Hipster Hair & Marsh Grass: Ellisville Harbor State Park, MA

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Ellisville Harbor State Park
Ellisville Harbor State Park

Wilderness:  Costal, Plymouth MA

Gear: Chocolate Lab

Location   41.845898°, -70.536905°

Get ThereApproximately 1 hour South of Boston’s harbor by car, by kayak…TBD. The park was low key when we were there. We parked at the overflow area, because we missed the main entrance, and followed some not so clearly marked trails to the main parking lot and trail head access. In general parking seems plentiful with the overflow lot off of directly off of 3A. Mass.gov offers some great additional information.

Log: The weekend had pushed into the 70’s which offered a nice respite to the previous weeks of teen temp lows. Not having seen the ocean since Fall and with the remains of the recent Nor’easter dwindling, we headed to the coast for an afternoon of hiking.

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Ellisville Harbor Looking East

From the main parking lot there is only one trail you need to follow for beach access. After 5 minutes easy strolling through hardwoods and meandering hills you will start to see the beach and Cape Cod Bay peaking through the trees.

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First beach sighting

Spring was in the air, but the Marshlands were still recovering from the recent snowpack. The 12″ cover of New England white gold had curiously left the uncanny resemblance of a hipster’s impeccably styled hair. Structured yet disheveled, it was both welcoming and disturbing. Marsh grass had never looked so good.

Within 15 minutes you clear the woods and meet the beach.  A pebble sanded shoreline replaces the trail and Truffle shifts her excitement level to full throttle. The leash comes off, a tennis ball came out and we were now engaged in a perpetual game of catch as we headed South.


After continuous ball throwing and some intermittent walking, we made it to what appeared to be the main inlet to the salt marsh. The tide was on its way out, but with the water to high to cross we were forced to stop and enjoy the views of steep dunes and continuous beach stretching South.

Ellisville Harbor Inlet Looking South

Following the inlet West, you can choose to walk deep into the salt marsh. At this time of year the marsh grass was still short, making it easy to explore the estuary by foot. The water was clear and cold with the tides quick current resembling the flow of a narrow river.

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Salt Marsh Exploration

The wind had picked up on this point, but the twisted pines offered a nice shelter. Walking through the middle of the barrier beach you gain enough altitude, ~5ft from sea level,  for some fantastically open view of the shoreline. On the marsh side of the beach we came across a large permanent nesting structure, which offers up the best views of the park to its lucky resident.

Every year there is that weekend outdoors which reveals a gateway to Spring. This year bridging that gap was Ellisville Harbor. The perfect conflict, snowmelt runoff at a bathing suit (optional?) destination.

– Happy Wildernessing, Bostonia Outfitters

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