Next Meetup

2019 Friends' First Day hike- Start the year off with us!
Help us start the New Year off with a family hike in Myles Standish on New Years Day. We are offering you the choice of a short hike or a longer hike: • a relaxing easy 2.5 mile walk around the lovely East Head Reservoir trail. The walk generally takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half at a moderate pace. Fast walkers can do it it in less than an hour. • If the snow allows, a group will continue for another 4 to 5 miles on trails off of the Bentley Loop. (A 7 mile hike in total when you add in the connector trail.) This whole trip takes at least three hours. Be sure to bring water and snacks with you! Both groups will start off together from the amphitheater behind the forest headquarters on Cranberry Road. Park in the main headquarters lot. Meet us at 10:45am for an 11:00 hike start. Dress warmly. When hiking, multiple thinner breathable clothing layers that can be added or subtracted as necessary are very helpful on cold days (compared to massive overcoats) because people generally warm up quickly when hiking and then have to start shedding. Rapid cooling can occur whenever the hike pauses. The ability to adjust to conditions is essential to having a good time and a safe trip. Good warm boots are certainly helpful if there is snow. If there is enough snow, snowshoes are welcome. Deer hunting season ends on December 31st so hunters should not be an issue. The restrooms at the headquarters will be open. We are also hoping to have a campfire and hot cocoa to offer hikers. This will be our 7th annual First Day hike. The Friends website ( tells all about our many activities over the last year. The Friends are not operated by the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). We are just people like you who love Myles Standish, the biggest park in eastern Massachusetts. The Friends of Myles Standish celebrated our 11th year in 2018. Join us. Help us make this a fun event. We've been going out for a New Year's Hike every year since 2012. Photos from the 2018 First Day Hike: Wicked cold but we had fun! Photos from the 2017 First Day Hike ( We did the East Head Reservoir again. Photos from 2016 First Day Hike ( With the DCR, we had over 150 join us for the East Head Reservoir loop. Photos from 2015 First Day Hike ( We did the Friends Trail. Photos from 2014 New Year's Day Hike- Start Easy or Start Hard ( Option of 2.5 mile East Head or 6+ miles combined with Bentley Loop Photos from the 2013 New Year's Day hike ( Around the East Head Reservoir Photos from the 2012 New Year's Hike ( We hiked 5 miles from the HQ through Barrett's Pond and up to Three Cornered Pond Road and back.

Myles Standish State Forest

194 Cranberry Rd · Carver, MA

    Past Meetups (1,484)

    What we're about

    We hold volunteer-led group hikes and birding events at various locations in and around the vast Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth and Carver, Massachusetts. Myles Standish is more than 12,400 acres (or 25 square miles) with many dozens of miles of hiking and bicycle trails allowing you to explore its 16 pristine ponds, four major campground areas, two boy scout camps, wildlands areas and rare species. Few people have seen every corner of it.

    The park is split between sections of Plymouth and Carver. Minutes from Routes 3 or 495/25, you have probably passed within a few miles recently. Why not join us to give it a try?

    The Friends have been around for 10 years. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the park's founding in 2016 year and our 11th annual Family Fishing Derby in 2017.

    For most of the year, we have a regular group that goes out hiking on weekday mornings after sharing a hearty breakfast. (Right now the group goes out on Friday.) We also have a group that goes out with their dogs on many Sundays. Saturday and Sunday hikes are offered whenever we have leaders available.

    Bird watching and other bird support activities are scheduled when the birds allow. We are approaching our 1000th Meetup since our group started using Meetup in 2009. Clearly, a lot of people are having fun and we hope you will join us soon on one of them.

    Members of the Friends are also currently working on various stewardship projects such as:

    Trail Maintenance- Together with the state, we have helped to maintain miles of trails in the forest. Sometimes we go out with loppers. Other time, we have rented equipment for the state workers to use in clearing and leveling some of the trails. (We aren't allowed to use power equipment ourselves in the forest.) We recently (December 2017) got approved to help with replacing about half of the boards in two of the boardwalks going placed around the East Head Reservoir.

    Native Bird Support- A group of volunteers cleans and monitors about 40 bluebird boxes at various locations throughout the forest. These boxes are visited weekly during the nesting season and all activity is tracked and reported. Spring will soon be here! Watch Meetup for notices about when training and setup activities are scheduled. (Typically in late March/ early April.)

    Visit the Friends of Myles Standish web page ( to find out more about these activities.

    While there, please consider a membership, which is only $10, to support them. (This is different than signing up on Meetup. Registering on the Meetup is free. Membership in the Friends is completely optional.)

    This Meetup Group is sponsored by the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest (FMSSF). a volunteer group charity organization founded in 2007. We are private individuals who want to bring interesting and fun hikes, bird-watching programs and other events for all ages to Myles Standish State Forest, the largest state forest in eastern Massachusetts-- a park as big as many of the towns that surround it.

    This group is not sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) or the State of Massachusetts. We often work closely with the DCR on clearing trails and on our annual fishing derby and many other projects but if you have an issue with the park, please address it to the state. (You can copy us. We like to know about such things and we do what we can to help focus the attention of the State on what we see as the bigger issues with the park.)

    All ages are welcome on our hikes as long as parents/guardians are with any younger hikers. Friendly leashed dogs are welcome on most hikes. If you love hiking or birding you will discover that MSSF has some great places to explore. The pine barrens of Myles Standish are unique and beautiful. They are worth a visit, any day of the week, 365 days a year.

    What are you waiting for?

    Again, please consider joining our Friends group. Basic membership is only $10 per year. Visit the Friends of Myles Standish web page ( to find out more about us.

    Members (1,466)

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