Hoyt-Hall Preserve is a beautiful two-mile (ish) loop through 123 acres of land that is chalk full of history. Hundreds of years ago, the Wampanoag summered in this area. Governor Winslow received a land grant in the 1630s and started parceling the area out to settlers for farming. The English eventually dammed the water in the area, which used to be saltwater marsh, and Long Tom Pond became a freshwater ecosystem conducive to farming. Some of the trails in this preserve were old Native American paths that crisscrossed the area. Near the trail entrance, there are remnants of Old Careswell Road, which fell out of use in the 1930s when the new/current Careswell Rd. was build. Finally, there is access from the Preserve to a rail trail built on the Old Colony Railroad bed. (Thanks to the Wildlands Trust and the North and South River Watershed Association for this helpful info!)
We loved this trail. It had everything: history, a water feature, boardwalks and bridges, eskers, hills, cool fungi, and an old well from the area’s farming days. Just bring the bug spray if you are here during mosquito season–some of the lower-lying areas were infested!
*Note: Cell phone service is spotty in the area and in nearby Duxbury!
HOW TO GET THERE
780 Careswell St.
Marshfield, MA 02050
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP
Look for the sign/trail head at the parking lot. Follow the red blazes to stay on the loop! The Preserve is very well marked and the trail is easy to follow.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 2 (Small gravel parking lot that fits about 7 cars)
I – Interest Level – 4 (Wooded trails, a beautiful pond, a paved road (!) in the middle of the woods, an old well, and hills to run up and down)
N – Navigation – 4 (Well marked with red blazes )
T – Terrain – 3 (Exposed tree roots and a lot of ups and downs. Doable with a rugged jogging stroller, but would take a lot of exertion in spots)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions of 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.
Points of Interest
- The road in the middle of the woods!
2. The water!
3. These logs, of various heights, in the middle of the woods (hint: near the rail trail sign)
4. The hills–the kids love to go bombing up and down
5. The well
Go celebrity spotting at the Marshfield Hills General Store, owned by actor Steve Carell.