15 Best Things to Do in Sharon (MA)
On the MBTA’s Providence/Stoughton line, Sharon is a suburban town with all the characteristics of a rural New England community.
On the one hand, there are too many outdoor public spaces, with state parks, conservation lands, historic Audubon Mass shrines, and water-filled Lake Massapoag in spring, setting the stage for many community events.
In Sharon, you can learn about two remarkable women. One hero of the city was Deborah Sampson, who disguised himself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War, serving nearly 18 months in the Continental Army before moving to Sharon with a post-conflict pension.
Another was Blanche Ames Ames, of Borderland Estate, now a state park, campaigning for women’s suffrage with convincing political cartoons, while developing inventions in several fields.
1. Moose Hill Farm
On the north side of the Mass Audubon property, the Reservation Trustees manage 350 acres of historic farmland on the scenic Moose Hill slopes.
You can hike six miles of trails, through grasslands, beautiful dry grass, and restored woodland, all filled with evidence of some 300-year-old habitation, including rock walls, foundations, and tunnel holes.
Deep into the forest, you can see rare American chestnut trees, a species that was almost extinct due to plague in the early 20th century.
Paying homage to the land’s long agricultural history, the trustees run a small farm in Moose Hill, with chickens, pigs, and a small herd of cattle raised for beef. grass.
2. Warner Trail
Maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Warner Trail traverses Sharon on a 34-mile route through Norfolk County from Canton to Diamond Hill, RI.
While Sharon and the surrounding communities can be considered suburban, the Warner Trail is a great way to experience the vast stretches of the surrounding countryside.
This trail connects state parks and conservation lands, traversing undulating terrain with a succession of rocky outcrops and deep oak and hickory forests.
If you want to keep things local, you can hike the seven-mile trail in Sharon alone, and you can download detailed trail guides from the town’s website.
3. Sharon Historic District
You can visit the old center of Sharon at the intersection of Depot St and Main St, which was declared a historic district in 1975.
Sharon’s Unification Church at the crossroads is Greek Revival style, dating from 1842, and on the very site of Sharon’s first church, built circa 1740.
Just north is the Morse House (1805), Sharon’s first brick building, and across the street is the First Congregational Church (1839), also in Greek Renaissance style.
The Morse House is the southernmost of a large row of historic residences, the oldest of which is the 1753 Georgian Dennett House.
The public library, across from the Unification Church, is the Carnegie Library, which dates back to 1914 and has a statue of the town’s heroine Deborah Sampson in the foreground.
4. Deborah Sampson’s Grave (Rock Ridge Cemetery)
At Rock Ridge Cemetery you’ll find the burial place of Deborah Sampson (1760-1827). She is remembered for disguising herself as a man and fighting in the Continental Army under the alias Robert Shirtliff.
It took 17 months before her gender was discovered by a doctor in 1783, when she was honorably discharged, and finally received a military pension.
Earlier, Sampson was shot in the leg by two musket bullets during a skirmish outside Tarrytown, New York. She removed one with a tweezers and needle to avoid detection. The grave of this remarkable historical figure can be found in the southeast corner of the cemetery – the historic tombstone has a flag and nearby there’s a monument telling his story.
5. Crescent Ridge Dairy
This giant ice cream stands in Sharon’s has won numerous awards and is regularly on People Magazine and National Geographic’s top 10 lists.
The Crescent Ridge Dairy Bar is supported by the Parrish family farm, which dates back to 1932 and still produces milk, delivered to Massachusetts homes and businesses, as well as a variety of other products through local partners.
In the late 1960s, the Parrish family decided to start making ice cream from leftover milk, and the milk bar built as the storefront quickly became a magnet for people miles away.
Crescent Ridge ice cream is still made with local ingredients in small batches following the original family recipe.
Among the 40 flavors, certain must-haves are Black Bear (raspberry ice cream with chocolate chips and raspberry truffles) and Mississippi Mud (coffee ice cream with almonds and chocolate chip sandwich cookies).
6. Sharon Independence Day Celebration
Every year, there’s an afternoon of family fun and delicious food at Memorial Park Beach to celebrate July 4th.
Usually on the nearest Sunday before the 4th, Sharon’s Independence Day celebrations feature art and live music in the stands, as well as a lovely parade of bicycles and carriages, dolls, carnival games, and train rides on the long railway line. , and a baking contest.
The main event and finale is a thrilling fireworks display, launched from a barge over Lake Massapoag.
Throughout the afternoon, you can enjoy a variety of food carts, serving New England seafood, banh tet, grilled cheese, Middle Eastern cuisine, fried chicken, and sweets.
7. Gillette Stadium
Door-to-door, Sharon’s center is just ten minutes from the 65,878-seat home of the New England Patriots.
Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 and is undergoing a $225 million renovation project as we write this article.
The Patriots’ feats of the 2000s and 2010s need no introduction, and you can relive Superbowl victories and pay tributes to Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Ty Law, and Richard Seymour in the room High-tech and interactive The Patriots Hall of Fame, on the north side of the stadium.
The Gillette Stadium campus is integrated into a large outdoor lifestyle center called Patriot Place, which features the Showcase Cinema de Lux complex and numerous shops and restaurants.
8. Beaver Brook Trail
If you’re into nature, you can get off the train at Sharon Station and immediately embark on a peaceful hike through the waters that feed Sharon.
Heading southwest into the forested drainage of Beaver Brook, the trail was created in 2007, partly to serve as a link in the more than 200-mile Bay Circuit Trail, which passes through Sharon.
Running along the edge of Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the road has been widened to connect with the end of Berkshire Avenue.
9. Sharon Dog Park
For those with puppies who need to run around and make friends, Sharon has one of the best dog parks you could hope to find.
Established in the 2000s on the northwest shore of Lake Massapoag, Sharon Dog Park occupies part of Deborah Sampson Park.
Surrounded by quiet tree-lined paths is a large fenced enclosure, with two separate areas for larger, active dogs and for smaller and larger dogs. smaller child.
The largest has a newly erected gazebo, while there’s plenty of seating throughout, as well as water bowls, poop bags, and plenty of toys and obstacles for the dogs to enjoy.
The park is maintained by a nonprofit and has a donation box to help keep this wonderful facility running.
10. King Philip’s Rock Trail
There is a small public car park at 81 and 95 Mansfield St at the southernmost tip of Sharon where you can access the entire trail network.
They extend west and northwest into the Foxborough Reserve. On the Sharon side, a -mile hike along narrow trails will bring you to an impressively erratic glacial group known as King Philip’s Rock.
This, along with the nearby King Philip’s Cave, would have important implications for the Paleo-Indians as a meeting place for solstices and other astronomical events.
If you want to spend more time exploring, the trails lead to some of the area’s prominent rock formations, such as Two-Story Rock, Split-Top Boulder, Bathing Boulder, and Kurt’s Sit Rock, to name a few. small rocks.
11. Borderland State Park
Linked to neighboring Easton, the Ames family made their fortunes through the Ames Shovel Company, founded in 1802 and producing the shovels that built the Union Pacific Railroad, which opened to the West.
In the early 1900s, Harvard botanist Oakes Eames and his wife, Blanche Ames Ames, established their estate in the southern corner of Sharon, in the middle of Easton.
This 1,843-acre estate was acquired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1971 and features 20 miles of trails in lush parkland for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
There are also several recreational facilities at Borderland State Park, including the famous 18-hole disc golf course and tennis courts.
12. Ames Mansion
You can visit the eclectic home of Souls on guided tours, and it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
The house is furnished as it was when the couple lived there, painting a striking picture of Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969).
In addition to being a gifted artist and color theorist, she was a leading activist of the 1910s, and an inventor holding patents for war, wood cutting, and umbrella control. infection in the world.
The highlight inside is the magnificent two-story library in which Blanche is said to have danced to celebrate Democrat David I. Walsh’s victory over Republican incumbent John W. Weeks for a US Senate seat.
The house has been used for several Hollywood productions, most recently Knives Out (2019). Tours are offered through DCR and Friends of Borderland, who organize special three-story tours on certain Sundays.
13. Ward’s Berry Farm
Run by two brothers for more than four decades, Ward’s Berry Farm is open to the public seven days a week, year-round. From May to November, you can visit to pick your own fruits and vegetables, starting with tulips and ending with popcorn.
A good time to come is during strawberry picking season starting in mid-June when the farm offers public carriage rides, and again during pumpkin season in September and October.
Outdoors there are picnic areas and a children’s play area, while the farm shop is a must-see in any season. It features a bakery, sandwich, and snack bar, smoothie bar, fresh seasonal produce, and a range of mouthwatering delicacies.
14. Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
In Sharon, you can visit the oldest wildlife sanctuary of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, founded in 1916.
The site covers nearly 2,000 acres and offers a variety of wonderful habitats, with upland forests, grasslands, skiers, red maple swamps, and warm ponds.
About 160 species of birds have been recorded there, including the eastern swallow and bluebird.
At 466 feet, Moose Hill is the second-highest peak between Boston and Providence, so there are some dramatic vistas to explore.
The Bluff Trail leads to a beautiful viewpoint, while the Billings Loop takes you through this red maple swamp with crimson foliage in the fall. If you’re visiting with your toddler, make time to visit Cookie’s Garden, a natural playground with natural instruments.
15. Lake Massapoag
Sharon’s most expensive natural resource is a 353-acre natural lake that was once the centerpiece of a late 19th-century resort town.
On the north shore, with stunning views of the entire lake, is Memorial Park Beach. This resident facility features lifeguards on duty during the summer, as well as a swim-up program, showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and concession stands.
The grandstand, which faces a large lawn, is the stage for several community events in the summer, including an outdoor concert series and Sharon’s Independence Day celebration. There is also a boat launch site at this park and at the southern end of the lake.