hiking trails of plymouth

Sea Side Trail

revised bird tracks
Sea Side Trail Plymouth

If you are hiking trails in Plymouth,

a good start is the Sea Side Trail. 

Also known as the North Plymouth Rail Trail, it follows the older section of rail lines of the Old Colony Railroad that continued on from Cordage Park to Plymouth Center used in earlier days.

open sunny sea side trail

This hiking trail measures only slightly more than a mile, but it is the gateway to many other hiking opportunities in the area.

It ends at the parking lot at the far end of Nelson Park which is a grand end indeed!

On the journey there it passes by the Holmes Reservation.

Putting these three together can make a full day of recreation.

Many in the area use this route as an alternate way to the center rather than the busy streets of Court or Water.

Starting from the parking lot on Hedges Rd, the Sea side trail starts as a divided paved bicycle path.

Very quickly it turns into a fine packed gravel surface. The trail runs alongside some condos on the left of the trail. Even so, the journey is exceptionally quiet and peaceful with except to the occasional small private planes that fly overhead.

Both sides of the trail become heavily vegetated, especially with grapevines.

About 1/4 mile a ridge forms to the left and then fencing appears. Several sea side homes are noticeable behind the fencing.

sandy side trail at end of atlantic st on sea side trail

At 1/3 mile the pavement and line division appear again and the trail intersects Atlantic St.

The sea side trail continues straight but at the end of Atlantic St are some alternate trails.

One runs along the grass at the side of the ocean.

Most likely part of the Holmes Reservation.

There is another rocky trail down to the beach that can be used at low tide.

At this intersection there is another parking option for one vehicle at the side of the road.

limited ocean view after the Sea Side Trail crosses Atlantic St.

After this intersection there are some limited ocean views on the left.

The trail again changes back to gravel and on the right between rails still left in the earth, a rock garden has been planted!

Holmes Reservation sign on the Sea Side Rail Trail

At just over 1/2 mile the sign to

Holmes Reservation is on the left.

There are side trails both ways here.

To the left will bring you to the public beach portion of the Holmes Reservation.

To the right are some stones marking the way to the Grace Trail.

This hiking trail leads through as a cut grass trail through the field.

Love this exercise and a better place couldn't be found to help reset your life!

Walk the original Grace Trail® at Nelson Park in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

For our dedicated Grace Trail walkers, please note that the “A” and “C” stones have been moved due to tall grasses.  Below is the suggested route.

Start and end at Nelson Street Park on the Rail Trail at Plymouth Harbor

How To Walk It

  • Walk to each letter of Grace
  • Ask the question at each letter
  • Answer the question as you walk
  • Walk to the next letter and repeat steps
  • Others may walk with you but no one can walk for you

At .61 miles the pavement appears again, more condos on the left and an intersection with Robbins Rd. 

More parking is available along side this road as well.

sea side trail with bench

Continuing once again straight, at .78 miles the ocean view opens up fully and a resting bench is found on the right.

Though sitting on the bench the view will be slightly blocked.

sea side trail leads into Nelson Playground

At .83 miles the pavement returns

and at .88 miles the parking lot

to Nelson Playground appears.

small portion of sea side trail continues to water st.

There is a narrow sandy path that

continues as the rail trail and

leads out to Water St.

for another .10 miles.

At Nelson Playground there is more beach, benches, a splash pad in the summer, abundant parking and goose point cafe.

The cafe is seasonal (too bad!) serving local sourced and fresh organic foods.

Nelson Playground Splash Pad

Lots of water fun

at Nelson Playground!

Still open till October!

Lunch only 11-3.


beach and view at Nelson Playground

Lots of beach and

beautiful scenery!

From here, as the tide was low, I continued on, following the shoreline to the Plymouth Breakway.

  1. South Shore Hiking Trails
  2. Plymouth
  3. Seaside Trail

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route 3 south to exit 18 in Kingston. Follow route 3A south into Plymouth. Just after the intersection with Cordage Park, Hedges Rd will be on the left.

Parking lot on right.

Nelson Playground: continue past Hedges Rd. About 10 streets down on the left is Nelson St. Take left, playground entrance is on the bend where Nelson becomes Water St.

Hedges Rd: approx. 10 vehicles.

Nelson Playground:

30+ vehicles

Trail Time:


trail is just under one mile, lots of places to explore on the way!



Water sources:

No fresh water till park or shortly after at plymouth center.

Other activities:

playground activities, canoe and kayak launching, bicycling, birdwatching, x-country skiing