18 Shipyard Dr, Hingham, MA 02043, USA
Owned By: The Launch at Hingham Shipyard, Hingham Shipyard Marinas
An 0.18-mile concrete walkway along the water’s edge, with gorgeous views of the Back River and Weymouth Neck. It connects the Hingham Shipyard shopping area with Hingham Shipyard Marinas and the MBTA Commuter Boat terminal, and features a series of interpretive signs.
The Hingham Shipyard once stood on this site. It was established as World War II began, and it was truly a bustling place! Before the United States entered the war, it offered to lend many of its naval ships to England. However the vessels were remnants from World War I, and rather outmoded. The Navy designed a new ship, the Destroyer Escort, contracted with Bethlehem Steel to build it, and commissioned a new shipyard where this work would be done. (Bethlehem Steel’s existing shipyards were already working at full capacity.) Hingham’s deep harbor and relative lack of waterfront development made it a prime site.
As 1941 drew to a close, construction teams arrived in Hingham to clear 150 acres of land, erect a steel mill on site, and construct wooden cradles in which the ships would be built. At least 12 cranes were brought to the site as well. Each ship would require more than 1,000 workers. Since most men aged 18+ were heading off to war, many of the workers were either teenagers, or those who were otherwise ineligible to join the military. Bethlehem Steel brought in 400 veteran workers. Close to 15,000 others joined the ranks, including 2500 women. Rather than construct one ship at a time, the shipyard devised an extraordinary mass production system that produced six completed ships per month!
From 1942-1945, a total of 227 warships were built and launched at the Hingham Shipyard. This included 100 Destroyer Escort ships as well as 127 Landing Ship Tanks. A full list of these vessels, including name, number, and launch date, is posted on a series of interpretive signs along the walkway. Numerous British Naval ships were built there as well.
This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.
Follow the Back River Watershed Association for more information about the Weymouth Back River.
Look for the entrance to the walkway next to Alma Nove restaurant, and across the street from Wahlburgers. Walk toward the water, where you’ll find a small plaza with benches and one very large anchor. The walkway extends in both directions for a total of 0.18 miles.
Habitats and Wildlife
The walkway overlooks the Weymouth Back River, which rises from several ponds and swamps, including Whitman’s Pond in Weymouth. It flows for about 10 miles, and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Hingham Bay, just south of Grape Island and Slate Island.
Historic Site: Yes
Boat Launch: No
Size: 0.18 miles
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Ample on-site parking.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Benches, interpretive signage, trash receptacles.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Weymouth Back River