88 Masthead Dr, Norwell, MA 02061, USA
Owned By: Town of Norwell
This 0.4-mile trail extends through the woods to the North River just west of the Route 3 Bridge. Don’t miss the view of the North River at the end of the trail. Just downstream is a historic site known as Bald Hills/Stetson Shipyard. It is also the location of the Route 3 Bridge.
The trail is maintained by Norwell Conservation. It runs directly behind the rest area on Route 3 southbound. The highway is visible at times through the trees, and also quite audible! At the end of the trail there are three separate overlooks on the North River. All three would be suitable for swimmers. Rope swings are known to be present at this spot but their presence (and safety) is unreliable.
An archaeological excavation conducted from 1962-1965 on or close to this property at “The Oak Island Site” revealed numerous artifacts from the early Archaic period through the 17th century.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) and Wampanoag Native American tribes.
Park in the cue de sac at the end of Masthead Drive. Look for the trailhead, just behind the storm drain grate. The trail is marked with a single white Norwell Conservation blaze. Follow the trail up and down a couple of small drumlin hills and across a small stream (there is a bridge). At the fork, you can go right to access the first North River overlook, where there is a bit of a drop to the water’s edge. Or go left to access two additional overlooks, closer to water level. Total trail distance is about 0.4 miles.
Habitats and Wildlife
The forest here is primarily pine, with some beech, maple, oak, hemlock, plus ferns and sweet pepper bush. The end of the trail directly abuts the North River.
The North River rises from marshes and springs in Weymouth, Rockland and Hanson. It is approximately 10 miles in length, with its source at the confluence of the Indian Head River (Hanover) and Herring Brook (Pembroke). From there it flows through the towns of Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Norwell, and Scituate to the Atlantic Ocean between Third and Fourth Cliffs, draining approximately 59,000 acres along the way.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: Trail is 0.4 miles in length.
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited parking in the cue de sac at the end of Masthead Drive.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: North River watershed