Last January, I made the resolution that I would visit at least one new conservation parcel in 2007. I finally succeeded, in November, by going for a walk with my sister and my son at the 40-acre Fogg Forest in Norwell.
Fogg Forest is one of those places I have driven past for years, always intending to investigate, but never actually stopping to do so. The main entrance is located right on Main Street/Route 123. For years it was marked with a large wooden sign that read ‘Conservation Area,” although that sign is now gone.
From the street, the property just looks like a big grassy field. The grass is mowed regularly, so it doesn’t really appear to be the typical conservation place. But if you walk away from the road, toward the rear of the field, you will see another sign and the trailhead.
There you will find the main trail, which forms a half-mile loop as it passes through a mixed pine and hardwood forest, dotted here and there with large rhododendron shrubs and crumbling stone walls. It’s relatively easy walking – the trail is wide enough for a jog stroller, but not so wide that two adults can walk side by side.
From the main trail, you can explore several narrower, one-way trails that generally lead to private properties. One of these (take your second right once you’re on the main trail) leads to a bridge that crosses Black Pond Brook and eventually opens to the Central Street entrance to the property. According to the Town of Norwell’s website, it’s another half mile to Central Street.
If you prefer long walks, Fogg Forest probably isn’t the best choice for you. But if you don’t mind a shorter hike, or plan to spend most of your time birding or paying attention to the finer details of the woods, Fogg Forest is a quiet, relatively uncrowded place to stretch your legs. I’m sure it’s beautiful after a snowfall, too.
To Get There: From Norwell Center, proceed 1/4 mile west on Route 123 to the property. Look for a large grassy field. You can park along the roadside; there is room for about 4 cars. There is also access, along with benches and a picnic area, from Central Street, but no parking.
For a trail map, visit http://www.geocities.com/norwelltrails/fogg.html
By Kezia Bacon-Bernstein, correspondent
Kezia Bacon-Bernstein’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org.