by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

In 2023, NSRWA added another 120 listings to our Get Outdoors database. Featuring over 550 properties, our range now extends from the North and South Rivers, up to Quincy and Braintree, over to Holbrook and Halifax, and down to Plymouth and Carver. So, if you’re looking for public places to walk, paddle, fish, or swim on the South Shore; if you’re interested in playgrounds, picnic tables, or boat launch ramps; even if you just want to take pictures, or simply sit enjoy the view, we can help. Get Outdoors provides all the facts you need to plan your next local exploration.

You might also enjoy “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. Not on social media? We’ve listed all the spots on our website as well!

Thank you for reading these articles. We love receiving your feedback! Every year in January, we highlight our region’s newest properties, as well as those that have been expanded or significantly updated. Some are just new to us. Keep reading to learn more. And click here if you’re curious about the Top 25 Properties in 2023.

Two Brooks Preserve, Plympton

This 135-acre Plympton Conservation property in the Winnetuxet River watershed opened to the public in 2022. It features 2 miles of trails through woodlands and wetlands, and along old cranberry bog access roads. On-site parking at 70 Prospect Road.

Cato’s Ridge boardwalk, Plympton

Cato’s Ridge Preserve, Plympton

This 105-acre town-owned property, established in 2012, features a 2-mile network of woodland trails plus a 600-foot boardwalk over Jones River Brook. Parking area at 81 Main Street.

Cole Conservation Land, Carver

Established in 2007, this 242-acre town-owned woodland in the Winnetuxet River watershed features 3+ miles of well-marked trails, views of ponds and wetlands, and a remarkable suspension bridge. On-site parking at 58 Pleasant Street.

Passanageset Park, Quincy

Passanageset Park, Quincy

Passanageset is the name the Neponset gave to the Adams Shore section of Quincy. This 58-acre city-owned property features 1.3 miles of grassy trails with beautiful views of the Town River and Broad Meadow Marsh. Park at 60 Murphy Memorial Drive.

Holbrook Town Forest

This town-owned property features 115 acres of woodlands and forested wetlands, with 3 miles of well-tended trails, plus views of Hemlock Brook, a tributary to the Cochato River. Within you’ll find vernal pools and glacial erratic boulders. Parking and access via Park Drive.

Cranberry Pond Conservation Area, Braintree

Linked directly to the Holbrook Town Forest, this 140-acre wooded property with rocky outcroppings and glacial erratics includes 2 miles of trails, plus views of Cranberry Pond and Cranberry Brook. Small parking area on Eutaw Ave.

Muddy Pond Wilderness Preserve, Kingston

Muddy Pond Wilderness Preserve, Kingston

This secluded 322-acre property in the Winnetuxet River watershed features 2.8 miles of hilly woodland trails with pond views. Owned by the Northeast Wilderness Trust. Small parking area on Bishops Highway, one mile west of Route 80.

Carter Conservation Area, Kingston

This 18-acre town-owned property on the Plympton town line features a 1-mile network of trails through the woods and around retired cranberry bogs. It is part of the Jones River watershed. On-site parking at 134 Wapping Road.

Mulliken’s Landing, Kingston

This recently improved canoe and kayak landing on the Jones River now features a boardwalk across the marsh with a seasonal ramp and float. Jointly owned by the state and the town. Parking area at the intersection of Landing and River Roads.

St. Catherine’s Chapel Park, Plymouth

Not new, but new to us! This pleasant, grassy 2-acre park offers 0.25 miles of crushed stone walking paths, numerous benches, and interpretive signage depicting the history of White Horse Beach and Manomet. On-site parking at 95 White Horse Road.

King’s Cove Park, Weymouth

Weymouth continues to do great work, establishing and improving its parks and nature preserves! This small sliver of land on the Fore River provides 0.25 miles of paved trails, a small beach, and a beautiful view. Located on Route 3A in North Weymouth, at the foot of the bridge, with ample on-site parking.

The Last Meadows, Hanson

Hanson, too, has been making great strides with its Open Space Plan. In 2022, it expanded and improved the main trail at this sprawling former-hospital property in the Indian Head Brook watershed. In 2023, it added a new trail that connects the meadows to Bonney Hill Lane. On-site parking at 53 Pierce Ave.

Hanover Rail Trail, Hanover Branch

Hanover Branch Rail Trail

And Hanover! 2023 was a banner year! Picking up where the Rockland Rail Trail leaves off, this paved path extends for a half mile (so far!) along a former railroad bed to the Drinkwater River. Parking area at 1409 Hanover Street.

Mattakeeset Trail, Hanover

Also in Hanover, the newly-established 0.26-mile Mattakeeset Trail begins at the Hanover Public Launch, and extends along the edge of the Indian Head River to Elm Street, where it connects with the 4-mile Indian Head River Trails system at Ludden’s Ford Park.

Chapman’s Landing, Hanover

And right next door… these 50 acres of state and locally-owned conservation land on the Indian Head and North Rivers received a wonderful upgrade this year, with the construction of a tall platform with a spectacular view. On-site parking at the end of Indian Head Drive.

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 26+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about 2024Explore South Shore, visit