Whitney & Thayer Woods

380 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA



Owned By: The Trustees

A very large woodland with numerous trails, plus access to several other properties. So much to see and explore here!


After the decline of agriculture in this area, but before the arrival of the subdivision, much of the Whitney and Thayer Woods was dedicated to equestrian pursuits. Henry Whitney purchased some of the former-farms and created the bridle paths and carriage roads that are still in existence today. It’s easy to imagine a horse-drawn buggy making its way along some of the wider trails. The Whitney Woods Association, a horseback-riding group, eventually took ownership of 600 acres. In 1933 this was donated to The Trustees, as was – a decade later — additional acreage to the west, owned by the Thayer family. Land acquisition from various sources continued as late as 1999.

Highlights from the entrance across from Sohier Street include the very large Bigelow Boulder, left behind by a glacier, now a striking sight in the middle of the woods. Also Ode’s Den, a large grouping of rocks named for Theodore “Ode” Pritchard, who lived among them after he lost his home in 1830, and the Milliken Memorial Path (see trail info). Throughout the property, there are also a number of old stone walls.

Trail Description

The 10 miles of trails at Whitney and Thayer Woods connect to Weir River Farm, Turkey Hill, Wompatuck State Park, and the Town of Hingham’s Triphammer Conservation Area. Many of these trails are old carriage roads – wide, clear, and well-trod. This extensive trail network lies within the largest contiguous tract of open space on the South Shore – nearly 5,000 acres in all. Don’t miss the Milliken Memorial Path, a “wild garden” lined with rhododendrons and azaleas that was created in the late 1920s by Mabel Minott Milliken. Be sure to take a map from the kiosk at the entrance. All intersections are numbered and marked for ease of navigation. Many, but not all of the trails within Whitney and Thayer Woods permit mountain biking and horseback riding.

Habitats and Wildlife

The property is primarily woodlands. These forests used to be farmland, so the hardwoods growing now are relatively recent. Streams, glacial erratic boulders, and vernal pools are among the many features. There is a grove of holly in a remote spot between Turkey Hill Lane and One Way Lane.

Brass Kettle Brook flows through the southern portion of the property. It flows into Lily Pond in Cohasset, which feeds Bound Brook.

380 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 824 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: On-site parking on Route 3A in Cohasset, across from Stop & Shop. There is a second entrance on Route 3A in Hingham, across from Side Hill Road, plus access and parking on Turkey Hill Road in Hingham. 

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium


Bridges, benches.

Dogs: Yes

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Other Things to Do at This Site