35 Island View Rd, Weymouth, MA 02189, USA
Owned By: Town of Weymouth
This diminutive property on Woodbine Road features a short trail along the edge of Whitman’s Pond, as well as a small section of shoreline suitable for fishing, and for launching canoes and kayaks. Woodbine Island is also part of the property.
Approaching from Route 53, take Island View Road and within a few hundred feet you will arrive. The first part of this property is located at the intersection of Island View and Woodbine. It’s small, though. Blink and you might miss it!
This three-part property features a small section of shoreline, suitable for launching canoes and kayaks, and for fishing. Three benches offer a lovely view of the pond. Just up the street, at the very end of Woodbine Road, you’ll find a property sign and the start of a 0.16-mile trail that leads up over a small hill and then down along the shore of the pond. It too is suitable for fishing. Both sections offer views of Woodbine Island, which is also part of the property.
Whitman’s Pond pond is a headwater to the Weymouth Back River and a spawning area for herring. It consists of three basins: the Main Basin, South Cove, and West Cove, with a total shoreline of about 6 miles. It is relatively shallow, with an average depth of 8 feet. Its two primary tributaries are the Mill River and the Old Swamp River.
In 1635, John Whitman was allotted a large tract of land in Weymouth, including most of the pond. His son, John Whitman Jr. settled on the pond, and from then on, it was known as Whitman’s Pond. Before the advent of electricity, ice harvesting was a major industry here, with ice houses on Lake Street, and on Lake Shore Drive and Middle Street. There were apple orchards in what is now the West Cove, and in the northwestern portion of the Main Basin. The South Cove area was a marsh.
After natural bog iron was discovered within the pond, a dam was erected at the junction of the pond and the herring run. This increased the area and depth of the pond significantly, but also severely impeded fish passage. In 1837, the Weymouth Iron Company set up shop here, eventually expanding to 30 different buildings. Employing hundreds of people, it transformed iron ore, quartz, and coal into anchors, shovels, chains and nails. Also known as the Weymouth Iron Works, the company continued to operate into the late 1880s, but closed after a flood broke the dam and destroyed many of the buildings. In 1917, the Town of Weymouth repurchased the rights to the herring run.
At the very end of Woodbine Road, you will find a small informational sign that also marks the head of the 0.16-mile trail. The trail leads into the woods and then forks. If you go to the left, you will climb a small hill that looks down over the pond. The trail continues over the hill and down to the shoreline. If you choose to go right at the fork, you will access the shoreline more directly before reaching the hill.
Habitats and Wildlife
The forest here is composed primarily of oak and maple, with some birch trees as well, and some greenbrier. It’s common to see Canada geese swimming on the pond. PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WATERFOWL!
The Weymouth Back River rises from several ponds and swamps, including Whitman Pond in Weymouth. it flows for about 10 miles and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Hingham Bay, downstream of the park, and just south of Grape Island and Slate Island.
River herring swim upstream from the ocean to Whitman Pond every year to spawn. You may be able to catch a glimpse of them in April, at Herring Run Pool Park in Jackson Square, Weymouth. Other fish commonly found in the pond include bass, bluegill, crappie, pickerel, and lake trout.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 2.17 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Very limited roadside parking near the intersection of Woodbine Road and Island View Road. Additional roadside parking (2 spots) at the very end of Woodbine Road.
Trail Difficulty: Medium
Trash receptacle and 3 benches.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes