by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

Fall is here! It’s time to pull on your flannel shirt, lace up your hiking shoes, and get back into the woods. Need an incentive? Well, the foliage has already begun to transform, so it’s beautiful out there. Need more of an incentive? Consider pairing your walk with a stop at a local brewery! The South Shore has quite a few of them.

For this month’s article, I’ve compiled a list of local breweries along with a beautiful hiking spot nearby. Spend some time exploring the woods — or a river, or a pond, or a marshland — and then reward yourself with a tasty beverage. You’ll be supporting an independent local business, so it’s a “win” all around! And for those who prefer not to imbibe, these walks can be taken just as easily without the beer stop.

Also, be sure to keep up with our 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. Each week, we suggest a different outdoor activity. This month’s themes include: Visit an Audubon Sanctuary, Visit a Wildlands Trust Property, Visit a Trustees Property, and Pair a Hike with a Local Brewery! To help you meet these challenges, every day in October we’ll feature a relevant property on Instagram and Facebook. Post photos from your adventures to Instagram with the hashtag #ExploreSouthShore. Each month we randomly select a winner from the posts to receive a prize package.

Untold Brewing + Driftway Conservation Park

Start with a walk through the woods and marshes while enjoying views of the Herring River at the majestic Driftway Conservation Park in Scituate. Then scoot around the corner to the flagship location of Untold Brewing, just one mile away on Old Country Way.

Stellwagen Beer Company + Jose Carreiro Woodland

Park at the end of Maryland Street in Marshfield and explore the forest trails within Jose Carreiro Woodland, then follow the loop around Two Mile Farm, right next door. Be sure to check out the views of the North River and its marshes. When you’re done, Stellwagen Beer Company is just 2 miles away, at 100 Enterprise Drive.

Jacobs Pond Conservation Area

Burke’s Alewerks + Jacobs Pond Conservation Area

Jacobs Pond Conservation Area is located on Jacobs Lane, just off Route 123 in Norwell. A network of trails extends along three sides of the 60-acre pond, which is a headwater to Third Herring Brook and the North River. Just over the town line in Hanover, 1 mile away at 200 Webster Street (also right off Route 123) you’ll find Burke’s Alewerks.

Vitamin Sea Brewing + Bradford Torrey Bird Sanctuary

Begin on the grounds of Weymouth High School, near the rock that’s painted like the American flag, and look for the trailhead to the Bradford Torrey Bird Sanctuary. This preserve features a 2.5-mile loop through the woods, past rocky outcroppings and a stream that flows toward Whitman’s Pond in Weymouth, a headwater to the Back River. Then continue a mile or so down Pleasant Street to Vitamin Sea Brewing, at 30 Moore Road.

Barrel House Z + Cavern Rock Park

Explore the rocky, challenging loop trail at Cavern Rock Park on Westminster Road in Weymouth, located on a highland overlooking Whitman’s Pond. Then hop on over to Barrel House Z, a mile and a half away, at 95 Woodrock Road, for some refreshment.

Twin Ponds Trail

Article 15 Brewing + Twin Ponds Trail

On Spruce Street in Abington, a stone’s throw from the Rockland town line, you’ll find trailheads for both the Twin Ponds and Thompson Ponds Trails. Both trail systems were created by the Wildlands Trust along French’s Stream, on property that was once part of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station. The Twin Ponds Trail extends for 2 miles into Rockland. When you’re done exploring, cruise over to 406 VFW Highway, 2 miles away, where you’ll find Article 15 Brewing.

Old Colony Brewing + Island Grove Park

The crown jewel of Abington’s public parks, Island Grove is a diverse, 53-acre property on the Shumatuscacant River, with ample parking on Park Avenue. Then continue south to Whitman, and check out Old Colony Brewing at 599 Washington Street (Route 123), about 2.6 miles away.

10th District Brewing + Ames Nowell State Park

Also in Abington, explore the 700-acre Ames Nowell State Park on Linwood Road, where you’ll enjoy trails with views of Cleveland Pond, part of the Taunton River watershed. Afterward, take a break at 10th District Brewing, located at 748 Brockton Ave. (Route 123), just 2 miles away.

Widowmaker Brewing + Quincy Quarries Reservation

Quincy Quarries Reservation, at the edge of Blue Hills Reservation on Ricciuti Drive in Quincy, is unusual and fascinating – well worth a couple hours of your time. When you’re done exploring, continue 3.6 miles along the park’s border to 220 Wood Road in Braintree, and enjoy a pint at Widowmaker Brewing.

Mayflower Brewing Company + Camp Nekon

Formerly a Girl Scout Camp, the 193 forested acres now known as Camp Nekon (Monks Hill Road, Kingston) feature quiet trails and numerous ponds within the Smelt Book/Jones River watershed. When you’re done exploring, Mayflower Brewing is waiting for you just around the corner, at 12 Resnik Road in Plymouth.

Independent Fermentations + Eel River Preserve

What happens when dams are removed and a river is permitted to return to its natural state? Find out at the secluded and intriguing Eel River Preserve, located at 4 Boot Pond Road in Plymouth. Then head north on Long Pond Road to 27 Camelot Drive. Indie Ferm is a cozy spot that offers a full range of beers as well as kombucha.

Second Wind Brewing + Plymouth Harbor Jetty

Would you prefer something entirely different in Plymouth? Consider the Plymouth Harbor Jetty, accessible from the Leo F. DeMarsh State Boat Ramp, off Water Street. Extending for more than a half mile into the Atlantic, this rugged terrain makes for a slow walk … but the scenery is amazing. Your next destination, Second Wind Brewing, is just a couple blocks away, at 7 Howland Street.

Town Brook Park

LlamaNama Beer Labs + Town Brook Park

Also in Plymouth, there’s a lovely trail along Town Brook that extends from Brewster Gardens, past the Plimoth Grist Mill, through Town Brook Park, and all the way to Morton Park. Walk it in both directions and then take a load off at LlamaNama Beer Labs at 10 Water Street.

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 25+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. Click here for more information about the 2022 Explore South Shore Challenge. This article is Powered by Planet Subaru: