Horseshoe Mill

Discover Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river at Horseshoe Mill, part of the growing Weweantic River Reserve in Wareham. With woodland walking trails and beautiful river views, this 34-acre Buzzards Bay Coalition-owned property offers visitors a place to hike, paddle, fish, and explore the Weweantic’s rich history and ecology.

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Features

Just minutes from busy shopping centers in Wareham, Horseshoe Mill provides a quiet escape for hikers, paddlers, and anglers. Take a walk along the water’s edge and up into the woods, where a scenic river overlook awaits. Kayak up the placid river, or cast a line from the shore with your kids in search of perch and sunfish. It’s all part of the Weweantic River Reserve, a network of conserved land that protects Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river.

Horseshoe Mill gets its name from Standard Horseshoe Co., a large factory that operated here in 1890. Several iron works were located here in the 19th century, including Murdock & Howland Nail Factory and Wareham Nail Co.

a family fishing in the Weweantic River at Horseshoe Mill

Anglers of all ages can go fishing at Horseshoe Mill. You don’t even need a fancy rod and reel – make your own fishing pole with a stick you find in the woods!

Trails

Along with the adjacent Birch Island Conservation Area, Horseshoe Mill has a growing network of trails through the Weweantic River Reserve. Altogether, you can spend an hour or more exploring these two neighboring properties. (Download trail map)

Starting at the parking area, walk past the metal gate on a wide, flat gravel path. As you walk, look down at your feet – the dark, metallic pieces of “slag” you see littering the ground are left over from iron ore processing that once took place here. It’s one of many signs of the site’s industrial history that you’ll see in the woods.

You’ll soon reach the river, where the remnants of an old dam sit at the head of tide. Cross the dam to continue on the main trail, or wander down to the banks of the river. You can also launch a kayak here and paddle upstream, where the river gently bends around Birch Island.

The scenery begins to shift as you hike uphill on the main trail into an upland pine forest. Explore a short loop trail to the left, or keep walking to find a right turn that will lead you to a quiet river overlook. Beyond this point, the trail traces Interstate 195 and ends at private property, so turn around and retrace your steps to return to the entrance.

Habitats & Wildlife

Horseshoe Mill is situated at the “head of tide” on the Weweantic River – the special spot where fresh water flowing downstream from Carver, Middleborough, and Rochester meets the salty tidal waters rising up from Buzzards Bay. This mix of fresh and salt water creates one of the most unique and important ecosystems in our region. Rare wetland plants grow along the river’s edge, and birds, frogs, and turtles thrive among the woods and water.

The Weweantic River is home to the most diverse community of migratory fish that remains anywhere on Buzzards Bay. Perch, American eels, river herring, and sea lampreys are a few of the numerous fish species that migrate up the river past Horseshoe Mill. The rocky riffle just downstream of the dam is a prime spot for spawning rainbow smelt each spring.

Today, the Coalition is working to restore the Weweantic River at Horseshoe Mill to improve fish passage and create better access for people to explore.

By protecting this land and restoring the river, the Coalition is working to revitalize these tremendous natural resources for all of us to enjoy.

Property Owned By

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and sustainable use and enjoyment of our irreplaceable Bay and its watershed.

Details
Size: 34 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Medium-sized parking area at the end of Station Street
Trail Difficulty: Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
Station Street
Wareham, MA 02571
41.765580, -70.748130

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Horseshoe Mill
Wareham, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Nearby Places To Go

Birch Island Conservation Area

Birch Island in Wareham isn’t actually an island. But with river views in every direction, you might mistake it for one!

Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area

If you want to explore a classic Wareham landscape, Westgate Conservation Area is an ideal spot.

Agawam River Trail

The Agawam River Trail in East Wareham offers a peaceful stroll, vistas of the Agawam River, and a paddling launch.

Current Issues

Restoring Streams & Wetlands

The Coalition is working to restore damaged streams and wetlands in places like the Acushnet River, the Weweantic River, and the Mattapoisett River to protect clean water and improve the health of the Bay ecosystem so fish, wildlife, and people can thrive.

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Bay Health: Weweantic River – Fresh

Find your water quality score in Bay Health ›