Paved Trails

Norwell Pathway

Donovan Fields, Circuit St, Norwell, MA 02061, USA

Norwell Pathway Committee: (781) 659-8021

Owned By: Town of Norwell

A 3.5-mile network of paved walking/cycling trails, sidewalks and boardwalks, the Norwell Pathway provides an alternative to crossing town via Route 123. Along the way, it connects Norwell High School, Norwell Middle School, Norwell Community Gardens, the Donovan-Wildcat Conservation Area, Miller WoodsGaffield Park, Norwell Town Center, and the Norris Reservation. Stroller- and wheelchair-friendly.


The Norwell Pathway is also known as the Bicycle & Pedestrian Path.

This land is within the region of the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk) Native American tribe. For thousands of years, the land that today is known as Norwell was inhabited by indigenous people who grew crops, foraged, hunted, and fished in the Assinippi and North River areas. Circa 1617, a major outbreak of disease decimated an estimated 90% of the native population in New England, including the Massachusett and Wampanoag tribes that inhabited the South Shore. There are still descendants of these original inhabitants living here today.

 To learn more about local Native American tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett, and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag, both share information on their websites.

Trail Description

New access to the Norwell Pathway from the downtown area was added in the 2020s. Look for the sidewalk by the First Parish Church.

One way to access the Norwell Pathway is from Gaffield Park, the playground at the corner of Forest and River Streets. The Pathway is essentially a sidewalk along Forest Street, but it’s a nice sidewalk! The Pathway crosses Forest Street twice – before Miller Woods and a short distance after it.

After the intersection with Circuit and Pleasant Streets, it becomes a true cycling and walking trail. Wider than the sidewalk, with marked lanes, The Pathway continues to the Middle School complex. Along the way, it skirts the edge of the Donovan fields and the Norwell Community Gardens, where there is also a large parking area and trail access. Next, it snakes through woods and wetlands, and even over streams (thanks to some beautifully-built boardwalks).

Eventually The Pathway emerges at the far edge of some of the town’s soccer and lacrosse fields, continues past the Transfer Station, and dips back into the woods for its final leg. Additional boardwalks and paved sections lead to Cushing Hill Road, a residential street that intersects with South Street. Across the road and down a short distance is Norwell’s high school/library complex.

Habitats and Wildlife

The Norwell Pathway extends through the watersheds of Third Herring Brook, Margaret’s Brook, and Second Herring Brook, all of which drain to the North River.

The North River, approximately 10 miles in length, begins 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. It empties into the Atlantic Ocean between Third and Fourth Cliffs, draining approximately 59,000 acres along the way.

  • A photograph of a paved trail through a grassy area bordered by trees.
  • A photograph of a paved trail through a forested area, with painted arrows.
  • A photograph of a paved trail, a bench, and a boardwalk, all within a forest.
  • A photograph of a boardwalk through a woodland.
  • A photograph of a boardwalk through a woodland.
  • A photograph of a boardwalk leading to athletic fields.
Donovan Fields, Circuit St, Norwell, MA 02061, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 3.5 miles

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Park at Gaffield Park, Miller Woods, Donovan/Wildcat Conservation Area, Norwell Middle School or Norwell High School.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Geocache locations. Occasional benches.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Second Herring Brook and Third Herring Brook (North River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site