Hiking Trails of Rockland


Rockland Fireworks Trail


bird tracks



The Rockland Fireworks Trail is an extension of the Hanover Fireworks Trail and runs into land in Rockland. This trail loops through the forest and can connect with the French's Stream Trail.


There are additional trails along the way and more past the loop section that can be explored or used as an additional way to access the trail.

The best parking is at Forge Pond Park in Hanover, though there is a small connecting trail on Satucket Road in the Millbrook Dr. area of Rockland off Beech St.

This alternate access trail could be useful in winter when Forge Pond Park is closed and not plowed.


Forge Pond Park walking trail leading to the Rockland Fireworks Trail.


Parking at the first parking area on the

right at Forge Pond Park, cross the

entrance way and follow the hiking

path that leads behind the front

baseball fields.



Gate near the walking trails at forge pond that leads into the forest trails.

At .15 the walking trail bends to the

right while the entrance to Clark's Bog

Trail and the Rockland Fireworks Trail

head straight through a gate and into the forest.


The next two lefts will bring you directly

into Clark's Bog. 


Shortly on the right will be an access trail good to use if you prefer to park closer than the first parking area.


This closer parking lot is accessed by a road  between the first two ball fields on the left of the entrance road.


Hanover Conservation Sign


There will be a Hanover Conservation

sign that says no motorized vehicles,

but bicyclists are welcome and almost

always seen on this trail.




Wide pine needle covered Rockland Fireworks Trail.


The hiking trail here is wide and

hard packed dirt covered by pine needles.


At .25 another trail leads left alongside

a pleasant brook.


This will lead into the bog area as well.




There will be a couple more lefts along the hiking trail but soon in following them you will be met by a no trespassing sign warning you are entering the Hanover Police firing range.

You can be arrested for trespassing, which would be better than accidently shot at!!

second gate where the Rockland line begins on the Rockland Fireworks Trail.


Soon patches of asphalt can be seen through the pine needles.


At .41 miles the Rockland Fireworks Trail will officially begin as you pass through another gate marking the Rockland line. 

This is also at an intersection where the end of the loop portion of the trail meets here.


The Hanover conservation disks will continue though.


At the gate another trail will lead off to the left but this is the same as the others, leads to the firing range.



Trail over a stream forms a bit of a mogul.

Once through the gate at the intersection

the loop of the Rockland Fireworks Trail goes either way, this guide description

goes straight.


The hiking trail narrows here and much more asphalt appears.


At .47 the trail crossed a stream over a raised culvert.

This raised culvert may be one of the bicyclist attractions as it looks like a mogul.




Looking downstream from the trail on the Rockland Fireworks Trail.There's a side trail that leads to the top of the culvert here.



The water below has a brown tinge but looks very clear!

The trail continues almost a causeway

along an area that looks like it is a

wetland at other times of the year.




Old asphalt on the trail through the former National Fireworks property on the Rockland side.


At .57 the trail narrows more and the

asphalt starts to break away as the

trail starts some gentle winding.



Shortly after some of the building

remains from the firework/ munition

company that once existed

will appear on both sides of the trail.



Rockland Fireworks Trail heads further into Rockland after the loop turn.

Short patches of returning asphalt

grace the trail along with some

sizeable boulders.


At .65 looking through the forest to

left a building more intact than

the rest can be seen.


At .80 the Rockland Fireworks Trail makes it's loop heading to the right as the additional trail connecting to points in Rockland continues straight.


Loop section of the Rockland Fireworks Trail.


At this loop section you will find

another Hanover Conservation Disk.

This helps the hiker to realize the

formal loop goes this way as the

additional trail is not on the map.



This section of the loop now widens out like the first part of the trail and the asphalt completely disappears.

The forest here has a sparse look to it with the vegetation kept low. 

The trail keeps gently turning to the right and soon a wire fence appears to the left but often bent to the ground. Beyond a utility line can be seen several feet past the wire fence.

Mounds along the hiking trail that resemble the underground bunkers found at Wompatuck State Park


The trail soon straightens out and at

1.05 miles mounds of earth appear

alongside the trail much like the

underground bunkers found at

Wompatuck State Park.




Larger intact building leftover from National Fireworks Company.




There is a short trail that leads out

to the power line but our way

continues straight.

At 1.11 the largest building remnant

is trail side and artfully decorated,

unfortunately also been used to dump trash.




Winter storm damage on the Rockland Fireworks Trail.

The winter brought new damage

to the trail. 

Large pines block the trail

but someone was kind enough

to clear much of the

branches away to make it

possible to pass.



Shortly after another bunker like mound to the right with many fallen trees at the bottom form a perfect party spot for night visitors.

It would be nice if they only picked up after themselves!!


Approaching the last intersection on the Rockland Fireworks Trail.

At 1.27 the trail turns to light gravel and a stream runs to the right.

The power line can still be seen to the left.


At 1.36 the trail comes to it's junction.

Going to the right continues the last section of the Rockland Fireworks Trail loop.


To the left is a connecting trail that leads to the French's stream trail making this hike a bit longer if desired.

wetland along the Rockland Fireworks Trail.


If finishing the loop, head to the right and the trail continues wide with wetland forming to the left.


It reconnects with the original junction and gate at 1.52


Back out the way you came adds another 1/2 mile and bringing the hike total at  2.02 miles.



Another alternate route to finish this hiking route is to use the access trail to the left  near the end of this part of the hiking trail across from Clark's Bog.


It connects to the Forge Park Walking Trail heading to the left and following the walking trail around the edge of the forest and pond.


Additionally, once around you can alternate with the Forge Pond Trail that runs parallel with the walking trail but does so in the forest pond side. 

As much as another mile can be added taking this optional route.


Rockland Fireworks Trail through Summer St conservation land


Alternate trail across a power line.


If back at the final trail junction

you have chosen the connecting

trail to the left, this connects to

French's stream trail running

through an area referred to as

the Summer St Conservation Land.

This trail is much more narrow and 

not as well maintained.


The Rockland Fireworks Trail goes left as it crosses the utility line. To the right the utility line  splits. 

On a previous journey I followed the utility line to the right, and soon realized it was wrong.

Once across the utility line  continue heading left on it to access the narrow trail that will leave right.  In Spring this crossing can be quite wet.

In Summer the trail almost disappears and you will need to look carefully to the right for the remainder of the trail.



Narrow connecting trail through the conservation area.



This hiking trail at 1.42 miles is narrow

and unmarked but well defined once

into the forest.

This continues straight with several

occasional fallen trees to walk over. 

At 1.57 miles the trail gently curves to the right

and continues with some gentle winding.



There will be several downed trees along the way,

some easily stepped over and some a bit more 

work to climb over.

At 1.72 large trees fallen with their roots facing

the trail..

Soon the Rockland Fireworks Trail enters the Summer St Conservation Area

at 1.78. Google maps is helpful here!

On the trail map of the area it shows that a future trail

may be developed leading out to Summer St.

At the same point the trail will be marked by a deer hunting 

sign. Just after a faint trail leads to the left.


Large pools of water on the trailIn spring the trail fills with large pools of water.

The trail will turn gently to the right and straighten out.

Another curve to the right and step over on a downed tree.

At 1.97 a widened area with a large Beech tree.


At 2 miles the trail takes a noticeable curve to the left and meets an older dirt path or water runoff that heads right. The forest has an open look to it ahead. 

In spring the trail becomes wet with large areas that create pools on the trail.

Shortly after this turn one of the larger ones appears. Logs have been placed to the left to help with getting around.


There will be more trees to step over and a very slight uphill


At 2.18 a wetland to the left can be seen through the forest.

This wetland is where French's stream flows.

The hiking trail continues it's winding pattern with more trees to climb over.

scenic spot along the trail on the connecting trail between the Rockland Fireworks and Frenchs Stream trails.

At 2.23 the sound of water can be heard and the trail curves to the right.

About the same time a stone wall runs to the right.

The trail leads under an arch of vines.

A small trail leads left out to a scenic spot along Frenchs Stream.  

Here the water pools a bit and then bottle necks over rocks.

Several large rocks give vantage points for viewing.

 Once past the bridge the Drinkwater River enters

the stream ends and the waterway continues as Drinkwater River into Forge Pond.


meadow like path leading out across a utility line



The Rockland Fireworks Trail

runs across the utility line

on a narrow meadow like trail.

It then meets the Frenchs

Stream Trail at it's bridge.



An alternate loop trail through a utility line on the connector portion of the Rockland Fireworks Trail.



There is another trail to the

right leading up the utility line.

This can be an alternate route

as it loops and joins the main trail.



Entering the forest at 2.30

the trail now connects with the

Frenchs Stream trail with the bridge

to the left and the trail leading right.


Continue straight on the green arrow trail. This leads to Forge Pond Park.






Scenic view of the Drinkwater River on Frenchs Stream Trail.One of the many scenic views along the red arrow trail.

Looking to the left carefully there is

an alternate route on a red arrow trail. 

This is a very narrow bit rugged trail

that runs along the river.

Great for photography, fishing perhaps

and general scenic value.

Many small trails lead out to spots on the river.





Following the green arrow trail the hiking trail widens a bit but is root filled at times.

At 2.35 it turns left on a cart path, it also meets the trail that comes in from the utility line.

Shortly after this turn the red arrow trail enters in from the left.

The trail will soon cross another utility line at 2.51and then Forge pond will come into view to the left


Small bridge helps in spring when streams run high.


The trail becomes rocky and wet.

 Soon the trail crosses a small

bridge at 2.54 over a small stream.


This looks like a rocky water

 run off from the park.

A green arrow comes in view

and the trail takes a turn to the left.

At 2.59 the trail passes through a rock wall.


Forge Pond Park now comes into view.  At 2.62 arrives at the boat launch area.


From here either use Forge Pond Trail or take a right up the hill for the walking trail to finish the hike to your parking spot.

Using Forge Pond Trail with the Rockland Fireworks Trail and Frenchs Stream Trail will bring this hike just about to 3 mile total.



Using the Satucket Rd entrance to Rockland Fireworks Trail


Santucket Rd is a street deep within the Milbrook Dr. neighborhood off Beech St in Rockland. 

Along the road it will turn into a stretch of meadow that catches your eye to the right while the alternate trail entrance to the Rockland Fireworks Trail will be on the left.


Satucket Rd entrance to Rockland Fireworks Trail.


Along that meadow section that

separates the two portions of

Satucket Rd there will be a bit of a

guard rail, just before this

on the left you will find some

boulders with the trail between.






The trail starts grassy and

soon leads out to a clearing.

There will be another trail to the

left here but leads to a locked

gate at one of the businesses on

Industrial Way.


Small clearing on the trail before the forest.



A narrow track can be

seen through this clearing.

Stay to the left to find

the continuing trail on 

the other side of the 

clearing.






Continue straight and the trail enters

the forest at .10 where is soon

looks like the other trails of the

Rockland Fireworks Trail.




Leftover relic of National Fireworks Co. in Hanover/Rockland.






Soon patches of asphalt appear

and left over remnants of the

National Fireworks Company.





Trail intersection on Satucket Rd portion of Rockland Fireworks Trail.

The forest has an open look to it and to the left you will see vehicles parked at Industrial Way.


At .26 the trail comes to an intersection.

To the left it once again leads to Industrial way to the right leads to the rest of the Rockland Fireworks Trail and Forge Pond Park.

Scenic stretch of hiking trail along the Satucket Rd portion of Rockland Fireworks Trail.

Though in Rockland you will find Hanover conservation blazes.


At .41 a stream comes in from the left, the trail crosses a culvert that allows the stream to pass to the right side of the trail.


Soon the trail switches from gravel / asphalt to hard packed dirt covered by pine needles.


This part of the trail isn't as well maintained as the main part of the trail but certainly wide enough to hike or bike without vegetation brushing against you.

Satucket Rd portion of hiking trail meets the loop on Rockland Fireworks Trail.

At 1/2 mile this portion of hiking trail connects with the Rockland Fireworks Trail.
Heading straight will bring you to Forge Pond Park, left continues on the back half of the loop.



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Trail

Quick
Facts



Directions:

Take exit 13 and head south on route 53. Follow about 5 miles and go right on route 139. Follow this through Hanover Center. Take the third left on Circuit St. Take the fourth left onto School St and then left on King St. Forge Pond Park will only be a few 100 feet on the right.

For Satucket Rd.

Follow the instructions above till Circuit St. Instead of the left on School, continue on to the left on Summer St. Follow till the lighted intersection with Beech St and take a left here. Take  the third left on Milbrook Dr. the next left on Morningside Dr, another left on Split BoulderRd and finally a left on Satucket Rd. The trail will be shortly on the left.

Parking:

100's of parking spots

Satucket Rd is street side parking.

Trail time :

Moderate

depending on the route taken,

2-3 miles

Difficulty:

Easy

Water sources:

Forge Pond, French Stream, Drinkwater River and other unnamed streams

Other activities:

Fishing, Kayaking, x-country ski, snow shoe, bicycling the loop and Satucket portion of trail.