Grassy Walks

Swanson Meadow

1002Summer St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Town of Duxbury: 781-934-1100

Owned By: Town of Duxbury

Swanson Meadow in Duxbury is a conversation property with open fields surrounded by woodlands, featuring some old stone walls and foundations.


This small property is located on Route 53. If you’re traveling north, look for the sign on the left side, just after the Keene Street intersection. The town owns most of the field, as well as much of the woodland on both sides. Swanson Family members still own adjacent land.

According to the Duxbury Conservation Commission, the Swanson Family owned land on both sides of Route 53. In 1930, when Route 53 was constructed, the property was cut in half, but the family convinced the state to create a “cow tunnel” to connect pasture areas on both sides of the road. The town acquired the land via gifts from there family as well as by purchase, with the goal of reconnecting and preserving the lots.

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. Meanwhile the Patuxet band of the Wampanoag tribe inhabited the Jones River watershed, and the area now known as Kingston, Plymouth and Duxbury. This property lies within the upper portion of the South River watershed — right between those two territories. It’s possible that both tribes utilized the area.

To learn more about local Native American tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag, the Herring Pond Wampanoag, the Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett, and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag all share information on their websites.

Trail Description

No trails, but there are open fields to explore. Please be mindful of private property.

Habitats and Wildlife

Grassy open fields surrounded by woodlands with cedar, oak, maple, pine and holly, plus one large rhododendron. The northern field has some wet areas close to the road. The property lies within the watershed of Phillips Brook, a tributary to the South River.

The South River originates deep in Duxbury. Its source is in the Round Pond area, and from there it winds unobtrusively through the woods for several miles. Although one can view it from Route 3, and also from both the South River Bog and the Camp Wing Conservation Area, it remains a narrow and mostly un-navigable stream until just below Veterans Memorial Park. From there it flows through South River Park, behind the playground of South River School, and under the Willow Street and Francis Keville Bridges. Wider at that point, and navigable at most tides, its course winds through the marshes as it runs parallel to Route 139, all the way to Rexhame. From there the river turns northward. It flows for 3 miles between Humarock and the mainland to Fourth Cliff, where it joins the North River at its outlet to the sea.

  • A photograph of a property sign on a field bordered with woods.
  • A photograph of an old stone wall between an open forest and a field.
  • A photograph of an old foundation surrounded with trees.
  • A photograph of an old farm road with scattered trees.
  • A photograph of an open field bordered with woods.
  • A photograph of a nesting box and scattered trees beside an open field
  • A photograph of an old farm road with scattered trees around it and an old foundation to one side.
1002Summer St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 5 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited on-site parking near the property sign.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash.

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Phillips Brook (South River watershed)

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