Town of Hanson Conservation Recreation Areas-Rocky Run

Rocky Run Conservation Area


Access: Off Broadway across from Myette’s Store in South Hanover at the 4 way stop at Broadway and Cross Streets. Turn right and park in the small parking area just before the bridge over the Indian Head River. There is a short trail that is accessed directly from the parking area that runs along the old mill ruins down by the river. For a longer hike and access to the Luddam’s Ford, Tucker Reserve and the Hanover Indian Head Trail Loop cross the bridge and turn left into the trail. You will see a post with a trail map marking the entrance.

Four contiguous parcels totaling 13 acres, adjacent to the Indian Head River and Rocky Run Brook. Owned by Hanson Conservation Commission and Plymouth County Conservation Commission.

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The Rocky Run Conservation Area is small, but it’s a really beautiful spot, and well worth the visit. There are captivating views of both the Indian Head River and Rocky Run Brook. Narrow footpaths extend up and down ridges along the water’s edge. Wider cart paths explore the property’s interior. Deep within the parcel are the remains of a stone/earthen dam, revealing the brook’s industrial past.

The brook itself flows from Hanson into the Indian Head River, a little bit downstream of Cross Street (Hanover) / State Street (Hanson). One of Jesse Reed’s tack factories was located on this brook, and before that a mill operated by Isaac Buck that produced wooden ware such as bowls, trays and skimmers.


Together with the Tucker Preserve, the Indian Head River Trails, and Luddam’s Ford in both Pembroke and Hanover, the Rocky Run Conservation Area is part of a network of trails that leads up one side and down the other side of the Indian Head River. The 4-mile hike can be physically demanding — some of the ridges are steep! It can also be confusing, as some of the trails are not well-marked. However, once you know the route, it is a fascinating place to explore. Walking in the lowlands, it’s easy to imagine how the once-dammed river flowed through this valley.


Rocky Run provides refuge for forest species typical to the South Shore. Otters, mink, and fisher cats like to be in or near water like the Indian Head River, where they can scavenge for food like herring and freshwater mussels. Animals like deer, opossums and coyotes make their homes in the rocky outcrops and crevices.

The Indian Head River rises from the Drinkwater River and Factory Pond in West Hanover. Rocky Run is one of its many small tributaries. Farther downstream is Luddam’s Ford, and beyond that is a spot called The Crotch, where the Indian Head joins Pembroke’s Herring Brook to create the North River.