hiking trails of pembroke

Misty Meadows Conservation Area

revised bird tracks
shady path in misty meadow conservation in Pembroke

Misty Meadows Conservation Area and it's hiking trails are a bit hidden, mostly due to it's entrance being obscured by storm damage.

granite sign at misty meadowsdamaged granite sign at entrance to misty meadows conservation area

The granite sign that once announced the entrance to the conservation area lays face up.

The main trail is obscured as well, with the entrance hidden by vegetation and access is by way of an easement along private property.

It is a small plot of town owned property with several access points, one being the North River, if you arrive by canoe or kayak!

Another good feature is that the

hiking trails here back up and

link to those of the Willow

Brook Farm Preserve.

A larger property owned

by the Wildlands Trust and

lie in Pembroke as well.

A somewhat hidden entrance to misty meadows conservation

If entering at Ingham Way off Misty Meadow Lane in Pembroke, look for two rock pillars to the right of #34.

Park along the street. At these two pillars there looks to be a start to a driveway.

The fallen granite sign marking the entrance seems to have been pushed over in one of the hard winter storms of the last few years.

A gated entrance to an easement leading to misty meadow conservation

To the side of the private property,

along the fence you will find the

gate to the conservation property.

The path in runs along the neighbors

fence where wild strawberries and

raspberries  grow.

The kiosk at misty meadows conservation area.

At the entrance of the forest,

the trail runs through a rock wall

and then you will find a kiosk with

a map and info about the property.

trail marker at misty meadows conservation in Pembroke

Across from the kiosk and leading left

from the main trail is the trail leading

to Willow Brook and the

Kings Terrace Entrance.

wide beginning to the trail at misty meadows conservation area

The main trail continues

straight as a wide grassy path

with a mix of pine needles

and leaf carpet.

Though a short hike,

it is a mildly winding,

pleasant journey!

At just over 1/4 mile there is a marker claiming the North River Trail.

The trail leads through another rock wall, this one lower. The hiking trail becomes narrow and starts a downhill jog.

The trail goes through a bit of wet area and then at .42 comes to the side of the North River with a bench.

The river side bench at misty meadows conservation areaThe bench helps mark the Misty Meadows from the river side
view of the water at the end of the North River Trail in Misty Meadows

Some very nice views of

the Herring Brook, which lead

out to the North River at the

end of the North River Trail.

For a longer hike accessing Willow Brook, follow the main trail back to the kiosk and go right at the marker across from the kiosk.

Follow til the next marker that points right for Willow Brook. The trail straight leads out to Kings Terrace though becomes a bit faint.

less maintained portion of access trail connecting misty meadows to willow brook

Continuing on the access path to Willow Brook Farm, the path starts as a narrow well laid out route but becomes less maintained looking.

At .90 of the total journey the trail turns right. Then becomes well maintained once again.

At .95 the trail runs through a rock wall. At 1.05 there are no markers but a tree wrapped with orange and green ribbons. Here the access trail to Willow Brook will take a right.

At 1.15 you will notice the trail running parallel to another rock wall.

At 1.28 the trail leads away from the rock wall on the left but another appears to the right of the hiking trail.

nearing the end of the access trail connecting misty meadows to willow brooknearing the end of the hiking trail connecting misty meadow to willow brook

At 1.32 you will come upon a Holly tree. Always a welcome sight in winter!

At 1.42 you will come across some large pines that have been cut into logs.

At 1.46 you will enter Willow Brook at an intersection.

Going right will bring you toward the main part of that property and a Wildlands Trust blaze on a tree lets you know you have arrived at your destination.

Going to the left will bring you through one of the many meadow portions of this property.

Always a nice hike in any weather and a good addition to this initial hike.

It will loop back to this same intersection but not before reaching a boardwalk and bridge section that you will arrive at quicker if taking the right when you first enter Willow Brook.

Some Hiking Trails mileage

Wandering the Misty Meadow main trail and back

to the Willow Brook Access Trail    = .80 miles

Willow Brook Farm Access Trail     = .66 miles

                       total                         1.46              

Misty Meadow Water Route

The way into Misty Meadows Conservation does have a feel like you are trespassing, so if you have a canoe, kayak or other means of water transportation, or just want a good rounded out work out, the water access route may be for you.

chapmans landing boat launch in Hanover

Best entry point is at Chapmans Landing

in Hanover or as some just call it the Hanover Launch.

Located on Indian Head Dr. off W.Elm St, the sign calls it a car top boat access, but other signage suggests that small motored boats can launch here as well, usually dependent on the tide. 

There are two granite slabs at the end of the paved ramp. At high tide time these are completely submerged.

Once in,

you will be heading left,

the first part of the journey is shady

and resembles the water version of a rustic country lane.

A look down Indian Head River heading toward the North River

After a few twists and turns

and heading past trees that have

fallen in the water, the river widens

out and a grassy meadow forms on the right.

Indian Head River heading toward the junction with Herring Brook

The distance was surprisingly

longer than I thought. It always

looks so much shorter on a map to me!

Flowers in bloom along the North River

Yet my interest was kept by all the vegetation and wildflowers that were in bloom along the way.

Another factor was the multitude of bird and wildlife found. Many flew over marsh meadowlands to the right. I saw at least two Herons, one found it's lunch on the river!

I picked a day that seemed to be a constant switch between sun and clouds.

junction of Indian Head River and Herring Brook where it becomes the North River

On my map (google) it shows what looks to be an island in the water but when the water is high it is just a large clump of the meadow in the river. It may be an island at low tide.

Soon after the "island" the water junction of the Indian Head River and Herring Brook appears. Heading to the left is the start of the North River. Our journey goes to the right on the Herring Brook. 

For more info on paddling the North River, the wild turkey paddlers have a nice guide.

heading down herring brook from the junction of the North River

The Herring Brook starts wide,

but soon gets narrower and winding.

This portion of the paddle took longer

than expected, but was very pleasant.

A paddle down Herring Brook

The tall grasses that line the

North River continue on the brook

and soon line both sides of this

interesting little river.

Arriving the Misty Meadow Conservation Area by kayak on Herring Brook

Soon we arrive at our destination,

marked by the bench at the end

of the North River Trail!

  1. South Shore Hiking Trails
  2. Pembroke
  3. Misty Meadows

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To Trail Head: route 3 south exit 27, follow route 139 west till it's intersection with route53. At the lights with route 53 go left. Take the 2nd right onto Misty Meadow Rd and a left on Ingham Way. Find # 34, the trail is on the right side of their property.


This can also be accessed through Willow Brook Farm

enter misty meadow by way of the Todd Trail


To the boat launch:

Follow the same directions as above, but at the lights with route 53 take a right. At the next set of lights at Broadway st go left. Shortly down the street W.Elm will intersect to the left, take that. Take the 2nd left onto Indian Head Dr. At the end of the street will be the boat launch AND Iron Mine Brook Trail.


Ingham Way:

a few cars curbside

Chapman Landing:

up to 20 vehicles

Trail Time:
Light to Moderate depending what you add on.
Mostly Easy:
Water sources:
Herring Brook
Other activities:

Kayaking, birdwatching

compass for indication of maps

Map of Misty Meadow