Norris Reservation, Norwell
Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Norris Reservation is located in Norwell. Use our Norwell tourist route planner to arrange your visit to Norris Reservation and other attractions in Norwell.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
I almost hesitate to write this review because I love Norris so much but you will too. The trails aren't difficult. The trails take you from a pretty mill pond down to the salt marshes along the North... read more »
This park has meandering paths up and down small hills. It has a boardwalk through the marsh and a boat house on the river. It is a dog and people friendly park.
This is a nice place to bring your kids for a hike. Trails are wide and easy to follow. Flat terrain. Only about a two mile loop. Actually good for trail running, too. Parking gets tight on nice days.
Back in the early '50s, the Norris land was a privately-owned, barely-used large woodsie plot between Dover street and the North River. One of the few regular hikers was Mr. Coffin, owner of a Norwell Center variety store. Billy Small and I p[ayed Norwell Detectives most of the '51 summer, often tailing Mr. Coffin along the Norris pathway. But we almost always got distracted and never did find where his walks ended. Late that summer we went up the hill above the river to the then still-extant but-grungy cabin. There we played and started tearing up the very wide and very long floorboards. Fall came, and school distracted us from the Norris land. But by the early 1952 summer, we were again falling off the North River bridge and looking for fun and excitement on the banks. I remembered the Norris cabin with its wide floor boards; a small gang (maybe six) swimmers walked the muddy riverbank past the Gemelli boathouse and on to the tiny track up the Norris land hill. The cabin was still there, its floor boards still inside. We looked around and wondered what we could abscond with - North River Pirates was just an idea at that point. The boards fascinated a couple of us, who saw three or four lashed together to produce a raft that would be wicked terrif on the ebb tide, through the rapids just around the bend down east. There were enough of us present to lift the first board, about 13 or 14 feet of pine; we managed to navigate down the curvy path to the riverbank. There we set it down and went back for number two. That we also managed to reach the riverbank with. It was late by then and we decided to back on the morrow for number 3. Enroute back to the bridge and our bikes, we debated fiercely the best ties to fasten together a raft. Jackie R and David V led he side for the half-inch line, which David said his father's boat had lots on board. We agreed, and met the next day around noon to catch the third board down to the riverbank. It was low tide and we had to lift and lug the long wood pieces to the water's edge, where we could see the tide running inbound. David had brought maybe 4 or 5 lengths of the half inch rope, maybe 35 or 40 feet in all. The first board was tied at the water's end, the rope then looped around number 2 board and finally looped and tied around number three. Jackie had a hammer and some tacks and nailed the rope down to give each of the foot-wide boards stability. That used up two of David's five rope lengths, so we used two more the same way on the landward end of the boards.There was enough rope left from the fourth fastening to link a tie to the last rope length. And believe it or not, that reached all the way around the six feet of the middle with no tightening knots; Jackie did, however, nail the rope to the boards. Our raft was ready for launching. Being so young, we had no champagne, but Jean, a French-Canadian lumberjack's son and sometimes our friend, had found a bottle along the riverbank; he'd picked it up to collect its 2 cent return. But then he saw the joy of real launching by smashing a bottle of river water over the end we called the bow. The tide was nearly up as the afternoon latened, so we decided to do a launch and our version of a sea trial. The river would go still before switching to the ebb, but we were pretty sure it would still be light enough to try the rapids. It was an hour and a half later when the ebb began to run. The flood over the riverbank had floated the raft so with a bit of rapid and heavy work we managed to float the 'Mr. Norris' as we named our hefty craft. Unsure if she was seaworthy, only two of the guys boarded, sticks for use as paddles in hand. The rest of us waded through the departing flood, then trudged through the heavy mud and sharply cutting grass. Creeks cut through the bank were not wide enough to make us head into the woods along the bank, so we mostly kept up with Jackie and his friend, Joe Clark. Soon we arrived at the rapids, envying Jackie and Joe their swift ride along the barely white water.
Beautiful, one of my favorite places to walk.
Great place to visit almost anytime.
Unable to display map at this time. Please try again later.
Are you the owner of this business? Click here for promotion tips.