Marshfield Town Pier

100 Central St, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Marshfield Harbormaster: 781-834-8298

Owned By: Town of Marshfield

The Marshfield Town Pier is situated on a busy commercial harbor. Launch your boat from the public ramp, fish from the pier, or just sit and watch the fishing boats. The property is also home to the Marshfield Harbormaster.


Most of Marshfield’s commercial fishing fleet is based here. These are primarily inshore lobster boats, some of which fish for tuna during the season.

Some Green Harbor history: Ever since the Pilgrims settled in Marshfield, there have been efforts to improve the Green Harbor River’s navigability. In 1633, a canal was dug to better connect the river to the bay. In 1636, this canal was widened and deepened per order of the court.

The original mouth of the Green Harbor River, which was located on the Marshfield/Duxbury line, more than a half mile south of the present mouth, was closed by a storm in 1806. The present mouth opened in 1810, probably via the combined effects of nature and manpower.

According to Joseph C. Hagar’s Marshfield, 70’40” W, 42’5” N: The Autobiography of a Pilgrim Town, in 1806, a group of Marshfield landowners successfully petitioned the court for permission to dig a more direct canal from Green Harbor to Duxbury Bay. Known today as the Cut River, this canal flowed through the marshes and meadows behind Green Harbor Beach, and out to sea near present-day Canal Street on the Duxbury line. But soon after the canal was complete a November storm closed off its mouth completely.

An even more direct outlet was cut in 1810 – and remains to this day. While prior attempts to improve the river’s navigability had been permitted — or even decreed — by the court, this was a case of townspeople taking matters into their own hands. Hagar’s writes, “This labor was done under cover of night and about forty men were engaged in the undertaking.” (This was not an uncommon practice – similar attempts were made to improve the outlet for the North River.)

By eliminating the narrow last leg of the river, the 1810 cut dramatically increased the incoming tidal flow to the Green Harbor River. This was a boon to local fishermen, as it improved the harbor’s navigability. However the owners of farms bordering the river saw things differently. The increase in both the volume and the frequency of saltwater flooding to their lands was a big problem, as crops don’t like salt water.

So in 1871, a group of farmers petitioned the court to construct a dike, or tide gate, that would block the flow of saltwater upstream, and create more arable land. The dike was constructed in 1872, with the condition that “Should shoaling take place above the level of mean low water in the channel in consequence of dike construction, it was to be removed by the Marsh proprietors.” Shoaling did occur, and thus began the “Brant Rock Dike Feud.” Read all about it on our blog.

This land is within the region of the Wampanoag. To learn more about local Native American tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag and the Herring Pond Wampanoag share information on their websites.

Trail Description

The Harbor Walk, a concrete walkway (much like a sidewalk) extends for 0.8 miles from the Town Pier along the edge of the marsh to Harbor Park, the parking area for Brant Rock Beach, Peter Igo Park, and the Green Harbor Marina. A spur connects to the Brant Rock Esplanade.

Habitats and Wildlife

The Marshfield Town Pier is located on Green Harbor, at the mouth of the Green Harbor River. A short channel connects it to the open ocean.

The Green Harbor River finds its source in springs and ponds in Duxbury. It twists and turns through Marshfield via large cranberry bog complex, the Green Harbor Golf Club, the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, property owned by the Marshfield Municipal Airport and Peter Igo Park. Just downstream of the Dyke Road bridge (and dike) it flows into Green Harbor.

  • A photograph of a town pier with several small boats tied up to a dock.
  • A photograph of a several fishing boats in a harbor, viewed from a deck with a wooden railing.
  • A photograph of a long wooden walkway beside a harbor.
  • A photograph of fishing boats on a harbor.
  • A photograph of a harbormaster headquarters with three flags on a flagpole.
  • A photograph of a paved boat ramp leading to a harbor.
  • A photograph of a harbormaster headquarters.
  • A photograph of a working town pier on a harbor.
  • A photograph of a kayak storage rack beside a harbor.
  • A photograph of boats on a harbor.
  • A photograph of a harbor with a pier and numerous boats.
  • A photograph of a boat ramp on a harbor with a pay station.
  • A photograph of a large wooden pier at sunset.
  • A photograph of a stone memorial beside a harbor.
  • A photograph of boats on a harbor at sunset.
100 Central St, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

Size: 4.24 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Large public parking area at Central Ave. and Joseph Driebeek Way.

Cost: Daily boat launch rate. Annual passes available from Harbormaster.

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Public launch ramp, pumpout, restrooms, kayak storage rack.

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

Boat Ramp: Yes

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Green Harbor River/Atlantic Ocean

Other Things to Do at This Site