Hobart St, Hingham, MA 02043, Hingham, MA 02043, USA
Owned By: Town of Hingham
A hilltop meadow and a network of trails around Brewer Pond are just some of the features of this 112-acre Hingham Conservation property. Combined with Brewer Reservation across the street, there are nearly 5 miles of trails and carriage paths to explore here. Consider Brewer Pond for ice skating in the winter.
Francis Brewer was the son of John R. Brewer, who maintained a farm at World’s End in the 1800s. In 1884, Francis began purchasing grazing land of his own in this area, then known as Great Hill. He married, established a sheep farm, constructed a home, and raised a family here. In 1921, the poet Brookes More purchased the estate. His daughter Katherine More would eventually marry Dr. Wilmon Brewer, the son of Francis. In 1980, they donated 107 acres of their Great Hill estate to the Hingham Conservation Commission. The Estate of Gertrud Higgins donated another 5 acres in 2006.
The stone foundation of the estate’s (c. 1889) great barn still remains on the property. In addition, along the trail through Bear Swamp, look for the remains of a foundation that was once a cottage inhabited by Bootleg Charlie. Brookes More wrote a poem about him.
According to Looking Backward by Wilmon Brewer, Francis Brewer was especially interested in trees. In 1880, he established the Hingham Tree Association, a tree nursery at the corner of Hobart and New Bridge Streets. He led an effort to plan linden trees and Norway maples at various spots around town, and is known as the town’s first Tree Warden. His intention was to plant all of the species that could grow in Hingham’s climate. Within the park, you will see various trees with numbers posted upon them. These are some of Brewer’s original plantings. A guide posted at the kiosk near the park entrance identifies these trees.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.
Spring turkey and fall deer bow hunting are allowed, by Special Permit only, through the Hingham Conservation Commission.
From the parking area, follow the trail into the woods. Just beyond the informational kiosk, you have options. Climb to the grassy hilltop portion of the property, or bear to the left to follow an old carriage road to Brewer Pond and the forest/wetland section of the property. Both are very appealing! Another pond, Ice House Pond, is more remote.
The hilltop trail loop extends for 0.5 mile. The trail network by the pond offers various loop options plus spur trails to Old Hobart Street, the South Shore Country Club and the Fresh River. There are 2-3 miles of trails in this section, a combination of old carriage roads and narrower footpaths. Some are lined with gravel.
Habitats and Wildlife
The forest here is predominantly pine, with some larch, oak, maple, dogwood, pitch pine, birch, and cedar. In addition to the woodlands, there is a large hilltop meadow, plus some wetlands and streams. Within the park, you will see various trees with numbers posted upon them. These are some of Francis Brewer’s original plantings. A guide posted at the kiosk near the park entrance identifies these trees.
Brewer Pond is manmade. Its waters, as well as those of the wetlands that surround it, flow into the Fresh River. The Fresh River joins with the Mill River/Herring Run Brook in Weymouth, and flows into the Weymouth Back River.
The Weymouth Back River rises from several ponds and swamps, including Whitman’s Pond in Weymouth. It flows for about 10 miles, and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Hingham Bay, just south of Grape Island and Slate Island. Follow the Back River Watershed Association for more information about the Weymouth Back River.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 112 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: On-site parking along Hobart Street.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Informational kiosk, trash receptacles, benches. Geocache location.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Fresh River (Weymouth Back River watershed)