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  • Elaine Philbrick

Duxbury Trails: Gifford Bog/Wright Reservoir

1.8 mi. loop; single and cart track; parking near 60 Millbrook Way; trails through bog, woods, power line, around the reservoir.

Williams Bog
Williams Bog

The newest trail in Duxbury is in the Williams Preserve, 200 acres of woodlands that

includes cranberry bogs and Wright Reservoir which is part of the town’s water supply. The preserve is accessed from Cordwood and Old Cordwood Path, Temple Street, Screenhouse Lane, and Frontage Road. Public parking lots are on Frontage Road and opposite 149 Temple Street beside the Gifford Bog. Gifford Bog is known in town for its frequently photographed faded red pump house on Route 139, and it is the oldest working bog in Duxbury dating from 1855.


Williams Bog
Williams Bog

Despite its large size, until now the only trail in the preserve was south of the Reservoir. That Blue Loop trail is 1.7 miles long and can be accessed from the public parking lots. However, with the 2021 acquisition of the 65-acre Pink property, the town now owns all sides of the Wright Reservoir and has been working on building a trail that will go all around the reservoir. Unfortunately, much of the circumference is wet and marshy and the cost and difficulty of having to put in long boardwalks had the project at a standstill.


Williams Bog
Williams Bog

Nancy Rufo, Duxbury’s Conservation Administrator, reached out to Duxbury Scout Troop 62 and Lukas Malloy took on the challenge for his Eagle Scout project. The project took months to plan, organize and complete under the guidance of his father Dennis Malloy, Scoutmaster Rich Geisler, and Eagle supervisors Damon Vaughn and David Savage, both from Troop 62. The project was funded by the Conservation Department and coordinated by Nancy Rufo and David Philbrick, the Assistant Land Manager.

The 120-foot beautifully crafted boardwalk allows safe and easy walking on a trail that previously was underwater, muddy, and full of tree roots, making for difficult passage. Over the next few months, Lukas will complete the administration portion of his Eagle project and hopefully successfully pass his Board of Review.


To access the new trail, entering from the Gifford Bog parking lot take your first left which will lead to a beautiful cranberry bog on your right. On your left will be a dilapidated pump house and immediately after it take a left onto the new trail leading into the woods. You will then cross over a low narrow strip of land with water on both sides which is the outflow of the reservoir to the Green Harbor River. Shortly after there will be a trail on your left to the power line or to the right to continue going around the reservoir. There are several spots with boardwalks or planks on the trail going around the reservoir to cross muddy areas, but it is finally passable thanks to the hard work of Conservation and Eagle Scout Lukas Malloy!

Duxbury Trails:

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