Forest Trails

Pape Reservation

339 King St, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

Town of Cohasset: 781-383-4100

Owned By: Town of Cohasset

The Pape Reservation features a half mile of woodland trails along the western edge of Lily Pond, Cohasset’s drinking water reservoir. The trail passes by several rocky outcroppings as well as a vernal pool. Direct trail access to the Brass Kettle Conservation Area, immediately adjacent.


The Town of Cohasset set aside this land in 1990 and 1993, to protect its drinking water supply. The purchase was funded in part by the Cohasset Conservation Trust, as well as with proceeds from the sale of the Olde Salt House and a contribution from Mrs. A. Week Cook.

Prior to European contact, a band of the Massachusett Native American tribe maintained a village in what is now Cohasset. It was known as Quonahassit — often translated as “long rocky place.” In 1614, while exploring what was known then as the New World, Captain John Smith (1580-1631) landed in “Quonahassit Harbor” to trade for furs. The Quonahassit village was probably in the vicinity of today’s Elm Street, a summer camp for fishing, and for growing corn, beans and squash. The village moved inland during the winter for shelter, and to hunt for deer, turkey and other wildlife. A widespread plague decimated the Quonahassit population shortly after Smith’s visit.

 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 share information on their websites. 

Trail Description

Look for the Pape Reservation sign along the driveway of the Cohasset Water Treatment Plant. A wide trail leads through the woods, along the edge of Lily Pond. The trail is well-maintained, but there are some steep areas, as well as a section with a lot of rocks and/or roots.

After 0.14 miles, there is a triangle intersection. If you continue straight on the Lily Pond Trail, you can walk for another half mile or so along a ridge above the pond, and later at water level. Toward the end of the trail, there are some beautiful water views.

From this trail, you can also access the Brass Kettle Trail, which is an out-and-back. At the triangle, you can also turn right onto the Lily Pond Trail. This leads for about 0.25 miles into the Brass Kettle Conservation Area, where you can access the Great Lot Trail, either (right) to a small parking area on King Street, or (left) through the Brass Kettle property to Whitney & Thayer Woods.

Habitats and Wildlife

The woodlands here are mostly pine, oak, maple, beech, hemlock, and holly. There are numerous rocky outcroppings, many covered with moss and/or lichen.

Lily Pond provides the Town of Cohasset’s drinking water. Brass Kettle Brook flows through it and eventually joins with the Aaron River which flows into the Gulf River in North Scituate. The Gulf River empties into the ocean at Cohasset Harbor.

  • A photograph of a pond as viewed through bare trees.
  • A photograph of a trail through a forest.
  • A photograph of a large pond with trees and shrubs in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a trail through the woods alongside an old stone wall.
  • A photograph of property signs beside an entrance road.
  • A photograph of a pedestrian and two dogs on a partially snow-covered forest trail.
  • A photograph of a pond with shrubbery in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a canoe beside a pond.
  • A photograph of a trail through the woods, overlooking a pond.
  • A photograph of a pond, as viewed through the woods.
  • A photograph of a snowy trail into the woods.
339 King St, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 11 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited parking at the Cohasset Water Treatment Plant at 339 King Street. Pedestrian access via Brass Kettle Conservation Area (small parking area between 265 and 279 King Street).

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Brass Kettle Brook (Gulf River/Cohasset Harbor watershed)

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