Take a Walk in the Newest Section of Wompatuck State Park
The Hingham Land Conservation Trust will sponsor a walk on Saturday, October 15th, at 11:00 AM in the newest addition to Wompatuck State Park. The 125-acre northwest section of the park was opened to the public during 2014. The new section provides access to Whitney and Thayer Woods and the Cohasset commuter rail station on the MBTA’s Greenbush Line, by way of the Whitney Spur Rail Trail. Visitors also can now access the park through an entrance at the south end of Leavitt Street.
For the October 15th walk, we will meet at the park entrance at the south end of Leavitt Street, where there is room for parking on the Leavitt Street cul-de-sac. The walk, which should take about an hour, will take place rain or shine. Dress for the weather and the woods. We will walk on trails, but long pants, walking shoes, and insect repellant are recommended.
Our guide will be Steve Gammon, a member of the Friends of Wompatuck. Steve, having spent his career at Wompatuck until his retirement from the position of Park Supervisor in 2015, brings tremendous knowledge of the park.
In addition to Wompatuck’s new links to trails and open space, some remnants of buildings used during WW II to assemble munitions for the Navy in the former Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex, or Cohasset Annex, can still be seen. The U.S. Navy deactivated the Cohasset Annex in 1962 and declared the land surplus in 1963. In 1966 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took possession of the main section of Wompatuck and, in 1967, conveyed it to the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources for use as a public park. In 1969 the park opened for limited outdoor recreational use and it was dedicated as Wompatuck State Park in 1973.
In 1986 the Park acquired an additional 600 acres, including the newly opened area, from the U.S. government. The land was transferred to the Commonwealth on December 30, 1988, for public park and recreation uses. In 2003, the state transferred the site of the Cohasset Station to the MBTA in exchange for construction of the Whitney Spur Rail Trail between Cohasset Station and Wompatuck Park by way of the Whitney and Thayer Woods.
On January 1, 2004, a 125 acre parcel off of Leavitt Street was added to the park. However, this section of the park was not safe for public use due to the remains of old military buildings. Through the advocacy of the Friends of Wompatuck and local state senate and house representatives, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation identified funds to clear the 13 industrial buildings on the site. Demolition began in the spring of 2014 and clean-up was completed later in the year.