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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 (4)

Winter morning out hike with the AMC

Long Pond boat ramp parking

Join the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) for an 8 am Saturday hike at a new location in Plymouth. See the beauty of the forest in winter. A new route from the Long Pond boat ramp parking lot will visit Wildlands Trust trails. This should give us about 7 miles of beautiful trails. Once we're done, we'll still have the rest of the day for other things. Meet at 7:45am at the Long Pond boat ramp. We'll plan on a moderate pace to complete the hike in approximately 3 hours. Pre-registration is not required, but email the leader with questions or concerns. If we have snow, the hike will become a snowshoe and the distance will be adjusted. Dogs are not allowed on AMC hikes. Maureen Kelly[masked] [masked] Maureen is a 4 season hike leader for AMC SEM.

Hike the 15 mile long Plymouth Wishbone Trail

ellisville harbor state park

The Plymouth Wishbone Walking Trail was set up in 2007 by a local Boy Scout and runs from Myles Standish headquarters all the way to Ellisville Harbor State Park on Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth. It is approximately 15 miles in length. Most of the trail is in the State Forest or in other conservation property. The original layout had about a third of the hike along local dirt roads. We have now found ways to avoid the roads for the most part. The hike ends on the beach at Ellisville. We will meet at Ellisville Harbor State Park and will carpool to Myles Standish State Forest headquarters. Please drive to the inner parking lot so that you are not tempted to end your hike on Route 3a at the end of a long day. This is a very long walk. Please do not come on this walk if you aren't regularly hiking at least seven miles plus fairly regularly already. People always want to know how long it will take-- I would estimate eight hours in total including the carpool, regular breaks and a stop for lunch. You need to wear good shoes, bring your lunch and lots of water. Sunscreen and tick protection are also recommended. More info about the Plymouth Wishbone Walking Trail can be found at : https://www.facebook.com/PlymouthWishboneWalkingTrail/

Park Serve Day and Cookout

Myles Standish State Forest headquarters

DCR’s Annual Park Serve Day is coming Saturday April 27, 2018 to Myles Standish State Forest. Join us for a morning of work followed by a cookout sponsored by the Friends. With the help of volunteers, DCR will spruce up our park's facilities, clean beaches, clean and maintain trails, plant flowers, and more! These valuable resources belong to all of us, and we can all take pride in them. Since Park Serve Day began in 2006, tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents have helped to prepare Massachusetts state parks and beaches for the summer recreation season. At the conclusion, the Friends will provide a free hamburger and hot dog cookout for all participants. Please plan to come out and join in on April 27th . Meet us at the park headquarters on Cranberry Road in Carver at 9:00am. Things To Know: The event is sponsored by DCR and the Friends of Myles Standish. Activities are suitable for adults and children over age 8. Wear appropriate shoes and dress for the weather. Consider bringing a hat, sunscreen and extra drinking water to stay well hydrated. Call the park office at[masked] if you have questions about cancellation owed to inclement weather, etc.

Volunteer at Ragnar Relay to help raise money for the Friends

College Pond day use area

Help us raise money for the Friends by joining us to operate a relay race exchange station at College Pond for relay teams running the Ragnar Relay from Hull to Dennis. We need exchange station volunteers to work shifts for the Ragnar Relay Race (https://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/capecod) from 2:30 on Friday May 10th to the early morning hours of Saturday May 11th. If we get enough volunteers, we will have three shifts- early (2:30pm to 6:30pm) ; middle (6:15pm to 10:30pm) and very late (10:15pm to 2:15am) Please leave us a comment as to what hours you will be available. All volunteers must pre-register with Ragnar online in addition to signing up here. This is the link: https://groups.runragnar.com/FriendsMSSF Thanks! WHAT TO WEAR AND WHAT TO BRING -Your cheering voice and a positive attitude. -Comfy, weather-appropriate clothes. -A headlamp for night shifts. Ragnar will provide safety vests. -Sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, umbrella—depending on the location. -A book or folding chair (some shifts have downtime). -Food and water. (Ragnar will provide a small snack and water bottle, but consider bringing more depending on your needs.) -A cowbell or noise maker. (Optional, but awesome.) -Bonus points for wearing a cape, grass skirt, glow stick necklace, funny shirt, Iron Man mask, or whatever you can come up with. VOLUNTEER NOW In return for the Friends' help, Ragnar will make a very substantial contribution to the Friends, which will help offset the costs of some of the programs we run during the year. (The Friends is a 501(c)3 charity and last year we did receive a $750 contribution for our efforts.) Please sign up and help the Friends. Thanks!

Past events (1,527)

DCR Hiking Club at Massasoit State Park

Massasoit State Park

Photos (13,992)