Open to the Public
There are short and long hikes, suitable for all ages. View All
Why You Should Visit
The Black Pond Nature Preserve encompasses several habitat types: Atlantic white cedar swamp, forest, a small meadow and — most significant ecologically — a bog surrounding Black Pond. The pond itself is a deep glacial kettlehole which has a limited water supply. Its water is naturally extremely acidic and low in nutrients. These factors, in combination with a cool, coastal climate, make the bog plant community unusual.
Suitable for all ages, this short trail and connecting boardwalk will take you through upland forest and cedar swamp to close-up views of the bog’s rich and unique vegetation. For a longer hike, trails connect with a trail system on abutting town land, the Cuffey Hill Reservation.
Mount Blue Street, Norwell, Massachusetts
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The quaking sphagnum bog creates habitat for a unique plant community at Black Pond, which was the first Nature Conservancy preserve in Massachusetts.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The first tracts at the preserve were acquired by TNC in 1962, mainly through the efforts of William "Cap'n Bill" Vinal, a life-long resident of Norwell. Since then TNC has protected 101 acres in 9 tracts. A portion of the boardwalk was elevated from 2006-2008. The 50th anniversary of the preserve was celebrated at the site in June 2012.
What to See:
As plants grow inward from the edges of Black Pond, they cover the water with a floating, sponge-like mat of sphagnum moss which harbors sundew, sedges, cranberry, cottongrass, swamp loosetrife and Virginia chain fern. Surrounding the bog mat is a wet shrubby zone containing wild blueberry plants and Atlantic white cedar. The shrub zone grades into a red maple swamp as one moves away from the pond, and at the perimeter of the swamp is an upland forest dominated by oak, beech and hemlock, with scattered American holly.
Check out a great video by Jeff Gold about Black Pond Bog and Wes Osborne, the preserve's longtime champion and caretaker.
To learn more about the logic behind these rules, please read our complete list of preserve use policies.
- Preserve open daily from dawn to dusk
- Foot traffic only
- Groups larger than 10 people are asked to coordinate their visit with our Boston office 617-532-8300.
- Please stay on the trail
- No collecting of plants or animals
- No pets
- Carry out all litter
- No fires, smoking or camping
All reasonable requests for special accommodations will be made with ample notice.
If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Boston office at 617-532-8300.
Suitable for all ages, this short trail and connecting boardwalk will take you through upland forest and cedar swamp to close-up views of the bog’s rich and unique vegetation. For a longer hike, this path connects with a trail system on abutting town land.
Looking for something else to do while you're in the area? Consider visiting the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.
Please contact our Boston office at (617) 532-8300 to arrange a visit. Groups can obtain permission to use the parking lot when you contact us.
From Route 3 south:
- Get off at exit 13 and head north briefly on route 53 until you hit route 123.
- Take route 123 east about 2.5 miles until you see Lincoln Street on left
- Left onto Lincoln Street and follow to end (about 1.6 miles).
- Right onto Mount Blue Street for approximately 0.4 miles.
- The preserve sign is on the left, park on the right side of the road
- After starting on the trail, take a right at the first fork down to the boardwalk.