Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
HINGHAM – Rambling dirt pathways lined with stately trees give way to rolling wildflower meadows, brilliant blue skies, lapping shorelines, and enchanting panoramic vistas of the Boston skyline. World’s End is a precious jewel in the heart of the South Shore, just waiting to share its natural beauty with curious visitors.
The History of World’s End
John Brewer farmed a beautiful piece of land on a peninsula jutting into Hingham Harbor and the Weir River. In 1889, Brewer had grand plans to build an exclusive residential enclave with 163 homes, serviced by tree-lined carriage paths and offering panoramic water views.
He hired renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the development. Olmsted’s work includes architect-in-chief for New York’s Central Park and Boston’s Emerald Necklace, The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, and many more prestigious parks and estates.
The landscape design was completed, but the housing plan was abandoned. Now managed by the Trustees of Reservations, World’s End is a treasure we can all enjoy.
Stroll the Carriage Paths
The gentle, tree-lined carriage paths are the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll. It is easy to spend a leisurely day exploring the sprawling 251 acres. Over four miles of carriage and footpaths wind through gently rolling hills. Panoramic views, past saltwater marshes where birds dart about with their daily chores, wide meadows shielding families of deer as they graze, and rocky shorelines that invite you to scramble over randomly positioned rocks and beach thickets provide endless entertainment.
The hike is rated easy to moderate. The carriage paths give the sense of an easy afternoon walk; however, there are a few hills to navigate along the way. The rewards, besides getting in some outdoor exercise, are the fabulous views of the Boston skyline.
In the winter, cross country skiing on a crisp, sunshiny day along the tree-lined walking paths is the perfect way to get your daily dose of fresh air. Snowshoeing would also be an excellent option to explore World’s End during the winter months.
Trustees of Reservations
Thankfully, after failed attempts to transform World’s End into a residential estate, the United Nations Headquarters (1940), and a nuclear power plant (1960), the Trustees of Reservations took control of the land in 1967. The Trustees have worked tirelessly to preserve and protect the land while maintaining Olmsted’s beautifully landscaped property.
Their dedicated team, along with proceeds from visitors and generous donors, provides for the ongoing care of World’s End, ensuring it will be enjoyed for generations.
A sunset picnic at nearby Weir River Farm is a fun way to cap off your Hingham visit.
This summer the Weir River Farm Sunset Picnics program offers live music, craft breweries, local food truck cuisine, and sunset views on Thursday evenings through October 7. Grab a blanket and head out to enjoy a relaxing summer night with friends and family.
Tickets are available at: thetrustees.org/program/weir-river-farm-sunset-picnics/.
Dine and Stay
Make your visit to World’s End part of a great staycation. Cap your adventure off with dinner and an overnight stay in Boston’s bustling Seaport District.
The Aloft Boston Seaport District, a Marriott hotel, is centrally located on D Street. Situated next to The Lawn on D where you can take a ride on their popular urban swing set, grab a bite from the concession stand, and enjoy an adult beverage. The Aloft’s chic and urban style is open and inviting after a day exploring the beauty of Mother Nature.
End your staycation day with a masterfully prepared Italian feast at Strega Italiano Seaport. If you prefer a classic American steakhouse, Ocean Prime is a fabulous option.
World’s End is open year-round and offers a variety of programs. Fun classes like Moonlight Hikes and Sunset Yoga explore nature from a unique perspective.
A leisurely walk around the property takes about two hours to complete. However, to get the most from your visit to World’s End, consider packing a picnic lunch, a blanket, and your binoculars. Spend time getting lost along less traveled trails and immerse yourself in the quiet, peaceful beauty.
There is a nominal admission fee (free for Trustees members), parking is limited, and a pre-purchased ticket is required. Information about visiting World’s End, Hingham, Massachusetts, can be found at https://thetrustees.org/place/worlds-end-hingham/.
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