2054 Ocean St, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA
Owned By: Town of Marshfield
Originally constructed 1646 when it was known as Otter Bridge. Sometimes the adjacent banks are used as a canoe launch, but there is now a better launch site downstream at the Francis Keville Footbridge.
In the early days of Marshfield, 5£ was appropriated for the construction of a footbridge over the South River. It was known as Rainbow Bridge, and Otter Bridge, and is now the Willow Street Bridge. Continuing into the late 20th century, a very large willow tree stood nearby. It is gone now. The historic path from Marshfield to Scituate went over this bridge and along the course of today’s South River Street to White’s Ferry near Humarock.
No trails. Between the Willow Street Bridge and Veterans’ Memorial Park (upstream), the South River is navigable by canoe or kayak, however it may not be accessible at all tides due to bridge clearance and low water levels. Launching a boat at Willow Street is not recommended, as poison ivy is abundant!
Habitats and Wildlife
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 Bogs and the Camp Wing Conservation Area, it remains a narrow and mostly un-navigable stream until just below Veterans Memorial Park in Marshfield. 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 here, 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.
Historic Site: Yes
Boat Launch: No
Hours: The Willow Street Bridge is always open.
Parking: Park at Pratt Farm, a little farther down Willow Street.
Trail Difficulty: No trails.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: South River