Street. Off the cart path (about halfway) is an additional trail that heads north, almost to Tremont Street, and then continues back to the original entrance trail. Altogether, this loop (with the out & back to Prior Farm Road) is about 0.9 miles.

Habitats and Wildlife

This is primarily a pine forest, with red oak, white oak, holly, maple, beech and birch. There is an abundance of young pine. Duxbury maintains a public water supply within the eastern part of the property. Ferns and moss-covered logs are a common sight. The property drains to the Bluefish River.

The Bluefish River originates in ponds and springs between Duxbury’s Station & Washington Streets and Partridge Road, and flows north, parallel to the coast, to the Cushman Preserve. From there, it turns east, passing the Reynolds-Maxwell Garden and flowing under Washington Street, where it opens up into a broad estuary. The Bluefish River merges with the Duxbury Back River in Duxbury Bay.

  • A photograph of a trailhead and a small property sign.
  • A photograph of a bench alongside a trail in a wooded setting.
  • A photograph of a cart path extending along the edge of a pine forest.
  • A photograph of a trail through a pine forest.
  • A photograph of a trail through a pine forest.
  • A photograph of a trail through a pine forest on a sunny day.
  • A photograph of a narrow trail extending among young, closely-packed pine trees.
  • A photograph of a trail through a pine forest on a snowy day.
875 Tremont St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 36 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited roadside parking on Surplus Street and Prior Farm Road.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy



Dogs: Dogs are permitted but must remain on leash or under control at all times. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Bluefish River (Duxbury Back River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site