What we're about

Most Friends group activities are currently on hold because of the coronavirus. The park remains open but the public bathrooms at headquarters are closed. We have started up very small group hiking for existing members.

Since 2007, we have been holding 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 the size of the island of Manhattan, covering 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 and wildlife management areas. Few people have seen every corner of it.

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The park is split between sections of Plymouth and Carver. Minutes from Route 3 (Exits 3 or 5) or Route 495 (Exit 2), you have probably passed within a few miles recently. Why not join us to give it a try?

The Friends have been around for 13 years. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the park's founding in 2016 year and our 13th annual Family Fishing Derby in 2019.

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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 Thursday.) 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.) Last year, we repaired two of the boardwalks going placed around the East Head Reservoir. It took hundreds of hours of volunteer time and we spent over $3500 on the repairs. We are proud of what we accomplished.

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. 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 (1)

New Grassy Pond

Cuttersfield Road

Starting from the big parking lot on Cutter Field Road, New Grassy Pond is along the Pine Barrens Path. Depending on how warm the day is, we will continue south towards Charge Pond and return. You can meet us at the hike start at 8:30 . Bring water, snacks and wear good hiking shoes. We generally go out for about two hours. We did this hike in January and it was 4.2 miles. The DCR has implemented new controls during the pandemic. Hikers have to pre-register and send in a simple registration and liability release form ONE TIME to the DCR for these Friends hiking events occuring in the state forest. There is also guidance for activities during Covid 19. The form can be downloaded at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/volunteer-release-form-covid-19-guidance-ms-word/download The form must be completed online on your computer or phone and emailed to [masked]. This must be done BEFORE the hike. We apologize for the bother but we ask you to please do this so that we can enjoy our hikes in the forest again. (Again, if you did this last week, you don't need to do it this week.) Everyone is required to observe physical distancing and to bring masks, Our group is strictly limited in size (to 10 or less) and everyone must have sent their forms in to the state by the day before the hike. No one will be allowed to to just show up. This Meetup is offered by the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest. Visit our website (http://www.friendsmssf.com/) for more information on our group. (This is not our main website. Meetup is a group scheduling tool used by more than 100,000 groups worldwide.)

Past events (1,673)

Cherry Pond valley

Federal Pond Road pulloff

Photos (14,768)