Forest Trails

Phillips Farm Preserve

Wildlands Trust - Phillips Farm Preserve, Highland St, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA


Owned By: Wildlands Trust

40 acres owned by The Wildlands Trust. Contiguous with several other protected natural areas, the property has trails that connect to Nelson Memorial Forest and Union Street Woodland.

For up-to-date information and real time trail conditions, visit


A trail leads through the woods from the Phillips Farm Preserve to the Union Street Woodland, and then onward into Nelson Memorial Forest. These three properties together provide more than 200 acres of open space and wildlife habitat along the North River in Marshfield. The greenbelt continues across Union Street, with Cornhill Woodland and the John Little Conservation Area. Three additional adjacent properties — Tilden Farm, Cove Creek Nature Area, and Oak Street Woodland — provide another 75 acres of contiguous habitat and open space. Please note that these properties (Tilden, Cove and Oak) are not presently accessible to the public.

Perpendicular to the woodland trail is another trail that begins in the woods and continues across a meadow, terminating at an old stone wall. Here it is easy to imagine what North Marshfield looked like when it was first settled in the 1700s and early 1800s. Relatively speaking, it hasn’t changed much! Stone walls, farmhouses, open fields where livestock still sometime graze . . . all help to retain the village’s rural character.

This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett). To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag and the Herring Pond Wampanoag share information on their websites. 

Trail Description

Well-tended woodland and meadow trails, suitable for walking with your family and/or your dog.

Habitats and Wildlife

Pine, hemlock, and beech are the predominant trees in this woodland. In late July, look for blooming sweet pepper bush. In the fall, as the colors begin to change, the leaves of the tupelos will turn red first, followed by the swamp maples. The shiny leaves and bright red berries of the holly trees stand out especially in winter.

In the woods, watch for birds such as scarlet tanagers, hermit thrushes, red-eyed vireos, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and eastern wood peewees. In the meadow, in the summertime, look for butterflies, bluebirds and tree swallows.

Much of the Phillips Farm Preserve is wetlands and vernal pools, where amphibians thrive. Species like the common toad depend on vernal pools for mating and laying eggs, as do the grey tree frog and the four-toed salamander. The wetlands in this property, as well as a small stream, flow to the North River.

Approximately 10 miles in length, the North River 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.

Wildlands Trust - Phillips Farm Preserve, Highland St, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 40 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Park directly across the street at Cornhill Woodland, or at Union Street Woodland. Pedestrian access via Highland Street.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Bench, informational kiosk, occasional boardwalks.

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: North River watershed

Other Things to Do at This Site