Trail Seeker

Above: Bay Farm Conservation
 

8 great nature paths to explore in the fall

By Jennifer E. Foley | Photography by Jennifer Foley and Jack Foley

Jennifer E. Foley

The South Shore might be best known for its beaches and coastal lifestyle, but we’ve got our share of fall foliage too. If you love the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet, these local walking paths are great spots to experience the changing seasons. Grab a cider donut from Hornstra Farms and hit the trails.

Family-Friendly Paths

Going for a hike is a great way to spend the day with family or friends. All of these trails have good parking options, which keeps stress at a minimum.

Turkey Hill

Turkey Hill, Hingham

The top of Turkey Hill is one of the highest points on the South Shore and affords an incredible view of the ocean. There are 10 miles of trails, which are accessible from several entry points. There’s also a big open field and picnic benches, perfect for your next family photo. After you’ve enjoyed a nice walk, check out Weir River Farm at the bottom of the hill. Turkey Hill Lane, Hingham

Bay Farm Conservation Area

Bay Farm Conservation, Duxbury

Maintained jointly by the towns of Duxbury and Kingston, this 80-acre preserve provides incredible views of Kingston Bay, Myles Standish Monument, Gurnet Light and more. Bring your dog to enjoy a walk through the meadow and cedar grove before taking a rest along the Jones River salt marsh. Stop by D’Orazio’s Italian Marketplace on the way and pick up picnic supplies. Loring Street, Duxbury

Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

Maintained by the Mass Audubon Society, this 578-acre preserve has more than 3 miles of trails of which a portion is ADA-compliant. Take the River Walk trail out to the furthest point for a peaceful view of the Green Harbor River. Be sure to stop at the observation blind on the way back for some birdwatching. Winslow Cemetery Road, Marshfield

Town of Norwell Pathway

Norwell Pathway, Norwell

One of the most stroller-friendly options in the area, this 3-mile long path weaves through forests, along a boardwalk and behind the town middle school and other public buildings. The majority of the trail is very level which also makes it ideal for jogging and biking. There are several parking areas nearby, including Donovan Fields on Circuit Street. The fall leaves are particularly beautiful on the nearby boardwalk. Circuit Street, Norwell

Scenic Spots

Taking a walk is a great way to decompress after a stressful week. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to meditate or a trail where you can jog with your dog, these trails are good choices.

World’s End

John Little Conservation Area, Marshfield

While it is one of the most popular walking spots on the South Shore, there’s plenty of open space and opportunity for alone time at World’s End. The 251-acre preserve has 5 miles of trails, of which the Rocky Neck section is the most peaceful. Plan to arrive earlier in the day to get a prime parking spot. Entry is $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends. Martin’s Lane, Hingham

John Little Conservation Area There are many great trails along the North and South Rivers, but the John Little Conservation Area is a favorite. The trail to the river is about 1 mile long and offers sweeping views of the water, marshland and foliage. Take a rest on a bench and let the quiet soak in. Union Street, Marshfield

Bates Lane Conservation Area

Bates Lane Conservation Area, Scituate.

This trail network in the west end of Scituate consists of dense forest and historic pasture lands. There are six trails that weave through the woods and around original stone walls. The Maxwell Trail can be challenging due to uneven terrain but offers a picturesque stream. Parking is available on Clapp Road across from Bates Lane. Clapp Road, Scituate

Tucker Preserve

Located along the Indian Head River, this Wildlands Trust property is just under 80 acres and offers several miles of trails. This site and nearby Luddam’s Ford were once home to mills, an iron works and a rubber factory. The land and water can now be enjoyed by the general public. There is a boat ramp available and fishing is permitted. Old West Elm Street, Pembroke

To learn about over 130 South Shore trails, along with maps, stroller-friendly ratings and pictures, visit SouthShoreTrails.com.

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