Silver Lake Sanctuary, Barse's Ln, Kingston, MA 02364, USA
Owned By: Town of Kingston
Lakeside property with trails through the woods and along the shore. Check with Kingston Town Hall for possible fishing permits.
Most of the lands within Silver Lake Sanctuary were purchased by the Town of Kingston in 1997, with help from the state. Additional acreage was purchased shortly thereafter. The sanctuary offers a half mile of lake frontage.
In the 1700s, Silver Lake (known as Jones River Pond at the time) was a source of iron ore. About 3,000 tons were removed from the lake bottom! Silver Lake received its current name in the early 1800s as part of a promotion for selling ice harvested there. Ice harvesting extended from 1805-1870. In 1898, state legislation allowed the City of Brockton to adopt Silver Lake as its water supply. The Town of Kingston fought this ruling, but ultimately accepted a settlement of $17,000 for damages to its own water supply system.
From the parking area, there are two trails that lead to different parts of the same loop. To the left, the trail heads quickly up a steep incline, to a ridge that overlooks the lake. Continue along the ridge to the right, up and down some rolling hills, and you will soon arrive at a designated overlook area, with a bench. Just before this is one of two main paths down to the lake shore. If you continue past the overlook, you’ll come to another path to the lake shore. Or continue on the trail to the right, which leads past a pumping station and around a wetland, eventually back to the parking area. An additional trail loop begins at the red barn (in the parking area). Continue along the path immediately to the right of the barn. It leads past some smaller ponds and through woods and wetlands with additional views of Silver Lake, returning eventually to the parking area. Altogether the distance is about 1.3 miles.
The Bay Circuit Trail runs through this property.
Habitats and Wildlife
The forest here is primarily pine, maple, white oak, red and oak and birch. Five species of freshwater mussels are found here, especially the Eastern Pond Mussel. Look for mussel shells along the shores. Endangered species often observed here include eastern box turtle, bald eagle, Mystic Valley amphipod, tidewater bucket, and pink tickseed.
The 640-acre Silver Lake occupies portions of 4 towns: Pembroke, Kingston, Plympton and Halifax. With a maximum depth of 80 feet, it is the principal water supply for Brockton, Whitman and Hanson. Fed by groundwater, as well as seasonal diversions from Monponsett Pond in Halifax and Furnace Pond in Pembroke, it is a major the headwater for the Jones River. The Jones River flows for 7.5 miles through Kingston, and drains into the Atlantic Ocean at Kingston Bay.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 99 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited parking at the end of Barses Lane.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Benches. Pet waste receptacle.
Dogs: Dogs are permitted but must remain on leash at all times. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Jones River watershed