15 Best Things to Do in Sharon (MA)

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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On the MBTA’s Providence/Stoughton Line, Sharon is a commuter town with all the hallmarks of a rural New England community.

For one thing, there’s a surfeit of public outdoor space, with a state park, conservation lands, an historic Mass Audubon sanctuary, and the spring-fed Lake Massapoag, which sets the scene for many community events.

In Sharon you can learn about two remarkable women. A town heroine is Deborah Sampson, who dressed up as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War, serving for almost 18 months in the Continental Army before settling down in Sharon with a pension after the conflict.

Another is Blanche Ames Ames, who resided at the Borderland Estate, now a state park, campaigning for women’s suffrage with persuasive political cartoons, and also developing inventions in several fields.

1. Borderland State Park

Borderland State ParkSource: Yingna Cai / shutterstock
Borderland State Park

Associated with neighboring Easton, the Ames family made their fortune with the Ames Shovel Works, established in 1802 and manufacturing the shovels that built the Union Pacific Railroad, opening up the west.

In the early 1900s Harvard botanist Oakes Eames and his wife, the multitalented Blanche Ames Ames, established their estate in Sharon’s southern corner, overlapping into Easton.

This 1,843-acre property was acquired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1971, and has 20 miles of trails in verdant parkland, for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

There are also a few recreational facilities at Borderland State Park, including a highly-rated 18-hole disc golf course and tennis courts.

2. Ames Mansion

Ames MansionSource: Yingna Cai / shutterstock
Ames Mansion

The Eclectic-style home of the Ameses can be visited on guided tours, and it’s an opportunity not to pass on.

The house is furnished as it was when the couple lived here, painting a vivid picture of Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969).

As well as an accomplished artist and color theorist, she was a leading suffragist in the 1910s, as well as an inventor with patents for warfare, lumber cutting, and water pollution control.

A highlight inside is the magnificent two-story library, in which Blanche is claimed to have danced in celebration, after Democrat David I. Walsh defeated incumbent Republican John W. Weeks for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

The house has been used for several Hollywood productions, a recent one being Knives Out (2019). Tours are available via the DCR, and the Friends of Borderland, which conducts special three-floor tours on select Sundays.

3. Ward’s Berry Farm

Picking StrawberriesSource: Frau Cosmic / shutterstock
Picking Strawberries

Run by two brothers for more than four decades, Ward’s Berry Farm is open to the public seven days a week, all year round. May to November, you can visit to pick your own fruits and vegetables, beginning with tulips and ending with popcorn.

A great time to come is during strawberry picking season from mid-June, when the farm offers public hayrides, and again during pumpkin season in September and October.

There are picnic areas and children’s play areas outside, while the farm store is a must in any season. This has a bakery, a sandwich counter & deli, a smoothie bar, seasonal fresh produce, and an enticing array of gourmet food items.

4. Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Eastern BluebirdSource: Forrest B Shattuck / shutterstock
Eastern Bluebird

In Sharon you can visit the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, established in 1916.

This property covers almost 2,000 acres and has an amazing variety of habitats, with upland forest, meadows, eskers, red maple swamp, and kettle hole ponds.

Some 160 bird species have been recorded here, among them nesting tree swallows and eastern bluebirds.

At 466 feet, Moose Hill is the second-highest summit between Boston and Providence, so there are some awe-inspiring vistas to check out.

The Bluff Trail leads to a beautiful overlook, while the Billings Loop takes you into that red maple swamp, with foliage in crimson tones in fall. If you’re visiting with wee ones, make time for Cookie’s Garden, a nature play area with natural musical instruments.

5. Lake Massapoag

Lake MassapoagSource: Adam Gladstone / shutterstock
Lake Massapoag

Sharon’s most cherished natural resource is a 353-acre natural spring-fed lake that was the centerpiece of a summer resort from the late 19th century.

On the north shore, with a glorious view of the entire lake is Memorial Park Beach. This resident amenity has lifeguards on duty during the summer season, as well as a program of swimming lessons, a bathhouse, restrooms, a picnic area and a concession stand.

The bandstand, facing a large lawn, sets the stage for several community events in the summer, including an outdoor concert series and Sharon’s Independence Day Celebrations. There’s also a boat ramp at this park, and at the southern end of the lake.

6. Moose Hill Farm

Moose Hill FarmSource: BostonPhotoSphere / Flickr | CC BY-ND
Moose Hill Farm

North of the Mass Audubon property, the Trustees of Reservations manages 350 acres of historic farmland on the scenic slopes of Moose Hill.

You can wander six miles of trails, through pasture, panoramic hayfields and restored woodlands, all littered with evidence of some 300 years of habitation, including stone walls, foundations and cellar holes.

Deep in the woods you might see rare American chestnut trees, a species practically lost to a blight in the early 20th century.

Paying tribute to the land’s long history of agriculture, the Trustees run a small farm at Moose Hill, with chickens, pigs and a small cattle herd raised for grass-fed beef.

7. Warner Trail

HikingSource: Song_about_summer / shutterstock

Maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Warner Trail runs through Sharon on its 34-mile route through Norfolk County from Canton to Diamond Hill, RI.

While Sharon and its neighboring communities might be considered suburban, the Warner Trail is an excellent way to discover the large seams of rural land all around.

The trail connects state parks and conservation lands, on hilly terrain with a succession of rocky ledges and deep oak-hickory forest.

If you want to keep things local, you can walk seven miles of the trail in Sharon alone, and you can download a detailed trail guide from the town’s website.

8. Sharon Historic District

Unitarian Church of SharonSource: Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) / Wikimedia | Public domain
Unitarian Church of Sharon

You can visit the old heart of Sharon at the intersection of Depot St and Main St, declared an historic district in 1975.

The Unitarian Church of Sharon at the crossroads is in the Greek Revival style, dating to 1842 and standing on the very site of Sharon’s first meetinghouse, erected around 1740.

Just to the north is the Morse House (1805), Sharon’s first brick building, and across the road from this is the First Congregational Church (1839), also in the Greek Revival style.

The Morse House is the southernmost of a line of historic and large residences, the oldest of which is the Georgian Dennett House from 1753.

The public library, opposite the Unitarian Church, is a Carnegie library, dating to 1914 and with a statue of town heroine Deborah Sampson in front.

9. Deborah Sampson Grave (Rock Ridge Cemetery)

Deborah Sampson GraveSource: Boston Public Library / Flickr | CC BY
Deborah Sampson Grave

At Rock Ridge Cemetery you can 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 was a full 17 months before her sex was discovered by a doctor in 1783, when she received an honorable discharge, and she was eventually awarded a military pension.

Earlier, Sampson had taken two musketballs to the leg in a skirmish outside Tarryton, New York. She removed one of these with a penknife and sewing needle to avoid discovery.

You can find the grave of this remarkable historical figure in the southeast corner of the cemetery—the historic headstone has a flag and there’s a monument telling her story close by.

10. Crescent Ridge Dairy

Crescent Ridge DairySource: Crescent Ridge / Facebook
Crescent Ridge Dairy

This giant ice cream stand in Sharon has won a whole raft of accolades, and can often be found in top ten lists by the likes of People Magazine and National Geographic.

The Crescent Ridge Dairy Bar backs onto the Parrish family farm, which dates back to 1932 and still produces milk, delivered to families and businesses around Massachusetts, along with a variety of other products via local partners.

In the late 1960s the Parrish family decided to start crafting ice cream using surplus milk, and the dairy bar built as the storefront soon became a magnet for people from miles around.

Crescent Ridge ice cream is still made with local ingredients in small batches using the original family recipe.

Among the 40 flavors, a couple of must-trys are, the Black Bear (raspberry ice cream with chocolate chips and raspberry truffles), and Mississippi Mud (coffee ice cream with almonds and chocolate sandwich cookies).

11. King Philip’s Rock Trail

King Philip's Rock TrailSource: Kennett Dow / Facebook
King Philip’s Rock Trail

There’s a small public parking lot at 81 and 95 Mansfield St in the very south of Sharon where you can get onto a whole network of trails.

These extend west and northwest into Foxborough conservation land. On the Sharon Side a 1 ½-mile hike along narrow paths will bring you to an impressive group of glacial erratics known as King Philip’s Rock.

This, along with the nearby King Philip’s Cave is thought to have held significance for Paleo-Indians as a meeting place for solstices and other astronomical events.

If you want to spend more time exploring, the trails lead to a number of striking boulders in the vicinity, like Two-Story Rock, Split-Top Boulder, Bathing Boulder, and Kurt’s Sitting Rock, to name just a small handful.

12. Sharon Dog Park

Dog ParkSource: Michael J Magee / shutterstock
Dog Park

For those with pups who need to run and make some friends, Sharon has one of the best dog parks you could hope to find.

Founded in the 00s on the northwest shore of Lake Massapoag, the Sharon Dog Park occupies a section of Deborah Sampson Park.

Surrounded by quiet wooded trails is a large fenced-in enclosure, with two separate areas for larger and energetic dogs, and for smaller dogs and younger puppies.

The larger has a newly-erected gazebo, while there’s ample seating throughout, as well as water bowls, poop bags and plenty of toys and obstacles for dogs to enjoy.

The park is maintained by a non-profit organization, and there’s a donation box to help keep this excellent facility running.

13. Beaver Brook Trail

DeerSource: Michael Sean OLeary / shutterstock

If you’re craving nature, you can step off the train at Sharon station and immediately embark on a peaceful hike through the groundwater aquifers providing Sharon’s water supply.

Heading southwest into the wooded drainage of Beaver Brook, the trail was created in 2007, partly to serve as a link in the 200+ mile Bay Circuit Trail, which comes through Sharon.

Skirting the edge of Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the path has since been extended to connect with the end of Berkshire Ave.

14. Gillette Stadium

Gillette StadiumSource: Joseph Sohm / shutterstock
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 was going through a $225 million renovation project when we wrote this article.

The feats of the Patriots in the 2000s and 2010s need little introduction, and you can relive the superbowl victories and pay homage to the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Ty Law, and Richard Seymour at high-tech and interactive The Patriots Hall of Fame, on the north side of the stadium.

The lots at Gillette Stadium are integrated into a sprawling outdoor lifestyle center known as Patriot Place, with a Showcase Cinema de Lux multiplex and numerous stores and chain restaurants.

15. Sharon Independence Day Celebration

4th of July Celebration FireworksSource: Jag_cz / shutterstock
4th Of July Celebration Fireworks

Every year there’s a whole afternoon of family fun and great food at Memorial Park Beach to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Normally on the nearest Sunday before the 4th, the Sharon Independence Day Celebration features a program of performing arts and live music at the bandstand, as well as an adorable bicycle and doll carriage parade, carnival games, train rides on the long-running Roaming Railroad, and a pie-eating contest.

The main event and finale is a thrilling fireworks show, launched from a barge on Lake Massapoag.

Throughout the afternoon you can make the most of an assemblage of food trucks, for New England seafood, tacos, grilled cheese, Middle Eastern food, chicken fingers, and sweet treats.


15 Best Things to Do in Sharon (MA):

  • Borderland State Park
  • Ames Mansion
  • Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Lake Massapoag
  • Moose Hill Farm
  • Warner Trail
  • Sharon Historic District
  • Deborah Sampson Grave (Rock Ridge Cemetery)
  • Crescent Ridge Dairy
  • King Philip's Rock Trail
  • Sharon Dog Park
  • Beaver Brook Trail
  • Gillette Stadium
  • Sharon Independence Day Celebration