hiking trails of hingham

George Washington Forest

bird tracks




When I was exploring the hiking trails of Hingham, the George Washington Forest proved to be a surprise to me. I knew the forest was some what sizable, but I did not expect the length or variety that exists here.

south pleasant st entrance to george washington forest in hingham

My journey started at the South Pleasant Street entrance. Other entrances include three on Charles St. one directly across from Saw Mill Pond Rd.  Yet another on Prospect St near the intersection  with Amber and Hoover Rd.



There are 107 acres to this delightful property.  Acquired by the town in 1920 as farm land to be reforested. The tree warden at that time was hoping to explore a commercial harvesting aspect to the property which did not prove profitable.


deep forest feeling at george washington forest


Red and White Pine were planted as well as Norway Spruce. Oak and Maple can be found in the forest as well.


Unfortunately the red pines have recently been found to be infected by an insect called red pine scale. Many of the red pines in the forest are dead, pose a problem, and are scheduled to be removed.



Like most of the south shore

you will find poison ivy

growing here.




Once my journey began it soon became apparent that the hiking trail I was following was labeled  T-2.  At this end of the forest the pine trees are heavily abundant.


The immediate feeling upon entering the forest is that of being lost somewhere in a deep forest.



The trail starts wide and road-like initially heavily laden with pine needles.

road like start to George Washington Forest trail



trail starts of open up and become grassy at george washington forest

Soon it intersects with another

trail labeled T 5. 


Here it opened up a bit and

the trail became more grass filled.



grape vines in the george washington forest in hingham


I came upon an area with grapevines. 

A little early to tell if they

actually held any fruit. 





Further up the trail, I found another intersection with a trail labeled T 3  and finally at the southern end of the forest, another labeled T 1.

Not sure if the "T" stands for trail or the letter T as each of these wide trails could form the letter T with this main trail of T2. 

Those trails that are marked by the letter T are wide either road or cart path sized.



small side trail in george washington forest
small side trail in george washington forest


Along the way were many more smaller trails marked with the letter P (for path??).

These truly are path sized and some seemed quite narrow.

woodpecker on tree in george washington forest


What really caught my attention during my exploration

of these hiking trails was the abundance of bird song

and the sound of many woodpeckers busy looking for food.


woodpecker searching for food in george washington forest



I was able to capture a few with my camera

even though my skill in this area is lacking for certain!




a look up at the dying red pines in george washington forest in hingham


What I unwittingly did that summer day was document the problem with the Red Pines in the forest. It had seemed almost enchanting that the birds where there in such abundance. In retrospect it's logical. It was like gathering the harvest to those woodpeckers!

I read somewhere in town open space plans that a trail linking Wompatuck State Park to this forest using Saw Mill Pond Rd is a consideration. 

The closest marking on the Wompatuck trail map  is S1 near Prospect Hill. 

No doubt it would go by Saw Mill Pond itself.


Yet there already exists a paved park road that leads out to the end of South Pleasant st. where a kiosk exists. 

There is a bit of a walk to get to the entrance of the George Washington Forest but still pleasant.


This trail description I had hoped to make a bit more lengthy, but unfortunately the park is currently closed due to the removal of the Red Pine trees.



wide grassy trail with worn path in the middle at george washington forest
















open intersecting trail in george washington forest





couple more trail pictures







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Trail

Quick
Facts



Update:

Most portions are now open, though some areas still need removal of affected pines!

Currently the George Washington Forest is closed due to unstable red pines infected with scale and the process to remove them!


Directions:

from rt 3 exit at #14. Left at end of ramp and follow rt.228 into Hingham. Right on South Pleasant St.

Parking:

off road on South Pleasant St. or at next intersection take right onto Charles St. Much road side parking available on this street.

Trail time:

light to moderate

Difficulty:

very easy

Water Sources:

one at corner of south pleasant and charles

seasonal