Paved Trails

Widow’s Walk Golf Course

250 Driftway, Scituate, MA 02066, USA


Owned By: Widow's Walk Golf Course

Each year from late December or early January to sometime in March, this public golf course opens its greens and cart paths to the public. Walkers and birders are welcome, and when there’s snow, sledding is permitted as well. The view from the higher elevations is spectacular! Stroller-friendly. Dog-friendly.

Continue your walk on the Driftway Multi-Purpose Path, which continues in one direction to the James Landing Walkway and Herring River Trail, and in the other direction to Driftway Conservation Park, and the Scituate Dog Park.


Widow’s Walk is a municipally owned 18-hole golf course with views of the Herring River, the North River mouth, and the Atlantic Ocean. It is located on the site of an abandoned gravel quarry. America’s first “environmental demonstration course,” it opened to much fanfare and national acclaim in 1997. In 2002 it was designated an Audubon International, Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. This program ensures that the property continues to benefit the environment by providing avian nesting boxes as well as habitats for numerous other species of animals.

Beginning in 1914, the Boston Sand and Gravel Company undertook an extensive earth removal project on this site and beyond. Colman’s Hill once stood on the inland side of today’s Driftway, from the Greenbush railroad station north to Kent Street, offering a broad view of the entire estuary. Little by little, Boston Sand and Gravel carted away the material that made up the hill — first with steam-driven sand scows, then with tugboats and barges, and later with trucks and trains. By 1963, over 14 million tons of sand and gravel were removed and the hill was gone. That year, a dramatic fire destroyed the sand & gravel company.

When Widow’s Walk was created, the intention was to impact the environment as little as possible. The designers used the natural contours of the land, as well as the contours left by Boston Sand and Gravel, as architectural tools. As the course has matured, it continues to consider the environment first when planning its turf management practices. Thanks to both the design and the daily management, it uses considerably less water than a typical golf course. Don’t miss the view from the Signature Hole, at the top of the ridge (the remains of Colman’s Hill). It is spectacular.

This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.

Trail Description

The public is invited to walk along the golf course’s cart paths and greens in the off-season (approx. January 1-March 1). There are several miles of trails, both paved and unpaved. Some are flat and some offer considerable elevation.

Habitats and Wildlife

This property was a sand & gravel quarry for many years, and as a consequence, much of the native plant life was destroyed. The construction of the golf course involved creating a new wildlife habitat. Fortunately, this has resulted in the presence of a multitude of waterfowl and migratory and indigenous birds at Widow’s Walk (73 species by one count). Look for tree swallows, purple martins, and eastern bluebirds, as well as common flickers and screech owls. You may see gray squirrels, blue jays and crows gathering acorns around the oak trees. Other trees on the property include tupelo, ash, willow, sumac, birch, cedar, beech, and scrub pine.

The Widow’s Walk website offers a hole-by-hole tip sheet for birders at this link.

Widow’s Walk is located within the watershed of Herring River, which is a continuation of First Herring Brook. First Herring Brook finds its source in Scituate in the area west of Route 3A, between First Parish Road and Old Oaken Bucket Road. It flows through the First Herring Brook Reservoir, and downstream to Old Oaken Bucket Pond, passing through two dams. Below the historic Stockbridge Grist Mill, at the Driftway, it flows into Herring River, a major tributary to the North River. Herring River flows into the North River near The Spit.

  • A photograph of a paved trail across a rolling green landscape on a sunny day.
  • A photograph of a golf course from the top of a green hill, looking down.
  • A photograph of a long stretch of green hillside with a water view.
  • A photograph of a bench overlooking a rolling green hill on a sunny day.
  • A photograph from the top of a hill looking down on paved trails and a wind turbine.
250 Driftway, Scituate, MA 02066, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 100 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: On site parking.

Cost: Free for walkers, January 1 to March 1 only.

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium


Benches. Dog waste receptacles and bags are provided.

Dogs: Dogs are welcome but must be kept under control, with no waste left behind.

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Herring River watershed

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