Myles Standish Forest is located across the southern sections of Plymouth and Carver MA. The forest is not only the largest publicly owned recreation area in southeastern MA, but it also was the first among 10 “family-friendly” hiking locations in a Boston Globe article.
Myles Standish offers 13 miles of hiking trails along with endless opportunities to explore the area’s natural woodland beauty. These hiking trails consists of a variety of loops; that range anywhere from an easy 2.5 mile hike, a hilly 3.3 mile hike, to an 8 mile loop. Whether you are looking for something short and easy, or for something with more of a challenge, this place has it all.
What Makes It Great
Myles Standish Forest provides 5 popular hiking trails that will take you deep into the woods, past lovely meadows, and around ponds such as Charge pond, and much more. If you are looking for something short and sweet, then East Head Trail is for you. This easy 2.5 mile loop begins at Forest Headquarters off of Cranberry Road and circles the East Head Reservoir. Here you can explore the reservoir as you hike along its shoreline.
With Friend’s Trail you can still enjoy a fairly short hike at 3.3 miles, however, the loop is hillier that East Head Trail with a glacial moraine running through the area. Although, the loop is still considered quite easy. It starts along the bike path before turning off into the woods less than half a mile from the park’s entrance. The Bently Loop is 3.7 miles and perfect for hikers looking for more of an adventure. The trail starts from the State Forest’s Hiking and Bike Trail parking lot. Here you can take in the beauty of the woodlands, explore the loop’s rolling hills, and enjoy the various meadows throughout the trail.
However, if you are looking for a loop that is a little more on the longer side, there is Charge Pond Trail. The 5 mile loop circles around Charge Pond, offering great views of the pond at all angles. Although, for those who are really looking for a challenge there is the Great 8 hike, an 8 mile hike that starts from Forest Headquarters.
Who is Going to Love It
It doesn’t matter what you are looking for because Myles Standish Forest has it all. From 2.5 miles to 8 miles, there is a lot to choose from. If you want something short and easy, there is East Had Trail. However, Bentley Loop and Friend’s Trail can also be used as a happy medium at 3.3 and 3.7 miles. These trails offer a little variety with rolling hills and beautiful meadows. Although, if you are not pressured or like a hike that offers more of an adventure, the Charge Pond Loop or the Great 8 hike are truly ideal. Beginners, families, and even experts will love Myles Standish Forest.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
(From the Mass.Gov website)
From the North: Take Rte. 3 south to exit 5, turn right onto Long Pond Rd. (west) and continue for about 3 miles to the park entrance on the right.
From Rte. 495: Take Rte. 495 to exit 2 (South Carver) and the intersection with Rte. 58. Take Rte. 58 north on Cranberry Rd., follow signs.
From Southeast: Rte.3 north to exit#3. Left off of ramp. Right onto Long Pond Rd, 2 miles forest entrance.