Paved Trails

Wompatuck State Park – Doane Street/Cohasset Entrance

Wompatuck State Park Doane Street Entrance, 152 Doane St, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

(617) 895-8245

Owned By: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

This alternate entrance to Wompatuck State Park is located on Doane Street in Cohasset. It’s an excellent access point for views of the Aaron River Reservoir (but a long walk when carrying a canoe or kayak). It’s also great spot to begin a bike ride through the park. Use the Main Entrance to visit the park’s campground.

The 3,500-acre Wompatuck State Park stretches into four towns – Hingham, Cohasset, Scituate and Norwell. It features numerous seasonal campsites, plus fishing and non-motorized boating on the Aaron River Reservoir. There are 12 miles of paved bike paths, plus 40+ miles of off-road trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Trails are stroller- and wheelchair-friendly in some sections.

The park’s other access points include: Main Entrance, Hingham • Leavitt Street Entrance, Hingham • Triphammer Pond Conservation Area, Hingham • Whitney Spur Rail Trail, Cohasset • Whitney & Thayer Woods, Cohasset • Aaron River Reservoir and Dam, Cohasset • Brass Kettle Conservation Area, Cohasset •  Grove Street, Norwell • Mt. Blue Street, Norwell

It’s important to know that some of our freshwater fisheries are contaminated with mercury, PFAS and/or other concerning substances. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health maintains an online database with up-to-date advisories regarding fish consumption, sorted by location. We recommend you consult this valuable resource when planning a fishing excursion.


The land at Wompatuck State Park was commonly used by the Massachusett tribe, led by Chief Josiah Wompatuck. Local history books indicate that in 1655, he conveyed the rights to a large tract of land on the South Shore to European settlers.

Please bear in mind that Native American cultures often favor oral histories to written ones. Much of what’s recorded about the history of the South Shore is from the perspective of European settlers. It’s not the whole story. To learn more about local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag share information on their websites.

In the 1700s, early settlers and ship captains held title to the Wompatuck State Park area, but the land was never extensively developed. During the 1800s, families maintained woodlots and grazing lands here, and the streams powered the Stockbridge Shingle Mill. Water from Mt. Blue Spring was commercially bottled.

This property served as a military site from 1941 to 1965. In 1941, the United States government established the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex (known by locals as the “Cohasset Annex”) here. Land was acquired from private homeowners for the purpose of expanding the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot nearby (now Bare Cove Park). It remained in use until 1965, and served both World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Scattered throughout the property are over 100 decommissioned military bunkers, which were used to store ammunition. Explosives such as TNT-loaded depth charges, bombs, fuses, projectiles, and cartridges were produced and stored here. Many of these bunkers have been backfilled, but some remain exposed. There are several old military buildings on the property, as well as an abandoned railroad. Most buildings have had their roofs and windows removed and are open to the elements.

The U.S. Navy deactivated the Cohasset Annex in 1963 and declared the land as “surplus.” The Commonwealth of Massachusetts took possession of the land in 1966, and began developing it as a public park the following year. The park itself opened in 1969. Since then, 725 acres have been added.

A rail spur, the Whitney Spur, once connected the Ammunition Depot to the Old Colony Railroad’s Greenbush Line. In 2003, the DCR sold the land for the Cohasset commuter rail station and parking lot to the MBTA, in exchange for the construction of a rail trail on the former rail spur. The 1.5-mile Whitney Spur Rail Trail now connects the Cohasset MBTA station to Wompatuck State Park.

The Mount Blue Spring is currently closed. Typically, the Mt. Blue Spring is open seasonally, featuring water drawn directly from a natural aquifer. You can find it in a shed with an adjacent parking area, on Union Street in the park, between markers E14 and E1, not far from the Transfer Station area. The water is tested frequently for safety.

Trail Description

To visit the Aaron River Reservoir, turn left onto the trail (R7) immediately inside the Doane Street entrance gate, and follow it up a sometimes muddy hill (approx. 0.5 mile) to the top. There is an outcropping of ledge at the edge of the reservoir, which offers a lovely spot for a picnic or just to sit and enjoy the view.

Elsewhere in the park, there are numerous woodland trails for hiking, dog-walking, horseback riding, cycling, and cross-country skiing. For mountain bikers, the park is home to one of the longest section of switchbacked singletrack in the state. Download the detailed trail map to plan your route.

This entrance is a good access point for visiting the Burbank Boulder. This rock, a remnant of the glacial period, balances itself at three points equally distant from each other. To get there, follow the paved trail at the Cohasset/Doane Street entrance from R7 to NS1, then turn right and continue past NS4 and NS5 to NS9.

Habitats and Wildlife

Much of the park is undeveloped and is heavily wooded. Trees include Atlantic white cedar, American holly, chestnut oak, shagbark hickory, mountain laurel, pink dogwood, white pine, American beech, and hemlock — some estimated to be 175 years old. Wildflowers and flowering shrubs also grow in abundance. Among the most common are swamp azalea, solomon’s seal, white geranium, ladyslipper, and sheep laurel.

Land and water creatures abound in the park. Common species include: muskrat, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, skunk, painted turtle, bullfrog, coyote, deer, bobcat, fisher cat, red & grey fox, yellow spotted salamander, yellow spotted turtle, and box turtle. There are over 250 bird species in the park, including: blue jay, great blue heron, gosshawk, red tail hawk, yellow warbler, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and quail. Fish commonly found in the 136-acre Aaron River Reservoir include bass, pickerel, sunfish, and perch.

The Aaron River finds its source within Wompatuck State Park and flows northeast to the Aaron River Reservoir. The dam that holds the reservoir in place was constructed from 1976-1978. Below the dam, the river continues to flow through Cohasset. It joins with Brass Kettle Brook and eventually empties into the Gulf River in North Scituate. The Gulf River flows into the ocean at Cohasset Harbor.

  • A photograph of a trailhead, gate and informational kiosk.
  • A photograph of people riding bicycles on a paved trail.
  • A photograph of a forest trail beside a reservoir.
  • A photograph of two ducks on a pond.
  • A photograph of a reservoir bordered by forest.
  • A photograph of pedestrians and a wheelchair user on a trail.
  • A photograph of a paved trail lined with trees, with some pedestrians in the distance.
  • A photograph of a fishing pier on a small forest pond.
  • A photograph of a large bird on a tree branch.
  • A photograph of children climbing a large glacial erratic boulder, with bicycles in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a turtle in a pond.
  • A photograph of a dam and a reservoir.
  • A photograph of a glacial erratic boulder in a forest.
  • A photograph of a pond reflecting a cloudy blue sky, with trees along the edges.
  • A photograph of a frog.
  • A photograph of a wide snowy trail, bordered by trees, with cross-country ski tracks.
  • A photograph of a reservoir bordered by forest and rocky ledge.
  • A photograph of a small bird in a shrub.
Wompatuck State Park Doane Street Entrance, 152 Doane St, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes, from main entrance

Lifeguards: No

Size: 3526 acres

Hours: Sunrise to sunset, plus overnight camping with reservation.

Parking: Limited on-site parking at the end of Doane Street.

Cost: Generally free, but there is a fee for camping.

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium


At this entrance: informational kiosk, paved bike paths. Geocache locations.

At main entrance (Hingham): all of the above, plus Visitors Center, 400 campsites, boat ramp, picnic areas, restrooms & showers, trailer/R.V. hookup & dumping. The Mount Blue Spring is currently closed.

Dogs: Dogs must be leashed at all times. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Aaron River (Gulf River watershed)