Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brewster Gardens - Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth and Plymouth Rock - 3/15/09
After seeing Plymouth Rock, a short walk down the street brings you to the entrance of Brewster Gardens where you can walk up along Town Brook where the first garden plots of the Plymouth Plantation were planted and where fresh water was available to the Pilgrims and explore another portion of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The gardens run from Water Street along the shore to the Grist Mill along Summer Street.

There's a paved trail that makes its way through the gardens, which are home to Town Brook, along with a sculpture, the springs that provided water to the Pilgrims and several places to stop and sit and enjoy the scenery. The entire walk only takes about 5 minutes at a fairly leisurely pace, so the gardens aren't that big. The most open area is adjacent to Water Street, where the gardens form a fairly wide park around Town Brook.

The trail from Water Street loops around the larger portion of the park and then crosses Town Brook and makes its way upstream along the brook's edge. You'll pass under the bridge for Main Street and Pleasant Street. Along this section, the freshwater springs that provided water for the Pilgrim literally pour out the sides of the hill into the brook.

The Gardens narrow as they approach the Grist Mill where they end. You can continue following Town Brook through the Jenney Pond Park. This park is also home to the Grist Mill.

If you get to the Brewster Gardens at the right time of the year in the spring, you can watch the herring swim upstream from the ocean as they try to reach their spawning ground. I was there in mid-March and it was too early for the herring run.


The last time I was in Plymouth we got out, saw Plymouth Rock, toured the Mayflower II and then headed back home. This time though we took some time to explore the area and I was glad we did. We found Brewster Gardens after walking past Plymouth Rock and down Water Street. The Gardens were a nice area to walk along the brook and to sit down and enjoy the sunshine.

I'd imagine that in the summer, the Gardens look even better since everything will be growing and blooming. We were there in March and even though it wasn't really the growing season, the entire area was really nice to look at and was well maintained. Plus with all the springs coming out along the brook, even the grass seemed greener that early in the season.

I'd definitely go back to the Brewster Gardens, especially to continue along the trail that runs through the Gardens on to Jenney Pond Park and up to the Billington Sea where Town Brook starts.

Final Thoughts

Brewster Gardens isn't a reason to go to Plymouth, however once you are there, it's well worth your time to go and enjoy the gardens and take in some of the history of the area. It's neat to think that this was where the first garden's of the Pilgrims were and where they got their water. In addition, as the replica Grist Mill at the end of the park shows, the water of the Brook was harnessed to run various industries in Plymouth.

I'd suggest going later in the spring or the summer to the Gardens since things will be growing and it's more enjoyable to stroll the park in the warmer weather. We were lucky that it was a warm early spring day so we took our time along the stream and sat and enjoyed the sunshine.

I'd think it would be neat to be there when the herring are swimming upstream, but it might be challenging to plan a trip around when they will be there. I think it's a hit or miss kind of thing in the springtime.

Overall, if you're in Plymouth and exploring the Town's many scenic areas and attractions, spend some time walking along Town Brook in the Brewster Gardens.

More Plymouth, Massachusetts attractions and sites of interest

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