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  • Elaine Philbrick

Duxbury Trails: Lansing Bennett (Summer Street)

1.7 mi. loop; single and cart track; parking near 40 Fisher Ridge Circle; town’s most charming trail for the whimsical ‘bridges’ over wet areas and water views.

Duxbury is very fortunate to have many miles of trails in town that wander through fields, forests, and bogs. Residents can choose hikes ranging from 3 hours following the Bay Circuit Trail through town, to a short 15-minute loop of 0.6 miles on the Camp Wing Temple Street trail. The Duxbury Conservation Commission has an excellent free trail brochure with maps and helpful descriptions of almost all the town’s trails, and it is also available online at

Large branch over a dirt hiking path
Lansing Summer Street

There are 18 named trails or trail networks in town, and most residents haven’t been to all of them. In this article, we will introduce a beautiful trail that few in town know as it is not included in the current brochure, past Conservation brochures, or on the apps of AllTrails or Trailforks. The trail is part of Lansing Bennett Forest and circles Phillips Mill Pond. To access the trail, head north on Route 53 and about a quarter mile after Franklin Street, immediately after the “Do Not Pass” sign (and before Fisher Ridge Circle), there is a dirt parking lot on the right. Look for the gateposts, chain, and Duxbury Conservation sign that marks the start of the trail. 

Dog walking along side a river
Lansing Summer Street Walking Path

The trail is a 1.7 mile loop and ranges in width from single track to a wider cart track. It is a most charming trail that in addition to water views has whimsical natural wood stump stepping stones through a wet area and ‘bois’ bridges over streams. After a quarter mile the trail ends opposite a teepee made of sticks, and you can choose to do the loop clockwise or counterclockwise. Taking a left to follow clockwise, you will soon be walking beside a stream on your left and forest on your right. You will cross the stream on a two-plank bridge and immediately take a left. However, thereafter as you continue your way clockwise around the pond there will be multiple spur trails, and always be sure to choose the trail on the right to continue in a circle. Along the trail you will encounter two shallow streams about 4 feet wide which dogs like to walk straight through(!), but you will probably prefer to take your chances with the natural logs set up as a bridge.

Lansing Summer Street Wooden Stump Path
Lansing Summer Street Wooden Stump Path

One crossing has a log balance beam on the side in addition to the logs across, while the other has a stump next to the logs across that can be used. Fair disclosure, you will need to be healthy and ordinarily fit to balance on the logs or stump, or to leap across. It’s very fun to do it and kids or kids-at-heart love it, but if you have any concerns about getting wet or twisting an ankle, turn around and skip that part of the trail loop. Continue following the trail until you see the stick teepee marking the trail you entered on. Congrats on completing one of the “secret” trails in Duxbury!

Duxbury Trails:

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