Norris Reservation, 4/18/15

I’ve been wanting to visit this Trustees of Reservations site for years, and it did not disappoint. Norris Reservation in Norwell, MA has the 4 Ws and 2 Vs we hope for in our hikes: Woods, Walls, Water, Wildlife, Views, and Vegetation.  You start off near a little pond where folks were fishing, and the skunk cabbage had sprouted from their pods. I think the pond was created by damming the brook, since the old mill site is just below the pond.

The brook babbles on the other side of the trail. Down there is the old mill site, and a picnic table, but nothing of the mill remains.

Next, you head into the woods, towards the North River. When you reach the river, there’s a little boat house with a lovely deck with built-in benches, over the water. Good for fishing, viewing, enjoying the sun reflecting on the water. What a great spot. Gotta love the signage in Trustees sites – hard for us to get lost in anything but the views and sounds of birds.

 

Now the trail skirts the riverbank, in the woods. Swampy areas have stone pavers across the mud, and many areas have old stone Walls – former farmland? Or just property markers?

Soon you reach a bend in the river, with benches at a couple of open areas for Views – and a picnic lunch. Here’s where we saw our Wildlife – an egret standing in the water, occasionally dipping its head for a nibble of something. Just standing peacefully, until a motorboat came along. See the white egret in the 2nd photo, against the near shore?

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After this curve in the river, the trail turns up into the woods where we found this strange tree, with the bark  overgrowing an old rusted sheet of metal, probably a former sign.

 

Then there’s a great little offshoot trail to Gordon’s Pond, with a boardwalk around most of it.

Finally, you’re heading back through the woods and pass their “granite boulders” – not nearly as significant as the boulders at King Philip’s Rock and Cave, and a pebble compared to Devil’s Rock in Sharon! Then you’re back to the old mill site, and the trout pond where we began.

What a great day trip, and just a 40 minute drive away. Lots more natural places to explore in the Norwell area, too. And there’s the South Shore Natural Science Center for the little ones.

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