553 Center St, Hanover, MA 02339, USA
Owned By: Town of Hanover
Just under a mile of trails through the woods, across Torrey Brook, and along an old railroad bed with links to two other small trail networks.
This trail network includes a 0.4-mile section of the former Hanover Branch Railroad. The Hanover Branch Railroad extended 7.8 miles from Hanover Four Corners, through South and West Hanover, across Rockland, to North Abington, where it connected with the Old Colony Railroad to Plymouth. Incorporated in 1846, and constructed over the better part of the next 20 years, it officially opened for service in 1868.
E. Y. Perry, who operated a large tack factory in South Hanover, was largely responsible for the creation of the railway. He also owned a general store (now Myette’s) and constructed the building in South Hanover that for many years housed a series of a shoe factories – Goodrich, Cochran, and Shanley — and part of the Clapp Rubber Company. The railway facilitated the transport of materials and finished products to and from these and other businesses, and also offered passenger service. Amusingly, in its latter years, when the businesses along its route had shut down, it continued to carried passengers, . . . but only by self-propelled cars! The Old Colony Railroad absorbed the Hanover Branch in 1887. In 1893, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad took over the lease. Railroad service had dwindled significantly by the 1930s.
If you begin at the parking area, you can follow a red-blazed Hanover Conservation trail into the woods, to access the trails at the Hanover Senior Center as well as Torrey Brook. If you follow the green-blazed Hanover Conservation trail, you will soon arrive at a long straight stretch of trail — what was once a railroad bed. To the north (left), you can continue to Myrtle Field, and the green-blazed Myrtle Street Trail, which continues both to Samoset Drive, and to the Hanover Senior Center Trails network. To the south (right), the railroad bed continues through the woods to the Tindale Bog trail network.
Habitats and Wildlife
The woods here are primarily pine, with oak, beech and maple and lots of fern. Torrey Brook, a tributary to the Drinkwater River, flows through the property. The Drinkwater River flows into the Indian Head River, a major tributary to the North River.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking near 526 Center Street. Look for the Nava-Stasiluk Conservation Area sign.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Bridges and boardwalks in the wetland areas.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: North River watershed