COHASSET–Wompatuck State Park, Aaron River Reservoir

We access this gorgeous reservoir through a lesser-known entrance to this enormous, and enormously popular, state park. Wompatuck is filled with old, decommissioned bunkers that used to hold ammunition for the WWII and the Korean War. You can read more about the history of the park, and all the cool stuff visible around the 3,500 acres, here. Wompatuck is a great spot for mountain biking, walking/biking on paved trails through the woods, camping, and following winding single-track trails through the woods. This there-and-back route consists of comfortably-wide, wooded trails that hug the reservoir. Go as far along the reservoir as you want and then double back the way you came.



Wompatuck State Park, Doane St. Entrance

 152 Doane St

Cohasset, MA 02025

Be careful!!! If you simply enter Doane St. into the GPS, you may end up at the wrong entrance (like Sister did! Oops!). Doane St. actually runs through the park, so be sure to look on a map and make sure you’re entering Doane St. from Route 3A. There is a tiny parking lot at the entrance. The trailhead is by the map.


There are so many fun options from this entrance. From the parking lot immediately follow trail R7 to the left up a hill. You will follow a fence and see into people’s backyards. You may wonder, like us, if you are going the right way. Just keep going until you see the reservoir. If you keep to the left every time you can, you will eventually find a really cool spot to cross over to the dam. This stretch is not accessible with a stroller and may not be suitable for small children. The crossing to get to the dam is narrow with a steep drop into a concrete pit. But it’s not long. Once you’re through this narrow part, you can comfortably walk above the dam. After checking out the dam, take the trails along the reservoir. If you simply hug the reservoir and go around the water towards the boat launch, you’ll find a few surprises along the way…


P.I.N.T. Score

Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)

P – Parking & Access – 3 (parking never seems to be an issue, but the lot could fill up on a busy weekend. Also, be careful you are actually at the Doane St. Cohasset entrance!)

I – Interest Level – 5 (beautiful, fun, lots of surprises…this trail has it all!)

N – Navigation – 3 (We love the fact that the intersections of trails are marked at Wompatuck, not the actual trails. But there were a few times that we weren’t sure where we were. Fortunately, sticking by the water makes it hard to get lost!)

T – Terrain – 1/3 (We give it a 1 for the narrow access to the dam. A 3 for the rest of the trails around the reservoir. You could do the trails, but not the dam access, with a jogging stroller.) If you have a stroller and want to see the dam, you can park on Beechwood St., Cohasset. See the trail map.

The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions on this trail.  It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health.  Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities.  Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk.  You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.


Things to look for along the hike:

  1. The narrow access to the dam is tons of fun… For the littles (6 and under, perhaps) it might be a bit scary, but for slightly older children, it’s an adventure in itself. Plus, the view of the reservoir from the dam is amazing!
  2. In summer 2020, we found Adirondack chairs along the reservoir trails… They were in an amazing spot to have a picnic or a cup of coffee from a thermos!
  3. On the other side of the reservoir from the dam, there is a picnic table perched on top of a boulder! Very cool spot to have lunch!
  4. Wompatuck is filled with surprises and weird things everywhere because of its past. You’re apt to find all sorts of things if you keep an eye out. Anyone know what that metal loop thing in the ground is? (See picture below!)


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