King Phillip & Rocky Narrows Overlooks - Rocky Narrows Reservation, Sherborn, Massachusetts, 4/6/08

We started to explore the northern portion of the Rocky Narrows Reservation in Sherborn, Massachusetts with some friends over the past weekend. The whole reservation has about 7 miles of trails and the biggest loop you can do is a little over two miles. None of the hikes are overly strenuous, but there is some up and down and there’s at least one pretty nice view you’ll come across on this larger loop.

Rocky Narrows Reservation
The trail begins from a small parking lot just off of Forest Street and makes its way down towards the railroad tracks that divide the park into northern and southern sections. The trails are well maintained and generally old cart paths so they are easy to follow.

The only complaint I have is a general one on the Trustee’s marking system – they use numbered trail intersections to let you know where you are and if you don’t have a map to identify these intersections, you are pretty much out of luck. It’s very hard to navigate without a map.

As you walk down and then cut next to the railroad tracks you begin to climb up on to the bluffs that overlook the Charles River. There’s a small overlook that you’ll come to at the top of the climb, but it’s overgrown and not that impressive.

Rocky Narrows Reservation
Continuing along you’ll come to the King Phillip Overlook. This is a fairly expansive view of the surrounding countryside and of the Charles River as its makes it way down and around the rocky bluff you are standing on.

Rocky Narrows Reservation
King Phillip Overlook - Rocky Narrows Reservation
From the King Phillip Overlook you continue along the bluff going up and down fairly gently until you begin to descend along the front of the bluff. The hill is steep but the trail descends fairly gently.

Rocky Narrows Reservation
Rocky Narrows Reservation
Rocky Narrows Reservation
At the bottom of the descent is the Rocky Narrows Overlook. This overlook was probably quite impressive several years ago before the trees had grown up as much as they have. As it is, you can get an idea of the “rocky narrows” here on the Charles River. The rocks you are standing on make up one side of the narrows and then a hill on the other side of the river with rock cliffs makes up the other.

From there the trail is fairly level as you continue around the park. There’s a side trail that makes its way down to the Charles River should you be interested (it’s more for folks paddling on the river who want to go to the overlooks).

We took one trail that was fairly overgrown.

Rocky Narrows Reservation
But even with the multitude of pine trees, it was still quite easy to follow.

We ended up coming back out at the parking area, but this time we walked up through the fields in front of the parking lot instead of going right into the woods like we had when we started.

Rocky Narrows Reservation


  1. Hi ~ It was fun to come across your blog and mention of Rocky Narrows & King Philip's Overlook - I live here and blog about my hikes in these woods along the Charles.

    If you return, I'd be glad to share some recommendations about trails - you definitely want to go down the newest Trustees trail through the marsh!

    I've just posted a picture of the view from King Philip's Overlook of the river on my RiverWoods Blog - Photo Inspired Prose Poems from the Charles River at Rocky Narrows.

    Thanks for sharing your insights about nature hiking in this blog! Happy hiking!



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