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 (http://www.friendsmssf.com/) 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 (http://www.friendsmssf.com/) to find out more about us.

Upcoming events (3)

Northwest Myles exploration from Curlew Pond

Curlew Pond campground entrance

Join us for an exploration of the area north and west of the Curlew Pond campground. Meet us at the hike start by 9am or meet us first for breakfast or a cup of coffee at 8:00 am at the Panera Bread off Long Pond Road (in "The Grove" shopping center with BJ's and Kohl's near exit 5 off Route 3). One advantage to joining us for breakfast-- If you are unfamiliar with Myles Standish, you can follow us to the hike start. We generally hike for about two hours. Please bring water and snacks. We are at that time of year when bug spray and sunscreen may be essential. We go out unless a downpour or thunderstorms arise.

Summer Solstice Nature Hike

Myles Standish Parking Lot #2

Come enjoy the start of summer with a Friday evening nature hike in Myles Standish State Forest. The hike will be through the center of the park in Wildlife Management areas and will include a mix of trail and forest road walking through some of the lesser used areas. The route will be a moderately hilly in places, will pass by some ponds, numerous fields and both white pine and pine barren habitats. Signs of nature will be observed along the way. I expect the hike to be 2.5 hours and approximately five miles and the pace will be relaxed. We will be finishing after sunset(8:23), so bring a headlamp or flashlight if you are uncomfortable walking in semi darkness, but with a near full moon, there should be sufficient light. This hike will be a repeat of the Solstice hike offered the last few years. On those hikes we were serenaded by some Whip-poor-wills and Hermit Thrushes, loud choruses of tree frogs and had wonderful finishes with a magical firefly light shows. Dogs are welcome if they are leashed or kept under control. For more info on the group, visit our Friends of Myles Standish State Forest website (http://www.friendsmssf.com/)

Annual Camping Weekend - Nickerson State Park

Nickerson State Park

Join us for camping weekend on Cape Cod at scenic Nickerson State Park in Brewster. We have a group site OG6 reserved this year in Area 6. This area gives access to Little Cliff Pond and Higgins Pond is an easy walk. We will also have a covered pavillion available. More information links: https://www.mass.gov/locations/nickerson-state-park https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g41476-d208267-Reviews-Nickerson_State_Park-Brewster_Cape_Cod_Massachusetts.html https://www.capecodbikeguide.com/railtrail.asp https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g185492-d187922-Reviews-Cape_Cod_National_Seashore-Cape_Cod_Massachusetts.html https://www.crosbymansion.com/ There a wide range of things to do in the park and area. An agenda has yet to be determined, but the following are possibile activities: Hikes in the park, including one by a naturalist. Bike rides - 8 miles of bike path in park and Cape Cod Rail Trail swimming, kayaking and paddling in the park's clean and sandy kettle ponds A visit to nearby Crosby Mansion A visit to Cape Cod National Seashore Group pot luck dinners with campfire

Past events (1,564)

sunday dog hike

Myles Standish State Forest headquarters

Photos (14,228)