The Walking Trails Of Duxbury
There isn’t a better way to enjoy the cool, crisp New England air than to get out into nature on some of the South Shore’s best walking trails. To help you enjoy the scenery of the area, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to Duxbury’s beautiful walking trails. In this guide, you can find directions, helpful tips, and images for navigating your way through these nature trails.
Round Pond Walking Trails
The main entrance to Round Pond’s walking trails is located off Mayflower Street in Duxbury, but it can also be entered via the Bay Circuit Trail, which runs from East Street through to Elm Street. From Rt. 3 South: Take Exit 10 off Rt. 3 and bear to the right. Follow Rt. 3A to the Duxbury Fire Station.
Turn left onto and continue down Mayflower Street. Parking for Round Pond is about a mile past the Duxbury transfer station on the left.
Round Pond is the result of a depression left in the ground after a glacier melted around 10,000 years ago. The pond is located on 40 acres of conservation land, which includes diverse woodlands and open bogs. In the 1880s, the pond was called Cole’s Pond and was mined in the winter for ice blocks until the 1940’s, when household refrigeration became the norm. In the 1980s, the Duxbury Rural and Historical society worked with the Mass Audubon Society to develop the trails for Round Pond and North Hill Marsh.
Trail loop:2.3 miles
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year round, sunrise to sunset
Many diverse species of birds, including birds of prey such as the red-tailed hawk and many types of waterfowl. Large mammals such as white-tailed deer and the coyotes that dine on them, raccoon, opossum, and fox.
The trails are wide and flat, without too many bulging tree roots to trip over. In just a few minutes, you can reach the pond. The entire loop can be done in about an hour. Great trail for dog walking, as shown by how many can be seen in just a few minutes.
North Hill Marsh Trails
The entrance to the North Hill Marsh Trails is also located on Mayflower Street, diagonally across from Round Pond trail entrance. From Rt. 3 South: Take Exit 10 off Rt. 3 and bear to the right. Follow Rt. 3A to the Duxbury Fire Station. Turn left onto and continue down Mayflower Street. The parking for North Hill Marsh is about a mile past the Duxbury transfer station on the right.
North Hill Marsh is owned and managed by the Town of Duxbury and the Mass Audubon Society and covers about 991 acres in total. The area contains many different types of trails, many with views of the water, going through woodlands and wetlands. Within the North Hill Marsh, the Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary covers 90 acres of reservoir and marsh, and 30 acres of land. The natural state of the forest allows for many places for small mammals to take shelter. Most of the trails can be done in about an hour, if walking at a brisk pace.
Trail Loop:2 main loops, 2.7 miles for the pond loop, 1.5 miles for the Kettle Hole Loop.
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate.
Season: Year round, but best Spring through Fall.
Abundant in wildlife, as it is a sanctuary, the North Hill Marsh has great blue heron, hawks, osprey, night heron, and waterfowl. Mammals include mink, mice, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, otter, white-tailed deer, and coyote. Fisher cats may also dwell here. The area is also home to rare turtles and is abundant in amphibious creatures.
Yellow trail in North Hill Marsh
Great for bird watching. If you can remain still and quiet for a short period of time, you are likely to see some of the many types of birds that call the sanctuary home. The population of tree swallows have been provided with nesting boxes throughout the marsh, and they help to keep the mosquito population under control. The trail is also known for being one of the most beautiful trails of Duxbury. Mountain bikers also use some of the trails.
Lansing Bennett Forest (known as Trout Farm until 2005)
From Rt. 3 South: Take Exit 11 off Rt. 3 and bear to the left onto Congress Street (Rt.14 west). Make a left onto King Phillips Path. This will bring you to a 5-way intersection. Make a sharp right onto Union Bridge Road.
Parking for Lansing Bennett Forest is about a half-mile on the left.
Formerly known as Trout Farm, the area of conservation land was re-named after Dr. Lansing Bennett, former chair of the Conservation Commission. Dr. Bennett was dedicated to protecting the land and wildlife of Duxbury, and obtained 1,200 acres of conservation land during his time. The area used to house a saw mill, and a ditch was dug through the hill to draw water from the Black Friars Swamp. Phillips Brook runs through the land, and after the mill closed, the brook was used as a trout farm, supplying local restaurants all the way up to Boston with trout.
There can still be trout found there today.
Trail Loop: About 1.5 miles
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Season: Spring through Fall
Mostly smaller mammals and rodents such as mice, chipmunks, both red and grey squirrels, opossums, raccoon, and possibly otters. White-tailed deer are the only known larger mammal, and possibly coyotes. In the wetlands, there are many reptiles and amphibians. Painted, spotted, box turtles and a number of salamanders and frogs can be found living under rocks and logs. For birds, black-capped chickadees, white-throated sparrows, blue jays, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, and great horned owls are the most dominant.
This nature trail gives the feeling of being in a thick forest in the middle of nowhere. The trail can be narrow and has some steep hills, but once at the top of these hills the views are beautiful. The Conservation Commission decided long ago to leave the protected areas in their natural state by not cleaning up fallen trees and other damage from storms, making for some interesting landscape. The battering of blizzards in the past few years has left its mark on this trail, even knocking down some of the trees that had markers, so be sure to print out a copy of the trail map.
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