Date Of Visit: April 7, 2019
Location: 781 Linwood St., Abington, MA (30 minutes south of Boston, MA or 1 hour northeast of Providence, RI)
Hours: Open daily dawn until dusk
Parking: Free parking for about 50 or more cars
Trail Size/Difficulty: 700 acres/Easy to moderate
Handicapped Accessible: Yes, the main trails are handicapped accessible
Dog Friendly: Yes
Website: Ames Nowell State Park Website
Trail Map: Ames Nowell Trail Map
Restroom facilities: Yes
Highlights: pond, wildlife, scenic, fishing, running trails, paths for dirt bikes and cycling, picnic tables, ball fields, grills, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter
- the park was hard to find by GPS – try looking for Presidential Dr and hook up to Linwood that way
- The trail is not a loop – when you get to the boardwalk on the main trail turn back and backtrack to the beginning of the trail
Summary: Ames Nowell has activities for the entire family. From the scenic views, fishing spots, pavilions and sporting activities, Ames Nowell has a variety of ways to enjoy the park. The main trail is handicapped accessible and the park is dog friendly.
Named after the grandson of Oliver Ames, the 35th governor of Massachusetts (1887-1890), Ames Nowell was purchased during the the Great Depression when the previous land owner could not afford the taxes for the land. It is now a haven for hikers, fishing enthusiasts (bass and pickerel are said to be abundant there) and anyone else who enjoys being out in nature.
Proving that it is indeed a hidden treasure, I had a hard time finding Ames Nowell. The best way to get there is to punch Presidential Dr in your GPS and follow it on to Linwood Rd.
When you do finally arrive at Ames Nowell, your best bet is to go to the left and follow the trail that way. That is the path that leads to the major attractions. I went in both directions (left and right) on the main path and following the trail to the right only led me on a short, very muddy trail. The trail ends at the residential homes that act as boundaries for the park. I was able to take a few photos and there are some pretty views. But, it’s not worth traveling on it unless you’re just looking to add some mileage to your hike.
The jewel of the park is Cleveland Pond. The trail follows the side of the pond. Fishing and non motorized boating are allowed at and in the pond.
The trails at Ames Nowell are graded as moderate. I would consider them more on the easy level, especially if you stay on the main trails. There are boardwalks, bridges and other man made structures to walk on during your travels.
Of course, I did not stay on the main trails. That is the best way to capture the beauty of Ames Nowell after all.
There are a wide variety of birds at Ames Nowell. Hawks, kestrels, cardinals and woodpeckers are just a few of the many types of waterfowl and birds present at the park.
Birds aren’t the only animals you’ll find at Ames Nowell. Deer, fox, coyotes and other four legged animals are said to roam there. I didn’t see any of them during my visit. But, I did see mt first garter snake of the year.
While the trails are mostly well defined and the website for the park recommends visitors stay on the main trails, I took many of my photographs off the main trail. In fact, if you take any of the side trails near the end of the trail by the boardwalk you will find yourself in a huge field with paths for dirtbikes and ATVs. It also where I was able to photograph the kestrel show above in the group of bird photos. There are also side trails off this open field that have vernal pools.
Ames Nowell is dog friendly and there were many dogs at the park during my visit. Kea was one of the cute dogs I saw at the park. Kea, whose name is of Hawaiian origin that means “white”, is a 10 year old Westie.
For those of you still waiting for spring, I did see a hopeful sign of spring!