by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

The research for this article was a series of delicious adventures! While I’ve become an expert of sorts on local nature trails, I tend not to stray very far from home in pursuit of lunch. When I asked my fellow staffers at NSRWA to share their favorite sandwich spots, they were quick to offer recommendations. Below you’ll find our tips, pairing 15 South Shore walks and sandwich shops.

If you enjoy nature walks, be sure to check out “365 Nature Places to Know,” our Explore South Shore program for 2024. Every morning we feature one of the region’s best nature places on Facebook and Instagram. Every Saturday it’s a public property where you can enjoy a long walk, and every Sunday is a spot for a shorter walk! Not on social media? We’ve listed all the locations on our website as well!

Hoyt Hall Preserve

With a 1.7-mile loop trail through 123 acres of freshwater wetlands and mature forest, this Wildlands Trust property in Marshfield is a great spot for a walk. Grab a sandwich from Mae’s (563 Ocean Street) and park yourself on the bench overlooking Long Tom Pond, which is part of the Duxbury Back River watershed. Limited on-site parking at 780 Careswell Street.

Webster’s Wilderness

With a 2-mile trail network through forests and wetlands along Wharf Creek, a tributary to the Green Harbor River, this 130-acre Marshfield property is a fascinating place to explore. Bring a sandwich from Bungalow Kitchen (1899 Ocean Street, Suite Q) and enjoy it on a trailside bench, or at one of the picnic tables within the Wheeler Recreation Campus, next door. Ample on-site parking at 226 Webster Street.

Morton Park

Plymouth’s largest park features 200 acres of forest, wetlands, and shoreline, plus 6.5 miles of trails and roadways. Look for the picnic area near the main entrance, which offers views of Billington Sea, a headwater to Town Brook. On-site parking areas are open to the public, except in summer when some are restricted to Plymouth residents. Bring a sandwich from Stracco’s, located nearby at 85 Sandwich Street.

Lapham Woods

This iconic stretch of woodland protects the scenic approach to Duxbury’s Town Hall. Located within the watershed of the Bluefish River, it offers 1.36 miles of recently-renovated trails along both sides of Depot Street. Bring a sandwich from D’Orazio’s Italian Kitchen, nearby at 35 Depot, and eat your lunch on one of the trailside benches. Limited roadside parking on Surplus Street and Prior Farm Road.

Thaddeus Chandler Sanctuary

Explore the 2.8 miles of intersecting loop trails within this 115-acre Duxbury Conservation property and enjoy views of Pine Brook and Upper Chandler Pond, tributaries to the Jones River. Bring a chair or a blanket and treat yourself to a picnic beside the pond, perhaps with a sandwich from Bongi’s Turkey Roost, around the corner at 414 Kingstown Way. Limited on-site parking at 14 Valley Street.

Herring River Trail

Extending along the former Old Colony Railroad Bed, this 0.4-mile trail offers spectacular views of the Herring River, a tributary to the North River. Grab a sandwich from Lucky Finn, a few steps away at 52 New Driftway. There is a picnic table and a small parking area at the trailhead (32 New Driftway).

Norris Reservation, Norwell

Norris Reservation

This Norwell gem extends across 129 acres, with more than a half mile of North River frontage. There are two miles of trails through the woods and along Second Herring Brook. Grab a sandwich from DKD Market and Bakery (707 Main Street) and find a bench with a view – there are several within this beautiful and varied Trustees property. On-site parking at 18 Dover Street.

Jacobs Pond Conservation Area

Jacobs Pond is a headwater to Third Herring Brook, part of the North River watershed. This 189-acre Norwell Conservation property features an extensive trail system, plus kayak launches, a fishing dock, and picnic tables. Treat yourself to a sandwich from Bo Mediterranean Café, around the corner at 400 Washington Street. Ample on-site parking at 81 Jacobs Lane.

Silver Lake Sanctuary

Enjoy more than a mile of woodland and wetland trails at this scenic 99-acre Kingston Conservation property within the Jones River watershed. Stop at Cravings Café (150 Summer Street) on the way, and then look for the trailside bench overlooking Silver Lake as your lunch spot. Limited parking at the end of Barse’s Lane.

John Little Conservation Area, Marshfield

John Little Conservation Area

Union Street in Marshfield is home to several nature preserves, and any of them would be a great spot for a walk and a sandwich… which you might procure a short distance away at Gunther Tootie’s in Pembroke (254 Church Street). The 75-acre John Little Conservation Area offers 1.5 miles to explore. Look for the picnic table overlooking the North River, at the intersection of the blue and yellow trails. Or enjoy your lunch on the riverfront dock. Limited on-site parking at 905 Union Street.

Alton Smith Reserve

This 103-acre Hanson Conservation property features a network of wide flat trails around a retired cranberry bog, plus access to Indian Head Pond and Pembroke’s JJ Shepherd Memorial Forest – all within the Indian Head River watershed. Stop by A Fork in The Road (7 Union Street, Pembroke) on the way, and enjoy lunch with a view. Follow the unpaved road from 364 Indian Head Street (Route 58) in Hanson to the on-site parking area.

Nantasket Beach Reservation

Open to the public, this pleasant sandy beach in Hull features a long stretch of Atlantic shoreline, a 1-mile paved/concrete walking path, plus such amenities as showers, restrooms, shade structures, a historic carousel, and a playground. Order a sandwich from Breadbasket Bakery & Café (within walking distance at 307 Nantasket Ave.) and enjoy the breeze and the view. Large parking lots on Nantasket Ave. and Hull Shore Drive.

Wheelwright Park, Cohasset

Wheelwright Park

This 232-acre town-owned property in Cohasset features a mile-long woodland trail, a small pond, and several captivating glacial erratic boulders. Grab a sandwich at The Barrel (50 South Main Street) and enjoy it on one of the many trailside benches, or at the picnic tables near the parking area. On-site parking at 202 North Main Street.

Triphammer Pond, Hingham

Triphammer Pond Conservation Area

There are various places to enjoy the view at this Hingham Conservation property including one with a picnic table. Follow the 1-mile walking loop around the 19-acre pond and look for the two spots where Accord Brook, a tributary to the Weir River, flows through. Bring a sandwich from The Bloomy Rind, a short distance away at 21 Main Street. On-site parking at 21 Triphammer Road.

Center Hill Preserve

This diverse 98-acre property on Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth features a 2.4-mile trail network. Along the way, you’ll experience woods, wetlands, ocean shoreline, and a former cranberry bog. Stop by Gerard Farm in Manomet (499 State Road) for a sandwich and enjoy it at the picnic table near the property entrance. Limited on-site parking at 158 Center Hill Road.

Kezia Bacon’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to protecting our waters. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit You will also find 27+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2024 Challenge, visit