67 Bridge St, Norwell, MA 02061, USA
Owned By: Town of Norwell
The Union Street Bridge spans the North River from Union Street in Marshfield to Bridge Street in Norwell. On the Norwell side, there is a Town Landing with a ramp for boats (residents only). This is also the starting line for the NSRWA’s annual Great River Race. On the Marshfield side, there is a launch for canoes and kayaks. On the water in this area, be aware of swift currents and low bridge clearance.
Tide Math: High tide at the Norwell Town Landing is about 60-90 minutes after the Boston high tide. Set off from here to go clamming!
The shellfish beds in both the North and South Rivers are typically open from November 1 to May 31st.
• As of November 1, 2023 the South River shellfish beds are open for the season!
• As of November 7, 2023, the North River shellfish beds have been cleared for opening.
Please visit our Shellfishing page for maps and permit info.
According to Old Time Anecdotes of the North River and the South Shore by Joseph Foster Merritt, for a few short years beginning in 1893, the North River Boat Club stood immediately adjacent to this site. This was a social club, with races, dances, dinners, and other entertainment held through much of the year. The clubhouse measured 20 x 30 feet, with an awning-covered 10-foot platform in the front, and a narrower platform along the sides. There was a float moored in the river, to which sailboats, rowboats and canoes could pull up. The club ceased to operate after the 1898 Portland Gale, when increased tidal flooding required its boat house to be moved to Winter Street.
The remains of a North River ferry boat are visible from the northern bank of the river, just upstream from here on the Norwell side, at dead low tide. (Water access only.)
The landings on both sides of the Union Street Bridge are ideal places to launch your canoe or kayak. Be aware that there is a tide delay — 1 to 1.5 hours after the Boston high tide.
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. They are known as the Mattakeesett Tribe of the Massachusett Indian Nation , the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
No trails. Suggested paddling excursions from this location are listed below. Timing is approximate and depends quite a bit on wind, tide, and your own strength and stamina.
• Put your boat in the water around the time of ocean low tide and paddle downstream to Cove Creek. Explore the creek and then return with the rising tide upstream to your starting place. (2+ hours)
• Put your boat in the water about 1 hours before ocean low tide and paddle downstream to Damon’s Point and the North River estuary. Then ride the rising tide back upstream to your starting place. (2.5+ hours)
• Put your boat in the water 1-2 hours before ocean high tide and head upstream to Couch Beach. Stretch your legs at Couch Beach and then return with the slack/receding tide. (3+ hours)
• Stage a second vehicle at Damon’s Point or Driftway Conservation Park. Return to Marshfield Launch and put your boat in the water 2-3 hours after ocean high tide, then take a one-way trip with the outgoing tide to your second vehicle. (1-2 hours)
• Stage a second vehicle at Pembroke Town Forest or Hanover Public Launch. Return to Marshfield Launch and put your boat in the water 2-4 hours before ocean high tide, then take a cone-way trip with the incoming tide to your second vehicle. (3-4+ hours)
Habitats and Wildlife
This property is located directly on 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: Yes
Hours: 8 am - 8 pm. To access earlier in the morning call town of Norwell.
Parking: Limited on-site parking for Norwell residents. Green Norwell recycling sticker required.
Cost: Free with Norwell sticker.
Bench, concrete boat launch ramp, informational kiosk.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: Yes
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: North River