Wompatuck State Park

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Coordinates: 42°12′22.95″N 70°50′45.82″W / 42.2063750°N 70.8460611°W / 42.2063750; -70.8460611
Wompatuck State Park
Massachusetts State Park
Black-and-white Warbler (7235499038).jpg
Black-and-white Warbler
Named for: Indian chief Josiah Wompatuck
Country United States
State Massachusetts
Counties Plymouth, Norfolk
Towns Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell, Scituate
Elevation 131 ft (40 m) [1]
Coordinates 42°12′22.95″N 70°50′45.82″W / 42.2063750°N 70.8460611°W / 42.2063750; -70.8460611
Area 3,579 acres (1,448 ha) [2]
IUCN category V - Protected Landscape/Seascape
Location in Massachusetts
Website: Wompatuck State Park

Wompatuck State Park is a recreational area of about 4000 acres (16 km²) in size located primarily in Hingham, Massachusetts, in the United States. Portions of the park extend into the neighboring towns of Cohasset, Norwell, and Scituate. It is managed by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.[3]

History[edit]

The land was originally the property of Indian chief Josiah Wompatuck, who deeded the land to English Settlers in 1655. The park is built on the former Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex (known by natives as the "Cohasset Annex"), which was in use from 1941 until 1965. It contains over 100 decommissioned military bunkers, many of which have been backfilled, but some of which remain exposed, including one which housed parts of the Navy's first nuclear depth charge in the 1950s.[4] Several old military buildings can be found on park property as well as an extensive network of abandoned railroad. Most buildings have had their roofs and windows removed and are open to the elements.

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park boasts a campground with 400 camp sites, 252 of which are open; 130 of the sites have a 20 amp electrical hook-up. Camping is open from mid-April until mid-October. The park contains a boat ramp in the Aaron River Reservoir, where kayaks, canoes, and flat-bottomed row boats are allowed. There are a number bicycling trails and paths for riders of all abilities. For those who seek off-road riding there is a vast amount of challenging single track. There is also a large paved trail system which can be enjoyed by riders of all abilities. An abandoned rail spur, linking the Ammunition Depot to the Old Colony Railroad line, has recently been converted to a bicycle path, linking Wompatuck to the Cohasset Commuter Rail Station. (This rail trail is currently closed, however holes in the fence allow access by foot or on bike.) Upland game bird hunting is allowed in season in the South Field area. South Field is also a favorite of mountain bikers, as is the rest of the park. Free spring water can be obtained at Mt. Blue Spring, which has been in operation since the mid-19th century.

The park protects forests of the Northeastern coastal forests ecoregion.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wompatuck State Park". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "2012 Acreage Listing". Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Wompatuck State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Wompatuck News". Friends of Wompatuck State Park. Winter 2007. 
  5. ^ Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein, et al (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2. 

External links[edit]