hiking trails of abington

Dog Walk Trail

revised bird tracks

In Ames Nowell State Park there are many hiking trails.

Most of these trails have no names or ways to identify them. Some routes are taken often by many.  The route that I am calling the Dog Walk Trail
is one such route.

I am calling this the dog walk trail because it seems almost everyone who takes a dog in this park follows this route.

On my revised map of Ames Nowell,

the hiking trail I have named the dog walk

trail is shown in green.

Trail description:

From the parking lot turn right following the main trail into the park.

This will go over a small stream.

main trail leading into ames nowell state park
field in main portion of ames nowell state park

Then it passes the field where the swings formerly stood.

It is the closest field to the entrance and lined by a fence.

trail marker at ames nowell

The Dog Walk Trail takes a right into the forest and is one of the trails that has been marked by the state park.

boy scout pavilion at ames nowell state park

Taking this dirt road trail to the right will bring you past the boy scout pavilion.

field after pavilion on dog walk trail

Another field will open up on your left.

boardwalk from field to pavillion at ames nowell

At the far left corner of this field is a plank walk to the pavilion.

wide easy to hike trail in ames nowell

The trail is mostly an easy walk through the forest.

easy to walk dog walk trail

You will pass by trails on the right that will take you to an auxiliary parking lot that is rarely open now.

There are actually two extra parking lots.

There are restrooms at the first lot that if open at all, are only
open in the summer.

scenic area on dog walk trail in ames nowell

You will pass by another notable area where in the fall, winter and early spring good views of Cleveland pond open up.

scenic area with vegetation in ames nowell

Most summer months though, it is heavy with flowering vegetation.

former bench at scenic area on dog walk trail

There was a bench here that was great for viewing the pond and I often think this spot would be a great place for a campsite.

Carry in only of course!!.

Apparently the bench was either removed????Or stolen???

 It was a great place to sit in any season!!!

downward sloping rocky dog walk trail in ames nowell

Continuing down this "road",

icy trail in winter in ames nowell

there will be a gentle downhill sloping

icy dog walk trail in ames nowell

this will also become a bit rocky and wet in some seasons.

In winter it can be a skating field. 

Dangerous really!

snow cleat for travel in ames nowell

If you have a pair of these,

then in winter it is highly suggested you bring them along on the dog walk trail.

nearing the turning point on the dog walk trail in ames nowell

Finally the hiking trail will lead you to a pine needle filled ending

picnic table at cleveland pond in ames nowell

with a picnic table and bench beside an opening by Cleveland Pond.

view of island from dog walk trail

From here is the closest point to the largest island of several on this pond.

walk to the islands when the ice is thick in ames nowell

In winter if the ice has frozen solid enough you can just walk over to the island to explore.

wild life viewing on Cleveland Pond

geese on cleveland pond at ames nowell
swan at ames nowell
water fowl on cleveland pond at ames nowell

  Stop for a few minutes and watch the ducks or geese.

Hopefully you'll catch a glimpse of the swan couple that reside on the pond.

Second half of Dog Walk Trail

At this point you will turn around and take a smaller hiking trail to the right that runs along Cleveland pond.

If you are continuing on for the  around cleveland pond trail 
you will find a trail to your left (as you are facing back toward
trail you came in on)

shore trail section of dog walk  in ames nowell

This portion of the dog walk trail, for some reason, many on mountain bikes like to use, though it is really more for hiking.

From the picture above I can see why they are enticed to use it.

second portion of dog walk trail

This portion of the hiking trail starts 
off narrow and easy.

plank walk on 2nd portion of dog walk trail

Goes over some board planking over a wet area

view of island in cleveland pond in winter

and soon the trail opens up a bit for a short time


as it runs along the pond shore line giving more great views of the islands in the middle of Cleveland pond. 

narrowing dog walk trail

The trail soon narrows again

rocky 2nd portion of dog walk trail in ames nowell

and becomes more difficult to hike.

Many roots and rocks litter the trail.

opening in trail to view of Cleveland Pond at ames nowell

It continues to run along side of the pond

opening up to views at times

remote boardwalk in distance from view point on dog walk trail

 continuously allowing the hiker to view the islands

and different parts of the state park.


If you happen to be wandering on these hiking trails on a Sunday, you will hear gun shots in the near distance.

 That is the sound of target practice at the Holbrook Gun and Rod club located on North Quincy St just into Holbrook.

root bound dog walk trail at ames nowell

The trail continues winding along the shore and increasingly more root bound and rocky.

increasingly rocky dog walk trail at ames nowell

This is where those who chose to mountain bike on this portion of the dog walk trail find that it is difficult to finish to the end.

It is difficult enough just walking at this point!

Fortunately there are many side trails that lead up hill to the original "road". Some though, are quite steep.

The trail leads by a couple of interesting depressions in the earth. Were they formed by ice broken off from glaciers in the area or simply from erosion of running water after storms and snow melting in the spring??

The fishing rock at ames nowell

The trail separates in two around one of these depressions.

Then the trail leads to a large boulder that is a popular fishing spot in the warmer months.

Take note:

this section of the trail in the warmer months will have a considerable amount of bugs due to how close to the pond it runs.

Not long after the fishing rock the trail will open out to the other side of the boy scout pavilion.

There is a trail that will bring up up to that if you wish.

planking at end of dog walk trail in ames nowell

The trail continues over some more planks

plank walk at end of dog walk trail in ames nowell
bench at end of dog walk trail at edge of picnic area

Finally the trail will end at the
main picnic area with a bench to rest at.

skaters on cleveland pond

My winter day on the hiking trails included watching some brave souls out ice fishing and skating.

skating couple on cleveland pond

This hike is approximately 1 3/4 miles and usually takes about 45 min. (without stopping to explore)

To explore more of this park you can cross the picnic area and over the bridge and dam to more hiking trails.

  1. South Shore Hiking Trails
  2. Abington
  3. Dog Walk Trail

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From Boston heading south on route 93 to route 3 at split take exit 38 south on route 18 approx. 5 miles. Take right at intersection of route 139 (West). Take 2nd left on Lincoln and follow to end with a left on Hancock st. Take 2nd right on Presidential Dr. following to end and right on Linwood st. State Park is on the end of Linwood.


Regular parking lot that can accommodate many vehicles.

Trail Time:

Short-Moderate; (45 minutes)

many trails whereby any length of time can be arranged depending upon hike chosen.


Mostly easy

some areas along shore get very rocky or root filled.

Water sources:

Several, primarily Cleveland Pond. There are a couple seasonal water sources along this route.

Other activities:

The first leg of this journey is a dirt road. Good for cross country skiing. Snow shoe the whole route. Mountain bike the first leg.