When planning a visit to Massachusetts, you might look at attractions in Boston, Cape Cod, Plymouth, or Salem. These popular historical sites welcome visitors year after year. But your visit to the Bay State should also include a day trip to Borderland State Park.
Let’s consider why you should include this lesser-known location in your travel plans and how to spend the perfect day there.
Where Is Borderland State Park?
Borderland State Park, located in Norton Easton, Mass., sits between Interstate 95 and Highway 24 in the eastern part of the state. It’s less than an hour’s drive south of Boston and northwest of Plymouth. Borderland State Park is also less than a 45-minute drive northeast of Providence, R.I.
About Borderland State Park
A popular feature of Borderland State Park is the historic Ames Mansion, a three-story 1910 home with original furnishings. Guests enjoy trails for hiking, biking, or horseback riding throughout the park. Ponds give visitors access to boating and fishing, and you can enjoy tennis and disc golf facilities.
Breakfast at The Farmer’s Daughter
122 Main Street, North Easton, MA 02356
Menu Options: The “From the Henhouse” menu options include omelets and frittatas. If you’d rather have grains, the “From the Mill” menu options include French toast, waffles, and pancakes. You can also get plant-based choices from tofu hash scramble to chickpea pancakes.
Reasons to Visit: The Farmer’s Daughter is the perfect stop for a delicious breakfast less than ten minutes from Borderland State Park. Chef and owner Chandra Gouldrup works to build relationships with local farmers and search for the best natural, fresh, and sustainable ingredients across New England.
When you support The Farmer’s Daughter, you also support local farmers in the region. Plus, you receive delicious, healthy meals to start your day.
Traveler’s Tip: Just five minutes north of Borderland State Park is Lake Massapoag, one of our 10 Best Massachusetts Lakes to Cool Off In.
Hike the Ridge Trail to the Morse Loop Trail
About: After breakfast, head into Borderland State Park. When you arrive in the parking lot, take the West Side Trail to the French Trail. Then follow it to the Ridge Trail. The Ridge takes hikers over granite outcroppings and roads for about 1.2 miles.
At the end, you can take the Morse Loop Trail, another 0.9 miles through hemlock woods. These hikes can take several hours to walk. Then return to the parking lot to grab a picnic lunch and head to the visitor center.
Picnic Lunch by the Visitor Center
About: The visitor center at Borderland State Park has picnic tables and restrooms. After a morning of hiking, sit down and enjoy the scenery with your picnic basket. Then you can continue walking around the park without having to leave to grab lunch somewhere.
Tour Ames Mansion
Address: 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA 02356
About: After lunch, you can explore the Ames Mansion. You have to pre-register for tours. You can schedule a time on Sundays from 1 to 1:30 p.m. or 2 to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
Visitors can learn about the Ames family’s history and explore the home’s first floor, including the two-story library. A kids tour is offered Sundays and Mondays from 3 to 3:30 p.m. This tour focuses on the lives of the four Ames children.
Finally, the tours on Sundays and Mondays from 4 to 4:30 p.m. focus on Blanche and Oakes Ames’ involvement in the women’s rights movement.
Hike the Pond Walk
About: Head outside and hike the Pond Walk after your Ames Mansion tour. This 2.9-mile trail is an unpaved carriage road that takes visitors around Leach Pond and Upper Leach Pond. This wetland offers hikers a chance to see wildlife and enjoy the park’s natural beauty.
Fish at Leach Pond
About: If you’re not ready to leave Borderland State Park, grab your fishing gear and head to the banks of Leach Pond or any of the six ponds on the property. Try your hand at catching bass, perch, pickerel, or sunfish. Then you can head back to the campground or AirBnB for a shower before dinner.
Dinner at Maguire’s Bar & Grill
Address: 503 Foundry St, Easton, MA 02356
Menu Options: Maguire’s Bar & Grill has a dish for everyone, from salads and pizza to sandwiches and seafood entrees. Some specialties include crab and corn bisque, Cajun grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich, and baked jumbo apple crisp.
Try the lobster Caprese salad or portabella mushroom salad if you want a lighter fare. Maguire’s also serves cocktails, wine, and beer.
Reasons to Visit: Maguire’s Bar & Grill is conveniently located in Easton, less than ten minutes from Borderland State Park. It’s rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google with over 700 reviews.
One guest writes, “Fabulous service, fabulous food. Portions were twice the size compared to other restaurants I have dined at recently. They were fully staffed with friendly, smiling, attentive, but not intrusive, servers.”
The customer also said they enjoyed the outdoor dining area and can’t wait to return. Your entire family can enjoy dinner at Maguire’s with a varied menu and huge beverage selection.
Catch a Show at The Company Theatre
Address: 30 Accord Park Drive, Norwell, MA 02061
Reasons to Visit: After dinner, head to Norwell to enjoy a show at The Company Theatre. What started in 1978 in a church basement has produced 40 years’ worth of entertainment for the community.
Performances in 2021 included “Rock of Ages” and “A Christmas Carol.” Plays in 2022 include “Frozen, Jr.” and “Matilda: The Musical.”
Where to Stay
You can find several hotels in the Easton, Mass., area. But if you want something different, Canoe River Campground is a great option for those traveling with an RV.
You can also choose an Airbnb, which offers guests a beautiful lake-view guest house to enjoy. Here are some options when visiting Borderland State Park.
Canoe River Campground
Address: 137 Mill Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
About the Park: Canoe River Campground, open from April 15 to Oct. 15, is only about a ten-minute drive from Borderland State Park. Most campsites have a fire pit, picnic table, and full hookups.
Additionally, you can easily access Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and other popular destinations from the park.
Why You’ll Love Staying Here: The campground offers guests access to an arcade, baseball field, basketball court, rec hall, playground, horseshoes pit, and two swimming pools. You can also fish without a license. Plus, you can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats. It’s a great place to enjoy nature while also being close to attractions.
Cozy Lakeview Guesthouse
About the Property: This one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house has a private entrance, deck, and parking. The bedroom features a sliding door that leads out onto the deck. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, and guests have access to Wi-Fi.
Why You’ll Love Staying Here: The special attention the homeowner gives to each guest is noticeable and appreciated. One guest says, “Spotlessly clean, with so many sweet touches to make me feel welcome — even fresh flowers. Nola has truly worked to create a wonderful, carefully tended space.”
Another guest writes, “Nola’s home was squeaky clean, beautifully maintained, and felt like a safe home away from home during our stay. When waking up that last morning, I remember looking out to the rising sun over the water and wishing that I could find a way to stay longer!”
You’ll enjoy the beautiful views, spotlessly clean space, and convenient location to area attractions at the Cozy Lakeview Guesthouse.
A Perfect Day at Borderland State Park
Borderland State Park isn’t well-known, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. This state park has miles of trails, fishing ponds, and the Ames Mansion to entertain guests all day.
Once you finish up there, you can enjoy local dining and attractions to close out the perfect day. So what are you waiting for? Check out the campground or Airbnb and book your reservation today!
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