The open space included in the Marchesiani Farmlands and McKenna Marsh area comprises a number of properties in Hingham and a large parcel in Norwell. The parcels generally are formed around Accord Brook and its abutting wetlands as the brook flows across Main Street to the crossing of Prospect Street into Wompatuck State Park. Through this run the brook is generally bound by uplands of Liberty Plain following Prospect Street to Mast Hill on the north and Queen Ann’s Corner, Grove Street and Prospect Street veering towards Prospect Hill on the south and east. Two characteristics of the land which have shaped its use over time are that it is largely wetlands making it a water supply resource and it is relatively flat lending itself to farming.
Accord Brook threads through the area, making it important to water supplies of Hingham and Norwell, which has town wells and 205 acres of publicly owned land abutting the southern border. More than 100 acres here include a freshwater marsh once used as a waterfowl preserve, with a beaver dam of unusual length and linearity. Considerable high ground and open woods provide easy walking and vantage points to observe waterfowl. Large white cedars can be seen from the trail that skirts eskers toward the northern margin. In 2007, the Conservation Preservation Act purchase of the Gladys Cushing property off Scotland Street conserved an additional 2+ acres behind an affordable housing site. Also within the McKenna Marsh land is a 9.75-acre parcel, acquired in 2012, known as the Scotland Street Meadow, now reverting to forest. Good for observing nature, with an informal trail system. Park on Scotland Street (not at Housing Authority property). Due east of the McKenna Marsh acreage is a 1.4-acre property, in the Wanders Drive neighborhood, donated by Irene Ann Bucken in 1994. A mix of wetland and upland; no formal trails or parking.
Abutting Main Street are 25 acres of historic farmland that were once a part of Pushcart Farm, originally purchased by the Marchesiani family in 1934. As with many currently wooded properties, these lands were mostly held open for pasture and agriculture. More than 10,000 tomato plants were grown here, along with cucumbers, strawberries and other vegetables. Through the good will of the Marchesiani family and the developer of Black Rock Golf Course, this property was obtained in 2001 in exchange for an inaccessible conservation tract on Old Ward Street. This land connects Main Street to more than 100 acres of conservation land in Hingham and to the Norwell water well fields. It borders Accord Brook and McKenna Marsh and includes a spectacular pine grove. The mown field (entrance marked by granite posts) on Main Street recalls the agricultural history of the town. Cart paths through the property make for easy walking.
There are two major points of access to the Hingham property. The property can be accessed at the entrance to Marchesiani Farmlands, between 1126 and 1142 Main Street, or from Scotland Street just south of Richard Road. Parking is available near the Main Street Entrance at the Middle School, but is limited to non-school hours. At the Scotland Street entrance there are three dirt parking spaces available from dawn to dusk. The route for the walk follows a single path linking the two entry points and extending east of the Scotland Street Entrance. The described routes go from the Scotland Street entrance to the east then returning on the same trail, continuing west past Scotland to Main Street. At Main Street the route reverses direction and ends the walk at Scotland Street. Since the route is a round trip on the same path, the visitor can choose to begin the walk at either entrance and cut the walk short if he/she so chooses.
Because the route is linear with an entry point at one end and one in the middle, the route description is presented in segments to provide the visitor with options of walking the entire length of the route or either of the two halves. The length of this walk, which is a round-trip on the complete route, is approximately 1.8 miles.
The Main Street entrance is marked by a Hingham Conservation Commission sign and an information kiosk. This entrance is an alternative starting point for the Marchesiani/McKenna Marsh Walk. Parking for this entrance is available at the Hingham Middle school parking lot off Rosemary Lane during non-school hours. To get from the parking lot to the Marchesiani Farm Entrance walk to Main Street and cross the street at the crosswalk. Turn right and walk down the sidewalk crossing Accord Brook at the site of the 1850 Gardner Bridge, pass 1126 Main Street and follow the stone wall to the Marchesiani Farm parkland entrance.
From this entrance a visitor can complete the walk back to Scotland Street, begin a 1.0 round trip from Main Street to Scotland Street and back or begin a 1.8 mile round trip walk from Main Street past Scotland Street to the Norwell Water Department Pumping Station.
To walk from the Main Street entrance the route goes down the right side of the field, away from Main Street, and follows the mowed path counterclockwise around the field. The route turns left at the back end of the field which leads to a corner of a stone wall. At this point the route turns right onto the mowed path walking away from Main Street. Follow the mowed paths down the middle of the fields to the trail entering the woods. Cross a small brook and a rise in the trail over a culvert coming to a trail junction. Turn right at the junction and then left at a second junction coming to a main trail. Turn left when arriving at a T junction with a main trail. (A right turn at this point leads to trails through Norwell which eventually meet the west end of the McKenna Marsh trail near a Norwell Water Department Pumping Station.)
After turning left the route passes a white wood block trail marker on the right, a stone formation with a flat stone seat on the right, a trail marker on the left, a narrow overgrown trail on the right and a trail on the left. Next the route crosses a wood bridge over Accord Brook and continues along the trail with the brook on the left and a fieldstone wall on the right. The trail turns right onto a wide, mowed grass path with a white block trail marker on the left. The route continues down the mowed path with a field on the right and woodlands on the left. The route continues to the left past a vehicle gate to the Scotland Street Trailhead.
At this point the visitor entering from Main Street can turn back through the vehicle gate and follow the Scotland Street/Main Street Round Trip Leg back to Main Street completing a 1.0 mile Main Street/Scotland Street round trip or continue across Scotland Street and follow the Scotland Street Round Trip returning to Main Street on the Scotland Street/Main Street Round Trip Leg to complete a 1.8 mile walk.
Because the route is linear with an entry point at one end and one in the middle, the route description is presented in segments to provide the visitor with options of walking the entire length of the route or either of the two halves. The length of a round-trip on the complete route is approximately 1.8 miles. This segment is approximately 0.8 miles.
The route for the 0.8 mile walk begins at the trailhead on the left side of Scotland Street south of Richard Road. The entrance is identified by a Hingham Conservation Commission Sign for McKenna Marsh and a white iron gate. There is a dirt parking area on the left for about three cars. At the beginning of the route there is an information kiosk with a map of the property and the trails. In addition to going left off of Scotland Street the trail also goes right around a vehicle gate towards Marchesiani Farm and Main Street. A visitor can choose to walk in either direction but the described route begins by going left (east) from Scotland Street.
The route follows a path with trees and shrubs on the right and abutting residences about 100 feet to the left. After a few hundred yards the route passes a white wood block trail marker on a tree on the left and passes marsh land on the right and woods on the left. The route crosses a wooden beam bridge over Accord Brook with views of McKenna Marsh to the right. The beam is raised more than a foot above the trail requiring a high step. The brook flows off to the left through the neighborhood toward Wompatuck State Park. The route rises up a slope and continues along the top of a ridge. There is a trail that goes into the woods off to the right and along the edge of the marsh before coming to a dead end. The route continues along the trail to the left and comes to another trail that goes off the left side of the route. The side trail on the left goes through woods eventually coming to Wanders Drive via a path between homes at 31 and 35 Wanders Drive. The main route stays right, past another trail marker on the right and veers right. The route comes to another white trail marker on the left, approximately at the Hingham/Norwell border. The trail continues down hill and enters Norwell onto a road that circles a Norwell Water Department pumping station. The Norwell road leads to other paths in Norwell that circle McKenna Marsh and join trails in Hingham on the west side of the marsh but these trails are not included in this walk .
At the Norwell boundary by the Norwell Water Department Pumping Station, the route reverses direction. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead at Scotland Street again passing white block trail markers, side trails and crossing Accord Brook.
Because the route is linear with an entry point at one end and one in the middle, the route description is presented in segments to provide the visitor with options of walking the entire length of the route or either of the two halves. The length of a round-trip on the complete route is approximately 1.8 miles, this segment is 1.0 miles, and the Scotland Street/McKenna Marsh segment is approximately 0.8 miles.
Upon returning to Scotland Street after the Scotland Street/McKenna Marsh Walk, the visitor has the option of extending the walk from 0.8 miles to 1.8 miles by adding a loop from Scotland Street to Main Street and returning from Main Street to Scotland Street.
The leg to Main Street crosses Scotland Street and goes past a vehicle gate onto a wide mowed grass path. The route continues down the mowed path with a field on the left and woods on the right. After passing a white block trail marker on the right the route turns left onto a woodland trail and follows a stone wall on the left and Accord Brook on the right to a wooden bridge crossing the brook. In a short distance the trail meets a side trail off to the right. The route turns right onto the side trail and continues until it comes to a trail junction. The route turns right at the junction and continues through the woods crossing a rise over a culvert followed by a board crossing over a small stream. The trail then comes to an open field with wide mowed paths. This area is in what was Marchesiani Farm. The paths are mowed through the center of the fields and around the field perimeters. The route follows the path through the middle of the fields until it comes to a fieldstone wall. Turn left at the wall then follow the wall to the right to Main Street and turn left, following the wall to the trailhead entrance on Main Street. To return to the Scotland Street entrance, follow the directions for the Main Street/Scotland Street Round Trip Leg.
Recommended Trail Activities: Walking, Trail Biking Length: 1.8 Route Type: Trail (Narrow), Path (Medium) Difficulty (Grade/Surface): Easy Parking: Adequate Dog Restrictions: Allowed Ancillary Activities: Snowshoeing, Birding, Fishing (license may be required), Hunting (permission may be required), Camping (permission may be required), Picnic, Natural Features, Scenery