Owned By: Town of Pembroke
33 acres of conservation land owned by the Town of Pembroke. Includes a canoe/kayak launch. Note: the launch area can be muddy/slippery at lower tides.
Tide Math: High tide at the Pembroke Town Forest is about 2.5-3 hours after the Boston high tide.
There are no established walking trails here. However, it’s the perfect spot to launch a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Be sure to make note of your surroundings before you depart. From the water, the landing area is not easy to spot. Whether you paddle upstream or downstream, this is a lovely section of the river to explore.
Tide adjustment: add 2.5 to 3 hours to the Boston high tide. So if it’s high tide at Boston at noon, it will be high tide at the Pembroke Town Forest around 2:30 pr 3pm. Be aware that at lower tides, this area can be quite muddy and slippery.
Prior to European contact, the Mattakeeset band of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe lived for thousands of years in the North River watershed. Their village included most of today’s Pembroke and Hanson. The word “Mattakeeset” means “place of many fish.”
No trails, but here are some suggestions for paddling excursions (Timing is approximate and depends quite a bit on wind, tide, and your own strength and stamina.):
• Put your kayak in the water at ocean high tide or within an hour after. Paddle downstream to Route 3 while the tide is relatively slack, and and then return to Pembroke Town Forest with the incoming tide. (2+ hours total)
• Put your kayak in the water at ocean high tide or within 1-2 hours after. Paddle upstream to the Washington Street Bridge, and and then return to Pembroke Town Forest as the tide begins to recede. (2+ hours total)
• Put your kayak in the water an hour before ocean high tide. Paddle downstream, continuing past Route 3 to Couch Beach. Enjoy some rest at Couch Beach and then return to Pembroke Town Forest as the tide begins to rise. (4+ hours total)
• Put your kayak in the water at ocean high tide or within an hour after. Paddle upstream, continuing past the Washington Street Bridge to the upper reaches of the North River, including Herring Brook at the Indian Head River, and then return to Pembroke Town Forest as the tide begins to recede. (3+ hours total)
• Stage a second vehicle at the Hanover Public Launch. Return to Pembroke Town Forest and put your kayak in the water 1-3 hours after the ocean high tide. Enjoy a one-way excursion to Hanover, with views along the way of Fox Hill Shipyard, Third Herring Brook, the Washington Street Bridge, and Herring Brook. (2+ hours total)
• Stage a second vehicle at the Marshfield Launch at Union Street Bridge. Return to Pembroke Town Forest and put your kayak in the water 2-3 hours after the ocean high tide. Enjoy a one-way excursion to Marshfield, with views along the way of Route 3, Couch Beach, and various historic shipyards. (3+ hours total)
Habitats and Wildlife
The property is located directly on 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.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 33 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking. Follow Brick Kiln Lane past all of the houses. The dirt road continues through the woods. Look for a road that heads down toward the river (to the right). At the end is a small parking area and a launch site for canoes and kayaks.
Trail Difficulty: No trails.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: North River