Massachusetts has lots of city and country trails for walking and hiking

With its charming cities and towns, and lovely beaches and countryside, Massachusetts has innumerable places to walk and hike for people of all ages and tastes. Walking is a perfect activity for almost everyone in all seasons.

301 Brown Avenue Seekonk, MA, 02771 Phone: 508-761-8230

This 196-acre refuge is easily accessible from Providence, and features fields, woods and a large nature center. From I-95 take the Broadway exit, Exit 6. in East Providence. Bear left at the bottom of the ramp, onto Warren Avenue. Turn left at the first set of lights, onto Rte. 114 North. Travel approximately 2 miles and then turn right onto Rte. 152 North. Continue on Rte. 152 across a reservoir and into Seekonk. After you pass the middle school on the left, turn right onto Brown Avenue. Caratunk is 7/10 of a mile on the right.

37 Corey Road -- Route 43 Hancock, MA, 01237 Phone: 413-738-5500 Toll-Free: 800-882-8859

Many trails to choose from

Jiminy Peak offers the most extensive lift-served mountain biking in the Berkshires, not to mention loads of gorgeous hiking trails. Additionally, Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort is the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England, summer home to Mountain Adventure Park and the only mountain resort in North America to generate its own energy using alternative wind power. Since opening in 1948 Jiminy Peak has evolved to become a 4 season resort, offering something for everyone. Our mission is to provide positive, memorable, Mountain Resort experiences with outstanding, friendly and helpful service in remarkably beautiful surroundings; inspiring guests to return again and again.

Quincy Shore Drive Quincy, MA, 02169 Phone: 617-727-5290

People enjoy walking the trails of this property, which stretch from Wollaston Beach to Caddy Memorial Park to Moswetuset Hummock. The site which has a short loop trail, offers views of Quincy Bay and 144-acre Squantum Marsh. Accessible by the Boston MBTA light rail system. Open year round, dawn to dusk.

Cape Cod has very extensive biking trail, which also are used for walking. See full description of Cape Cod National Seashore bike trails.

Route 68 Royalston, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Get back in touch with nature

Visitors to Jacobs Hill can hike two miles of trails that closely track the ridgeline of the hill, passing through a forest of beech, maple, ash, and birch, and connecting two spectacular overlooks. Both trails take in impressive views of the forested slopes of Tully Mountain, Mount Grace, and the Berkshire Hills. Further south along the trail, a stream tumbles over the ridgeline, creating the dramatic Spirit Falls, and at the eastern edge of the Reservation lies the stream’s source: Little Pond, a classic northern bog.

143 East Street South Egremont, MA, MA Phone: 413-528-0330

Good for scenic views, wilderness camping, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Free access.

Take in vast views of this rugged natural landscape along two main trails. The South Taconic Trail brings you to the 2,000-foot summit of Alander Mountain. Or, you can follow the majestic Appalachian Trail; either way, explore this area on foot for a satisfying view of the surrounding valley ridges and trees. See Mount Washington State Forest for full description of park.

Adams Street Milton, MA, 02186 Phone: 781-821-2977

Named for Governor Thomas Hutchinson, the last Royal Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, this hilltop meadow offers views of the Neponset River, its tidal salt marshes, the Boston skyline, and the Boston Harbor Islands. Hutchison’s over royalist leanings made him the object of public ridicule in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, and in 1743 he built for his family a modest country estate on Milton Hill to escape the city. All that remains of the estate today is the field and a "ha-ha" which formed the western boundary of the formal garden.

Burnett Road Chicopee, MA, 01020 Phone: 413-594-9416

Swimming and fishing on a large pond; walking trails

Wrapped around a 25-acre pond and swimming beache, this park also has walking and biking trails. Hike a two-mile paved trail around the pond and through a pine forest. See trail map for more paths. The park is open daily, 8 a.m-4 pm. Trail map.

This large park on a reservoir offers all manner of water sports along with extensive walking trails. Trail map.

Farm Road Dover, MA, 02492 Phone: 508-785-0339

Chase Woodlands’ 2-½ mile network of gently sloping paths wind through peaceful groves of white pine, beech, hemlock, and yellow birch. As in most of Massachusetts, this woodland consists of second- and third-growth trees, the original virgin forests having been felled to clear land for agriculture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Picturesque stone walls traverse the woods, marking former farm fields from the property’s agricultural past.

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

West Mountain Road Lenox, MA Phone: 413-637-0320

Visitors will enjoy seven miles of walking trails covering nearly 1,400 acres. Public programs are offered. Open year-round.

90 Fitchburg Road / Route 31 Leominster, MA Phone: 508-874-2303

Forested property with 2 ponds, swimming, fishing, paddling, skiing & snowmobiling. No camping

The Midstate Trail passes through this heavily forested property. Hiking paths are abundant at Leominster State Forest. People may do rock climbing at Crow Hill Ledges. Mountain biking is allowed, but mountain bikers may not use hiking trails. Trail map.
See full description of Leominster State Forest.

Route 8A Hawley, MA, 01339 Phone: 413-339-5504

This 7,882-acre northern hardwood and spruce-fir forest offers 35 miles of mixed-use trails, six miles of hiking trails and one mile interpretive trail around Hallockville Pond. There are many historic sites, such as evidence of an abandoned village; a beehive charcoal kiln; and the remnants of mill busines. Open: year-round, sunrise to sunset. Access is free. Interior roads are in poor condition. Carry-in, carry-out all your belongings and trash. Snowmobiling is available on 35 miles of trails, conditions permitting. Parking is available at King Corner garage on Route 8A. Prohibited: All-terrain vehicles and alcoholic beverages.

Long Pond Road Carver, MA Phone: 508-866-2580

Good for camping, hiking & walking, water activities, and natural science enthusiasts.

Explore the natural treasures at Myles Standish State Forest, including cranberry bogs and the ecologically fragile kettle ponds, and pitch pine and scrub oak forest areas. Discover 13 miles of walking paths, or sign up for a summer interpretive program for a guided walk through the site.
Park map (summer):
See Myles Standish State Forest for full description of this park.

Off Long Point Road West Tisbury (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone: 508-693-7662

At more than 600 acres, Long Point is one of the largest publicly accessible properties on Martha's Vineyard. It encompasses beach, dune, and woodland. Popular in summer, the property is also an off-season treasure, especially for birders and other nature-watchers. The property has 2.1 miles of flat trails through woods and open areas, plus beachfront. Easy walking. Hours: Mid-June to mid-September, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (gate closes at 6 p.m.). Mid-September to mid-June, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of two hours. Facilities: Public restrooms. Picnic tables. Bike rack. Small visitor center.

Route 3A Cohasset & Hingham, MA Phone: 781-740-7233

The ten miles of trails at Whitney & Thayer Woods include a memorial walk through a lovely stand of flowering shrubs, Ode's Den, (named after Theodore "Ode" Pritchard, who lived under one of the boulders after losing his home in 1830), and the 187-foot summit of Turkey Hill, affording spectacular views of Cohasset Harbor. Visitors can also view a cinderblock NIKE building, once part of an anti-missile radar control station sited here during the Cold War to thwart potential nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.

Lindell Avenue Leominster, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Pierce Park at the Doyle Reservation was part of a former turn-of-the-century grand estate featuring a twenty-nine-room stucco mansion with a ballroom and conservatory, a matching stable, extensive horse paddocks, Pierce Pond (across Merriam Avenue), and an extensive system of bridle paths through woodland and around the pond. Ten acres of the original landscaped grounds have been restored as a neighborhood park, and most of the trees and shrubs are from the estate's original design and plantings.

305 Middleton Road North Andover, MA, 01845 Phone: 508-686-3391

In-the-forest camping; miles of logging roads for hiking and mountain biking; fishing and paddling (no motor boats)

Walking and hiking and mountain biking may be done in this large, forested property only 20 miles from the Greater Boston area. Trail map.
See full description of Harold Parker State Forest.

Route 20 Chester, MA Phone: 413-354-6347

Good for walking & hiking, horseback riding, hunting (restrictions), mountain biking, fishing

Hike at your own pace on any of this park's many trails. An easy 1-mile hike will lead you to beautiful Sanderson Brook Falls. If you're up to the challenge, the H. Newman Marsh Memorial Trail features a climb to the top of Observation Hill, with views of the river valley. Or, wander near the historic Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway for another stunning vista.
See Chester-Blandford State Forest for full description of this park.

Leadmine Road Sturbridge, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Tantiusques preserves the site of one of New England's first mining operations. Before the arrival of European colonists, the Nipmuc mined graphite here for use in making ceremonial paints. In 1644, John Winthrop, Jr., son of the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, purchased the mine and surrounding land from the Nipmuc and began the first commercial mining operation on the site. The mine's ownership passed to Boston merchant Frederick Tudor in 1828, who successfully mined graphite for over 25 years. Later mining attempts failed, however, and by 1910 all operations had ceased. Today, careful observers can see mine cuts, ditches, and tailings piles made by the various operations.

Route 7 Great Barrington, MA Phone: 413-298-3239

For almost two centuries, Monument Mountain has been a source of inspiration to poets, novelists, and painters. The summit offers panoramic views of Southern Berkshire County, and three miles of trails lead through a white pine and oak forest. During William Cullen Bryant's stay in Great Barrington, he penned the lyrical poem "Monument Mountain," and on August 5, 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville enjoyed a well-chronicled picnic hike up Monument Mountain. A thunderstorm forced them to seek refuge in a cave where a vigorous discussion ensued, inspiring ideas for Melville's new book, Moby Dick.

Essex National Heritage Area

New Liberty and Essex Salem, MA Phone: 508-740-1650

The area offers visitors three Heritage Trails to walk: The maritime trail, the early settlement trail, and the industry/textile and leather trail.

New Marlborough Hill Road New Marlborough, MA Phone: 413-298-3239

A seventeen-acre upland field of native meadow wildflowers attracts a variety of dragonflies and butterflies

Questing features two miles of trails perfect for hiking or cross-country skiing, extensive tracts of hardwood forest, and a seventeen-acre field of native meadow wildflowers that attracts a variety of dragonflies and butterflies. Cellar holes and stone walls, tell the story of the 200-year-old settlement known as Leffingwell, where the first non-Native American children were born in Berkshire County. This settlement was abandoned in the late nineteenth century as farmers migrated to the Midwest.

Gott Avenue Rockport, MA Phone: 508-546-2997

Elevated outcropping has beautiful sea views; birdwatching; good for walking & picnics

This beautiful promontory above the Atlantic and just outside the town of rockport is wonderful for walking and enjoying nature. The Sea Rocks property, next to the state park, also welcomes people for hiking, bird watching, and picnics.
See full description of Halibut Point State Park.

Islands in Boston Harbor, and easy ferry ride from downtown. Swimming, hiking, picnicking. A fun day trip

There are many walking trails on many of the Harbor Islands. Lovells Island has a rocky coastline and tidepools for wading. Explore the remains of historic Fort Standish. On Georges Island, take a relaxing stroll around Civil War-era Fort Warren. There are also plenty of walking and hiking paths on Spectacle Island, Bumpkin Island, Peddocks Island, Thompson Island, Worlds End Island, and Webb Memorial Island. In addition to historic forts, you'll walk through historic sites like old Native American buildings and a children's hospital. Grape Island is full of colorful wildlife and flora. On Deer Island, hike or walk a 2.6-mile shoreline path and 2 miles of scenic hill trails.
See Boston Harbor Islands for full description of this park.

Wauwinet Road Wauwinet (on the island of Nantucket), MA, 02554 Phone: 508-228-5646

Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is known for its historic lighthouse, white sand beaches, and world-class fishing. Rolling maritime dunes cover more than 200 acres. Refuge includes 16 miles of over-sand vehicle and walking trails and beach front. Gray and harbor seals feed in the Great Point riptide. Facilities include public restrooms between the Wauwinet Gatehouse and Great Point Lighthouse and at the lighthouse. Both are open May 1 to October 31. Bike rack at the Wauwinet Gatehouse. Seasonal tours of the Great Point Lighthouse and the natural wonders of the refuge. Hours: Year-round, daily, 24 hours (10 p.m.-5 a.m. - fishing access only). Cost: Free to all pedestrians and boaters.

Horseneck Road Dartmouth, MA Phone: 781-821-2977

Formerly known as Island View Farm, Slocum's River Reserve includes mature woodlands, agricultural fields, and pastures that slope down to the western bank of the Slocum's River. Two miles of easy trails cross the Reservation and protect more than 3,000 feet of frontage along the river. Adjoining private farmland and pastures produce corn, alfalfa, and horticultural nursery stock and are used to graze livestock.

Dike Road (on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard) Edgartown, MA, 02539 Phone: 508-627-7689

Magnificent barrier beach with sandy shoreline & salt marsh and pond; good for walking, natural beauty

Fourteen miles of trails for hikers and over sand vehicles through marsh meadows and on sandy barrier beaches. Wildlife and coastal scenery. Island can be reached only by boat or ferry out of Edgartown.
See full description of Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge

Falls Road Mount Washington, MA Phone: 413-528-0330

Good for hiking and picnicking; fishing; leashed pets allowed

Bash Bish Falls is nestled between 30 miles of trails at Mount Washington State Forest, which includes the South Taconic Trail, and New York's Taconic State Park, which offers access to the Falls by a moderate difficulty, uphill foot trail. Or, wander towards nearby 1,356 acre Mount Everett State Forest for a family picnic at Guilder Pond. Reach the top of Mount Everett to see a vista that spans 3 states!
See Bash Bish Fall State Park for full description of this park.

Neilson Road New Salem, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

On its way to the Quabbin Reservoir, the Middle Branch of the Swift River passes through the steep granite cliffs of Bear's Den. A short trail forks at the entrance - the left spur leading to the gorge, the right leading to the stream bed below the falls. In 1675, the great chief King Philip met here with neighboring chieftains to plan attacks on Hadley, Deerfield, and Northampton. A black bear shot on the property gives the Reservation its name, though more romantic - yet unsubstantiated - stories exist.

This 2.5-mile-long strip of sand and dunes linked Martha's Vineyard and the island of Chappaquiddick until 2007, when a storm breached in the barrier beach. This beach provides opportunities for shellfishing, swimming, bird watching, and picnicking. In the autumn, the sandflats are used by migrating shorebirds. There are 1.8 miles of oversand-vehicle trails and 4.5 miles of walking trails and sandy roads in the upland area.
Open year-round, daily. Dogs must be kept on a leash. Free for pedestrians. Oversand vehicle (OSV) permits are required.

Jerusalem Road Tyringham, MA Phone: 413-298-3239

Visitors to Tyringham Cobble can hike two miles of trails, a section of which is a link in the Appalachian Trail, that pass over the twin knobs of the Cobble offering spectacular views of Tyringham Valley. Small trees and shrubs have taken root among dramatic rock outcrops and glacial boulders, and wildflowers, blackberries, blueberries, and wild strawberries grow in clearings and open meadows. The Cobble was used as pastureland for a Shaker community in the late eighteenth century, but today provides excellent opportunities for bird watching, picnicking, and cross-country skiing.

Route 9 West Brookfield, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Butterfly garden!

Located near two long Native American footpaths, the large size and height of the Rock House’s southern exposure made it an excellent winter camp for Native Americans, suggesting its use as a trail camp and meeting place. Following the arrival of colonists in the mid-seventeenth century, the area forests were gradually cleared for farming. Today, a forest of pine and mixed hardwoods has reclaimed the landscape, and visitors can hike along three miles of trails that take in Carter Pond, the Rock House, Balance Rock, a butterfly garden, and stands of red pine and spruce.

160 Pawtucket Blvd Lowell, MA Phone: 978-458-8750

Park describes the history of this industrial city; also boating, fishing, and walking along esplanade

This park displays and educates visitors about Lowell’s 19th-centry textile mills and the lives of mill workers. The park includes two miles of landscaped esplanade along the Merrimack River and a Victorian garden in the downtown. Paths are pleasant for walking and enjoying sights along the river. Outdoor concerts and seasonal events take place along the esplanade. See full description of Lowell Heritage State Park

69 Bluehill Road Monterey, MA, 01245 Phone: 413-528-0904

Good for non-motorized boating, walking & hiking, camping, snowmobiling; fishing; leashed pets allowed

When you walk or hike through the 12,000 acres of Beartown State Forest, you'll gain endless chances to observe wildlife like beavers, deer, Bob and Fisher cats, and even Black Bears. Hike the 1.5-mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail in any season. Enjoy the stunning, life-filled landscape, and be sure to check out the nearby Appalachian Trail, which runs all the way from Georgia up to Maine.
See Beartown State Forest for full description of this park.

Clark Wright Road Middlefield, MA Phone: 413-684-0148

Fed by more than five square miles of watershed, Glendale Falls is one of the longest and most powerful waterfall runs in Massachusetts. In spring, the waters of Glendale Brook roar over rock ledges more than 150 feet high before joining the Westfield River. A quarter-mile trail leads to bottom of the falls for viewing. The Reservation was once part of the historic 18th-century Glendale Farm, which operated a gristmill whose foundation can be explored in the woods just north of the falls.

Island Road Essex, MA, 01929 Phone: 978-526-8687

Stavros Reservation’s most popular feature is White's Hill, a scenic overlook that offers panoramic views of Crane Beach, the Crane Wildlife Refuge, and Halibut Point. An easy trail leads to the fieldstone base of a former fifty-foot-high tower constructed in the 1890s for property owner Lamont G. Burnham, Esq. The structure was used as a pumping tower to supply water to the Burnham farm, and it was said that Mr. Burnham stationed a sentry there to lookout for coal barges rounding Halibut Point. When the sentry identified a boat belonging to Burnham, a fast horse would be dispatched to Newburyport to put a price on the cargo.

164 Cedar Street Hopkinton, MA, 01748 Phone: 508-435-4303

Located on a reservoir; activities include water sports, hiking, picnicking, skiing and snowmobiling. Boat ramp

This state park on the Hopkinton Reservoir has a very large trail system for all users, including hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and cross country skiers.
Trail map.
See full description of Hopkinton State Park

Cape Street, Route 112 Goshen, MA Phone: 413-268-7098

Good for boating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and winter sports; pets permitted except on sandy beach; non-motorized boats only.

Hike and walk along 15 miles of trails through northern hardwood-conifer forest at the foothill of the Berkshire Mountains. Trails are for multiple uses, including mountain biking, horse riding, and snow sports. Spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley can be seen from the Goshen fire tower. Summer trail map; winter trail map. See DAR State Forest for full description of this park.

Stony Brook Nature Center

North Street Norfolk, MA Phone: 508-528-3140

This nature center includes a self-guided hiking trail. An extensive boardwalk system helps visitors explore Teal Marsh and its wildlife.

Turkey Hill Lane Hingham, MA Phone: 781-740-7233

Originally part of a picturesque, early-twentieth-century country estate, Weir River Farm encompasses 75 acres of fields and pastures, woodlands, and a complex of farm and estate buildings, including barns and a carriage house. On a clear day, visitors can view Boston Harbor and the North Shore from the top of Turkey Hill. The farm is being managed to preserve its historic pastoral character, and offers public programs throughout the year, as well as opportunities for hiking, bird watching and picnicking.

Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Route 117, South Great Road Lincoln, MA Phone: 617-259-9807

Visitors to this nature preserve will enjoy hiking trails, live farm animals and hayrides. During the winter season sleighrides are offered.

Cedar Tree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Indian Hill Road West Tisbury, MA Phone:

This preserve along the Martha's Vineyard north shore features several trails with numerous scenic views.

George Hill Road Lancaster, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

A favorite spot for winter sledding, Dexter Drumlin is maintained as a graceful, open meadow with lovely views of historic Lancaster and its surrounding farmland. A narrow mowed footpath traverses the crest of the hill and loops back along the stream to the entrance affording the visitor the opportunity to view grassland birds making use of the drumlin and the adjacent floodplain fields for nesting and raising their young.

Mount Everett Road Mount Washington, MA Phone: 413-528-0330

Good for scenery and vista-viewing; free access; pets permitted.

This 1,356-acre state reservation is a great choice for fans of scenic summit views who want a shorter hike. In season, walk a 0.75-mile path to reach the top of 2,624-foot Mount Everett. Seasonal road access and to parking at the Guilder Pond day-use area. At the 2,624-foot summit is a breathtaking panorama of Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. Enjoy a picnic at Guilder Pond which features a spectacular display of blooming mountain laurel and azalea in the spring. The Appalachian Trail winds its way along the ridgeline and through Sage's Ravine.
Parking in designated areas only. No services are available. Carry-in, carry-out all belongings and trash. Take precautions to avoid ticks; be aware of bears and rattlesnakes. Pets must be on a 10-foot maximum leash. Motorized off-road vehicles and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Season & Hours: The park is open year-round, sunrise to sunset year-round.

Nichewaug Road Petersham, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Swift River Reservation welcomes visitors with the opportunity to hike, mountain bike, cross-country ski, and horseback ride over 439 forested acres. Located where the East Branch of the Swift River links all three tracts of the river, the reservation’s natural features include extensive rocky ledges, ravines, open fields, a beaver-dammed swamp, vernal pools, and forest edges along woods roads. In the late 1700’s, much of the reservation was cleared for farms that were largely abandoned by the early 1900’s, and the forest returned only to be decimated by a major hurricane in 1938. Today most of the Reservation's mixed hardwood forest dates to this hurricane.

Neilson Road New Salem, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

On its way to the Quabbin Reservoir, the Middle Branch of the Swift River passes through the steep granite cliffs of Bear's Den. A short trail forks at the entrance - the left spur leading to the gorge, the right leading to the stream bed below the falls. In 1675, the great chief King Philip met here with neighboring chieftains to plan attacks on Hadley, Deerfield, and Northampton. A black bear shot on the property gives the Reservation its name, though more romantic - yet unsubstantiated - stories exist.

Jug End Road Egremont, MA, 01258 Phone: 413-528-0330

Jug End offers one of the most scenic areas in the Berkshires. The Jug End Loop Trail is a two -mile walk through open fields and hardwood woodlands. This walk also provides access to and parking for the Appalachian Trail. Open year-round, sunrise to sunset. Parking is only for daytime use of the park. No charge to enter the property.
Carry-in and carry-out all trash. Black bears live here. Never confront or feed or tease the bears. Seal you rfood. Rattlesnakes live in the park. Stay clear of them. Pets are permitted on a 10-foot leash. Off-road vehicles and alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
Trail map.

Mason Street Williamstown, MA Phone: 413-458-3144

Mountain Meadow Preserve protects forest, fields, and wetlands along the Massachusetts-Vermont border that are home to bears, coyotes, bobcats, fox, and deer as well as butterflies, wetland amphibians, and numerous small mammals and reptiles. One trail encircles and cuts through a spectacular upland wildflower meadow. A second loop trail enters the woodland, where it leads up a hill to a summit with views of Mount Greylock and the Taconic Range.

127 Combs Road Easthampton, MA Phone: 413-584-3009

The nature center features 25 acres of varied terrain, with five miles of trails and an observation tower. The 700-acre sanctuary includes a floodplain forest, marshes, and a grassland habitat.

289 Pearl Street Gardner, MA Phone: 508-632-7897

Water sports on pond; walking trails; Nordic skiing and ice skating. Fully wheelchair accessible

Park activities are centered upon a small pond. There are several walking trails. The Woodland Trail is designed for wheelchair accessibility through the forest. Distance is one mile. The main trail is 60 feet wide, and it includes some steep areas with stairways. Length is one mile
Map and trails guide
See full description of Dunn State Park.

Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center

Visitors can enjoy 25 miles of trails, which offer great views of blooming wildflowers in the spring, and fall foliage in the autumn. Of particular interest is the hydroelectric station.

Causeway Street Medfield, MA, 02052 Phone: 508-785-0339

Across the street from Noon Hill, Shattuck Reservation comprises a forested upland neck of oak and pine overlooking a wet meadow and red maple swamp. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding and bird watching. A 1.5 mile loop trail leads from the neck across wetlands to two islands that offer views of the Charles River, and the reservation's old stone walls indicate that it was once nineteenth-century pasture.

Begins at Elwell State Park, Damon Road Northampton, Hadley, & Amherst, MA Phone: 413-586-8706

This 8.5-mile trail runs from Northampton, through Hadley and into Amherst along the old Boston & Main Railroad line. Bicycle and wheelchair hand-cycles rentals are available.

North Road, Chilmark Martha’s Vineyard, MA Phone: 508-693-3678

Prospect Hill is the second-highest elevation on Martha’s Vineyard. It has three miles of trails through wetlands, woodlands, coastal plain, and a rocky seashore. Views from the heights are magnificent. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 90 minutes to walk.
Directions: Starting from State Road in West Tisbury, turn right onto North Road heading westerly toward Chilmark and follow for five miles. Entrance, with parking spaces, is just past Tabor House Road, at right.

Lynn Woods

Great Woods and Penny Brook Roads Lynn, MA Phone: 617-593-7773

This 2,200-acre municipal forest is the perfect spot for hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, cross-country skiing or just enjoying the view. A rose garden adds to the scenery.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset. No charge.

345 Mountain Road Princeton, MA Phone: 508-464-2987

The reservation has 17 miles of hiking and walking trails. Views of Mount Monadnock (NH), the Berkshire Mountains, and the Boston skyline can be seen from the summit (2,006 feet).The Wachusett Mountain State Reservation is a good stop for hiking, nature study, bird watching, picnicking, and cross country skiing. Mountain access road is open Memorial Day to the last Sunday in October. Road is open daily, 9 a.m. to sunset .

Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Refuge Road Ipswich, MA Phone: 508-462-4481

Beautiful barrier island and ocean beach for walking, birdwatching

Sandy Point is part of Plum Island, a beautify barrier island with a coastal beach. People enjoy the property for walking, beachcombing, fishing, and birding. It is the home and nesting region for the piping plover. Visitors must enter through the adjacent Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Parking lots are available, but they can fill up, and when this happens the reservation is temporarily closed. Pedestrians may enter the beach but muse avoid fenced areas to protect birds and dunes. Hours: sunrise to sunset.

Rockwell Road Lanesborough, MA Phone: 413-499-4262

Good for hiking, camping, scenic drives, and viewing wildlife.

There are many paths of all difficulties which one can take to reach Mount Greylock's summit. Find suggested hiking paths at For an easier walk, meander along the 1.8-mile-long Bradley Farm Trail, and learn about the area's rich farming history. Also worth exploration are the Scenic Byway or Greylock Glen. Take a camera! See Mount Greylock State Reservation for full description of this park.

198 Purgatory Road Sutton, MA Phone: 508-234-3733

A unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet. Popular with picnickers and rock-climbers alike, the Chasm is believed to have its origin in the sudden release of dammed-up glacial meltwater near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago. Trails lead to a wide variety of rock formations, with such romantic names as The Corn Crib, The Coffin, The Pulpit, Lovers' Leap and Fat Man's Misery. Recreational uses: walking, hiking, picnicking, hunting, accessible restrooms.

Route 116 South Deerfield, MA Phone: 413-545-5993

With two peaks, this site offers great views of the surrounding countryside. It features hiking trails and scenic picnic spots. South peak accessible by automobile.

Taconic Crest Trail

This is a 35 mile north/south trail with great vistas, hardwood forests, and side trails. The trail meanders in or near western Massachusetts, from Williamstown to Pittsfield. The trail heads up into Vermont and moves back and forth along the New York and Massachusetts state borders. Petersburg Pass adjacent to Williamstown is the most popular starting destination along the trail. The trail shows classic New England geology and scenery. The paved three-quarter mile Tranquility Trail is popular with wheelchair-users and other visitors who favor its smooth surface. A wheelchair-accessible picnic area and restroom are located nearby.
How to Find It: From Route 7 in Williamstown, MA, turn onto Route 2 west at the Taconic Park Restaurant approximately half way between the Store at Five Corners and the Williams Inn. (This road is known locally as the Taconic Trail.) At the top of the hill is a large parking area on the left. Park there, and cross the road to access the trail head to the Snowhole near Vermont state line or just head south to Berlin Mountain by hiking up the trail leading up the hill at the back of the parking lot.

Route 140 Princeton, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Real New England History

Redemption Rock is the site of the famous release from captivity of Mary White Rowlandson, who was taken with her three children, and twenty other captives by a force of Nipmucs, Narragansetts, and Wampanoags when they attacked Lancaster on February 10, 1676. The Native Americans were angered by the spread of colonial settlements, the conversion of forests into farmland, and injustices at the hands of colonists. She was ultimately ransomed at Redemption Rock by John Hoar of Concord, who negotiated her release with the Native American leader, King Phillip.

Hammond Pond Reservation

Hammond Pond Parkway Newton, MA Phone: 617-698-1802

Visitors to this small nature preserve can enjoy fishing, hiking and biking trails, and picnic areas.

Sloan Road Williamstown, MA Phone: 413-458-3144

Field Farm’s over four miles of trails offer excellent hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities in the shadow of Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak. A center of agriculture since at least 1750, Field Farm also features a modernist house now utilized as a bed and breakfast (The Guest House at Field Farm), and the 1965 Ulrich Franzen designed “Folly” – a pinwheel shaped guest house open for tours during the summer.

Back Bay Fens Park of the Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace is a series of six historic urban parks from the Back Bay of Boston to Dorchester. It was designed a century ago by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The necklace includes places as varied as a shaded bench, basketball courts, an arboretum, and a zoo. One of the parks, Back Bay Fens , is an eclectic mix of formal and community gardens, ball fields, memorials and historic structures.
To Get There: Avoid driving; parking is difficult. To get to the park, use any of these trains of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority ( MBTA or "the T" ): Green B, C Lines: Hynes/Mass Ave, Kenmore; Green D Line: Hynes/Mass Ave, Kenmore, Fenway; Green E Line: Museum of Fine Arts, Northeastern University; Orange Line: Ruggles.

Salt Pond Visitor Center at Nauset Road and Route 6 Eastham, MA, 02642 Phone: 508-255-3421

Magnificent national park encompasses all shoreline and interior features of Cape Cod

Visitors to the Cape Cod National Seashore may walk on any of the park’s bike trails. For more information on walking and hiking paths, visit or consult the park’s two visitor centers: Salt Pond Visitor Center at 50 Doane Road, Eastham, is open year round, It is is near the Nauset Marsh and Buttonbush trails and the Nauset Bicycle Trail. Phone: 508-255-3421. The Province Lands Visitor Center on Race Point Road, off Route 6, Provincetown, is open during the summer. Phone: 508-487-1256.
For details on trails, search “Cape Cod” here
See full description for Cape Cod National Seashore.

Hawley Road Ashfield, MA Phone: 413-684-0148

Visitors to Bear Swamp can explore three miles of trails that lead past an old beaver dam resting atop an old stone milldam, a variety of ferns and woodland wildflowers, and scenic vistas that offer views of nearby apple orchards and the Green Mountains of Vermont beyond. Bear Swamp also features excellent bird watching and picnic tables at the Apple Valley Overlook.

Boston Women's Heritage Trail

This walk honors some of the city's most prominent women, encompassing Beacon Hill, the North End, Chinatown, and downtown Boston. Maps for this walk are available at Boston Common.

South Shore Natural Science Center

Jacobs Lane Norwell, MA Phone: 617-659-2559

Nature trails are the focal point of this site, which includes a trail for the visually impaired. Exhibits and programs are scheduled here daily.

Woodridge Street Medfield, MA, 02052 Phone: 508-785-0339

Home to important and rare stand of Rhododendron maximum, the great laurel or rosebay rhododendron, one of only three species of evergreen rhododendrons native to eastern North America. Though listed today as a "threatened" species, rosebay rhododendrons were once more common in Massachusetts; approximately half of the historical populations in Massachusetts have been lost. Currently, there are seven known populations, and the Medfield Rhododendrons colony represents the largest and easternmost population in Massachusetts.

Slab Bridge Road Assonet, MA Phone: 508 644-5522

Good for walking & hiking, winter sports, mountain biking, equestrian, fishing, and restricted hunting.

50 miles of unpaved hiking trails lead travelers through the forests of southeastern Massachusetts. Be sure to look for Profile Rock, a natural spectacle which is said to resemble Chief Massasoit. Part of this forest belongs to the Wampanoag Nation. Park map:
See Freetown-Fall River State Forest for full description of this park.

William J. Day Blvd. South Boston, MA Phone: 617-727-5290

Bayside string of parks and beaches easily accessible to Boston; walking, swimming, fishing

Fort Independence has two main hiking trails; 1.8-mile Pleasure Bay Loop, overlooking scenic Pleasure and Dorchester Bays, and .79-mile-long Castle Island Loop, which leads you in a ring around the Fort. You'll find a telephone located halfway 'round the Bay trail at Sugarbowl Shelter.
See Castle Island, Pleasure Bay, M Street Beach and Carson Beach for full description of this park.

East Street Petersham, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Once home to Nipmuc, the Brooks Woodland Preserve is an undisturbed forest of red oaks, hemlocks, and white pine. Visitors may hike or cross-country ski along 13 miles of woodland trails and former woods roads. Old stone walls cross the forest floor, passing through patches of maidenhair ferns, winterberry, and partridgeberry. Along parts of the Swift River, Moccasin Brook, and Roaring Brook, beaver dams have created swamps, and a cascade of glacial boulders provide dens for porcupines. Six early-nineteenth-century farmsteads can be rediscovered in the Preserve by their remaining fieldstone cellar walls, porch steps, and chimney supports.

River Road Chesterfield, MA Phone: 413-532-1631

A one-half mile long trail runs along the top of this 70-foot-high gorge. The trail from the parking lot connects to the East Branch Trail (also known as River Road. This trail continues along the river for another seven miles, past Bliss State Forest. Easy walking. See full description of Chesterfield Gorge.

Falls Road Royalston, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Concealed within a dense forest

The rushing waters of Royalston Falls have carved a deep gorge out of granite. Here, Falls Brook plunges forty-five feet into a basin. In summer, ferns cling to the chasm's walls; in winter, freezing spray creates a fantastic landscape of ice. Upstream, the swirling brook has carved natural bridges through the bedrock. The wild and undisturbed appearance of the area today belies the landscape's history. For many years, the land was cleared and farmed, and during the 19th century, was also the site of town picnics and gatherings in the summer months.

Barnes Road Edgartown, MA Phone: 508-693-2540

Hiking and biking through varied ecosystem

Fifteen miles of trails through this interesting preserve of many island ecosystems.
Trail map for hiking and biking.
See full description of Manuel Correllus State Forest.

1199 Middle Road Clarksburg, MA Phone: 413-664-8345

Good for camping, hiking, boating; non-motor boats only

Hike 9.5 miles of foot trails surrounding Mauserts Pond. Five winding, looping walking trails offer various difficulty levels, depending on how far you plan to hike. Find trail maps at See Clarksburg State Park for full description of this park.

Fern Road Tyringham, MA Phone: 413-298-3239

Hiking, Birding, Picnicking

From the entrance of the McLennan Reservation, a 1.5-mile trail follows the graceful rises and dips of this densely forested landscape before reaching the high plateau where Hale Swamp (created when beavers dammed Camp Brook long ago) is located. Round Mountain and its neighbor, Long Mountain, form the backdrop for the reservation, which was once part of the Ashintully estate, whose gardens are located at the southern end of the valley.

Crane Memorial Reservation

Argilla Road Ipswich, MA Phone: 508-356-4351

Set on a barrier beach, this preserve features nature trails, and is the perfect site for bird watching.

Stony Brook Reservation

Turtle Pond Parkway Hyde Park, MA Phone: 617-698-1802

Sunfish and Perch await anglers in Turtle Pond at this 475-acre park and wildlife refuge, featuring fishing areas, biking and hiking trails, public swimming, and picnic areas. Programs are scheduled throughout the year.

Hartford Street Medfield, MA, 02052 Phone: 508-785-0339

Just 30 minutes from downtown Boston

Rocky Woods features over six miles of former woods roads and footpaths rambling through rolling hills of white pine and red oak. Explorers of the four ponds on the reservation may find bullfrogs and painted turtles, and visitors can enjoy catch-and-release fishing from these shores. Recent landscape renovations have created a scenic meadow, grassy common areas, sandy shorelines, and plantings of ornamental shrubs. Restrooms, picnic tables and a pavilion are onsite, and future plans include creating a visitor center and improved children's play area.

Off Route 128 Hingham, MA Phone: 617-749-7160

Good for camping, fishing, swimming, and hiking & walking.

Wooded bridle paths and hiking trails. Stop by Mt. Blue Spring for fresh drinking water. Park map:
See Wompatuck State Park for full description of this park.

Peck Road Wales, MA Phone: 413-267-9654

There are guided spring wildflower walks at this 3,000-acre site, which features three miles of nature trails and two museums.

Tilda Hill Road Monroe, MA Phone: 413-339-5504

Walking and hiking in Monroe State Forest will lead you through valley, mountain, and woods. For scenic views of Hoosac and Green Mountains and Deerfield River, hike to the summit of Spruce Mountain. Try the Dunbar Brook Trail, which starts from the River Road parking area and is full of ancient trees. The brook drops 700 feet and gives way to waterfalls, rapids, and natural pools. No services are available. Watch for black bears.
Trail map.

Route 3A Plymouth, MA Phone: 508-866-2580

Good for scenic landscapes and coastal views; hiking & walking, and fishing.

The main trail is about one mile long; it will lead you to a rocky beach with sea creatures and harbor seals. See Ellisville Harbor State Park for full description of this park.

Peaked Mountain

Butler Road Monson, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

From the 1,227-foot summit of Peaked Mountain, a panoramic view unfolds taking in Connecticut's Shenipsit State Forest to the south, Mount Monadnock to the north, and Mount Wachusett to the northeast. In between lies a sweep of rolling New England countryside with forested hills and ridges, valley farms, and small villages. The Valley View overlook provides views of nearby Boulder Hill and the City of Springfield to the west. Other trails at peaked Mountain encircle tranquil Lunden Pond, where visitors might glimpse beavers, herons, and other wildlife drawn to the quiet waters.

175 Mohawk Trail / Route 2 Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 413-339-5504

Good for year-round camping, viewing nature & wildlife, and trout fishing.

Hike and walk along the Mohican-Mohawk Trail, a Native American footpath between the Connecticut and Hudson River Valleys. Quarter-mile Thumper Mountain Trail is located near the year-round group campsite, and leads you to a lookout point where you can watch the sun rise and set over the landscape. Indian Lookout Trail, located on the other side of the forest, is one-and-a-quarter miles long and leads you to another scenic lookout. Hike to Clark Mountain and Todd Mountain from this trail, or continue straight on the Mohican-Mohawk Trail. See Mohawk Trail State Forest for full description of park.

The Minuteman Bikeway

This 10.5 mile bicycle trail begins in Cambridge (Greater Boston area), and winds its way through Arlington, Lexington and ends in Bedford. Along the way are the historic site of Lexington Common and the Minuteman Statue.

Stevens Street North Andover, MA, 01845 Phone: 978-682-3580

Weir Hill’s (pronouced "wire hill") four miles of easy hiking trails meander over a double drumlin that rises 305 feet, includes more than a mile of scenic shoreline on Lake Cochichewick, and a broad meadow that provides magnificent views of Stevens Pond and the Merrimack Valley. The Reservation is named for the fish weirs (woven fences with stakes) that were once submerged by Native Americans in Cochichewick Brook to catch alewives before they reached Lake Cochichewick to spawn. Picnicking, bird watching, and cross-country skiing in winter invite visitors year round.

Lloyd Center for Environmental Studies

430 Potomska Road South Dartmouth, MA Phone: 508-990-0505

Visitors can enjoy walking trails and exhibits at this nature preserve, set on 55 acres.

Dry Hill

Old North Road (Harmon Road) New Marlborough, MA, 01230 Phone: 413-298-3239

About 200 acres of forest can be traversed on a mile-long loop trail that traces a small brook and passes vernal pools and other wetlands. The trail passes a stream, several spring ponds, and a red maple and hemlock swamp. An oak forest covers the upper slopes and ridge tops. Dense thickets of mountain laurel bloom in late June. Trails are moderately difficult.
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of one hour for the walk.

177 Forest Street Saugus, MA Phone: 781-233-0834

Large forest with 2 freshwater lakes; swimming; fishing; walking trails; extensive views

Many walking trails reach to all parts of this 600-acre property of hardwood forests north Boston. Lots of peaks above 200 feet provide good climbs and views of distant Boston. See full description of Breakheart Reservation.

Route 1A Ipswich, MA, 01938 Phone: 978-356-5728

Established in 1638, Appleton Farms is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the United States. Scenic views of rolling grasslands, grazing livestock, ancient stone walls, four miles of tree-lined carriage paths, and historic farm buildings welcome visitors for hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Farm operations include a community-supported agriculture program, a retail feed and mulch haying operation, livestock and dairy programs, and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.

107 Wallum Lake Road Douglas, MA Phone: 508-476-7872

Popular state forest on lake with many activities: water sports; horseback riding; hiking trails

The Midstate Trail, a hiking trail through the center of Massachusetts, runs through Douglas State Forest. Map of Midstate Trail
See full description of Douglas State Forest.

Petticoat Hill Road Williamsburg, MA Phone: 413-684-0148

Spend some time in this century old forest

This hillside is covered by a 100-year-old forest criss-crossed by old stone walls and dotted with the cellar holes and foundations of early farmsteads. The Reservation takes its name from the story of a family with seven daughters that settled near the top of the hill. Each daughter wore five petticoats, and, on Monday wash days, people from miles around could see thirty-five petticoats billowing in the breeze as they dried on a clothesline. The focal point of this park is a natural bridge, but visitors can also enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, and cross-country skiing. Special events are often scheduled.

Stearns Street Carlisle, MA, 01741 Phone: 978-840-4446

The Malcolm Preserve provides a northern gateway to some 1,300 acres of conservation land. A short hiking trail connects the Malcolm Preserve with Two Rod Road, which leads through historic Estabrook Woods. The land comprising the Malcolm Preserve and the adjacent Malcolm Meadows development was once part of a 38-acre farm which raised fruit crops, including raspberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, and pears, as well as vegetables and cut flowers for local markets.


Walk starts at Old State House, 206 Washington Street Boston, MA Phone: 617-482-1722

A self-guided walk that traces the history of the Boston waterfront. The tour begins at the Old State House, brochures are available at the National Park Service Visitor's Center on State Street.

Quinaquisset Avenue and Meetinghouse Road Mashpee, MA Phone: 508-679-2115

Open: Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset

Two miles of trails wind through Mashpee River Reservation to a pristine shoreline. Natural spawning areas and excellent water quality make the Mashpee River one of Massachusetts' finest sources of sea-run brook trout. The Reservation's woodland and shoreline trails form a link in the Cape Cod Pathways trail system, and offer excellent opportunities for bird watching and cross-country skiing.

Cape Cod Rail Trail

The Cape Cod Rail Trail follows a former railroad right-of-way for 22 miles through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. Its paved surface, few hills, and well-marked automobile crossings make it ideal for cyclists. The trail has a wide unpaved shoulder on one side to accommodate horseback riding, walkers, and runners.
There are many opportunities to get off the trail and visit a beach. Food and water are available and public restrooms can be found at Nickerson State Park, Salt Pond Visitors Center at Cape Cod National Seashore and the National Seashore Headquarters. Bike rentals are available at many points along the way.
Free parking for trail users is available at the trailhead at Route 134 in South Dennis; Headwaters Drive in Harwich; Underpass Road, off Route 137 in Brewster; Nickerson State Park in Brewster; Route 137 at Route 28 in Chatham; Winifred Road, off Old Queen Road in Chatham; Orleans Center at Old Colony Way in Orleans; Cape Cod National Seashore at the Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham; National Seashore at Marconi Area in Wellfleet; the trailhead at LeCount Hollow Road in South Wellfleet; Head of the Meadow Beach parking lot in Truro; High Head Road in Truro; and National Seashore's Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown.

Beaver Brook Reservation

Mill Street Waltham, MA Phone: 617-484-6357

Small nature preserve offers biking paths, fishing and swimming areas, interpretive programs, and small historic sites. Full toilet facilities are available.

Weatogue Road, Ashley Falls Sheffield, MA Phone: 413-229-8600

This National Natural Landmark is home over 800 species of plants, including one of North America's greatest diversities of fern species, as well as abundant wildflowers. The Reservation is named for two rocky knolls that rise above the Housatonic River, and the high point, Hurlburt's Hill, rises 1,000 feet to a twenty-acre field on the Massachusetts-Connecticut border that offers panoramic views northward up the Housatonic River Valley. Visitors will enjoy hiking this diverse woodland, and the many public programs that are presented throughout the year.

159 Walker Pond Rd. Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 508 347-9257

Best for camping and hiking; swimming beach for campers only; 5 miles from Old Sturbridge Village

There are 10 miles of hiking trails on this pretty, wooded property. Off road vehicles may not be used on hiking trails. One popular walk with good views at the end goes to Carpenter Rocks.
Trail map.
See full description of Wells State Park.

1041 Cascade Street Pittsfield, MA Phone: 413-442-8992

Good for handicap-accessible recreation, fishing, walking & hiking.

Hike or walk 30 miles of trails and enjoy a natural retreat along the ridge of the Taconic Mountain Range, which rises up between Massachusetts and New York. The Taconic Crest Trail is a popular, 35-mile hiking trail. Wheelchair users can easily enjoy the smoother, three-quarter-mile Tranquility Trail. Handicap-accessible picnic site and restroom nearby. See Pittsfield State Forest for full description of park.

Salem Sound Salem, MA, 01970 Phone: 978-526-8687

Ruins of a turn-of-the-century summer colony...

Explore Great and Little Misery Islands for stunning coastal views, scenic hiking trails, ruins of a turn-of-the-century summer colony, even the remains of a shipwreck! A two-mile system of trails provides access to most parts of Great Misery Island, and Little Misery is accessible by wading across a narrow, shallow channel at low tide. The name Misery Islands arose from the ordeal of shipbuilder Robert Moulton, who became stranded on the islands for three miserable days during a December storm in the 1620s. Today Misery Islands are easily accessible by boat or by ferry service from Salem.

Salem Heritage Trail

This self-guided walking tour highlights Salem's important and historic contribution to American history. Sites include: House of the Seven Gables, the Peabody Essex Museum, Ropes Mansion (1727), the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the Salem Witch Museum, Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House, Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch House.

485 Ware Road / Route 9 (3 miles east of intersection of routes 9 and 202) Belchertown, MA Phone: 413-323-7221

Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. The New Salem and Enfield lookouts offer magnificent views of the reservoir. The Quabbin Interpretive Services Program operates the Quabbin Visitor Center and provides general information. An automated telephone system at 413-323-7221 provides 24-hour access to current information on fishing, hunting, programs, rules and regulations, and public access. Since this is a public drinking water supply, swimming, wading, and dogs are prohibited. Permitted uses are shoreline fishing, hiking, bicycling walking, bird watching, snowshoeing, hunting, with restrictions, and picnicking.

78 Warwick Road Warwick, MA, 01378 Phone: 978 544-3939

Mt. Grace is the second highest peak in Massachusetts. There are hiking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding trails. Picnic areas are also available. Trail map.

Green Briar Nature Center

6 Discovery Hill Road East Sandwich, MA, 02537 Phone: 508-888-6870

Open: January-March, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; April-December, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

Located on the shores of Smiling Pool and adjacent to the famous Briar Patch of Thornton Burgess’s stories, Green Briar offers interpreted nature trails and a spectacular wild flower garden. Adjacent to Green Briar is the 57-acre Briar Patch Conservation Area, home of Peter Rabbit and many of the other Thornton Burgess animal characters. Walking trails are open to the public. Admission by donation.

Noon Hill Road Medfield, MA, 02052 Phone: 508-785-0339

The midday sun passes over the ridge of Noon Hill, giving the Reservation its name. Follow the trail leading to the 370-foot peak, and enjoy sweeping views south across the rolling hills of Walpole and Norfolk. Noon Hill’s 4 ½ miles of trails along forested ridges and slopes feature pine, beech, birch, and hemlock, offer glimpses of turn of the century low stone walls, and in spring, the forest floor is scattered with wildflowers. Picturesque Holt Pond was created around 1764, when Sawmill Brook was dammed to create a mill pond.

Off Mystic Valley Parkway Medford, Somerville, Everett, MA Phone: 617-727-5380

Series of parks and green spaces along Mystic River; accessible by MBTA trains; walking, biking, picnicking, swimming

The Mystic River Reservation is a string of parks and green spaces along the Mystic River. There is plenty of space for walking and jogging along the river front. These green spaces also are accessible from Boston and Cambridge by MBTA commuter trains. See full description of Mystic River Reservation.

125 Reservation Road Holyoke, MA Phone: 413-534-1186

Good for handicap-accessible recreation, fishing, hiking & walking, paddling

The summit of Mount Tom has vast views of the Connecticut Valley and the Berkshire mountains. The property has 22 miles of hiking and walking trails, visitor center with rest rooms, a play area for kids, picnicking, fishing on the 10-acre Lake Bray; and cross country skiing and ice skating. Trail map.

West Street Petersham, MA Phone: 508-939-8962

Good for fishing, walking, and nature viewing. No pets allowed.

This property is southwest of the Quabbin Reservoir and on the reservoir's watershed. Wooded roads pass through pine, maple, birch and hemlock groves. Good for walking and hiking and nature viewing, including passing of migratory and local fowl.
See full description of Federated Women’s Club State Forest.

Beach Road, Route 1A Salisbury, MA, 01952 Phone: 508-462-4481

Fantastic, sandy ocean beach with all waterfront sports; popular for trailer camping

This very beautiful ocean beach stretches almost 4 miles along the Atlantic. People flock to this lovely place for salt-water swimming, sunbathing, boating, fishing, and trailer camping. Boardwalks over the dunes offer a wonderful way to easily get out into the dunelands for gorgeous strolls among spectacular vistas.
See full description of Salisbury Beach State Reservation.

Main Street Petersham, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Once pastureland, the broad expanse of North Common Meadow now preserves the rural charm and character of Petersham Center. The upper meadow produces hay that is cut by a local farmer, and the lower meadow supports a variety of wildflowers and features a small lily-covered pond. From the field adjacent to the Petersham Historic Society building on Main Street, visitors can take in a sweeping view of Mount Wachusett. North Common Meadow is a part of the Petersham Historic District, designated a Local Historic District in 1966 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Asbury Street and Ipswich Road Topsfield, MA Phone: 508-887-5931

Great for walking, picnicking, enjoying spring flowers; horseback riding. Wading pool for kids

This expansive park of generous meadows has many shaded walking trails and old carriage roads.
Summer trail map. Winter use map.
See full description of Bradley Palmer State Park.

Gott Avenue Rockport, MA Phone: 978-526-8687

Easy hiking trails lead to scenic vistas, a low rocky coastal shelf with impressive crashing waves, and interesting tide pools. Cooperatively managed with adjacent Halibut Point State Park, the two miles of trails edge the former Babson Farm Quarry, now filled by natural underground springs. Granite quarried here at the turn of the 20th century paved thousands of city streets and built bridges, tunnels, monuments, warehouses, and buildings, such as Boston's Custom House Tower.

Prospect Road North Andover, MA, 01845 Phone: 978-682-3580

The focal point of the Ward Reservation is 420-foot Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County. At the summit, visitors can see Boston's skyline and the Blue Hills to the south, and explore the "Solstice Stones”, a compass-like arrangement of stones set on the peak. The narrow stone in the NE quadrant points in the direction of where the sun rises on the summer solstice (around June 21), the longest day of the year. Located at the foot of Holt Hill is Pine Hole Bog, a rare quaking bog that features concentric rings of distinct vegetation, each characterized by different growing conditions.

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Edgartown Road Edgartown, MA Phone: 508-627-4850

Vistors to this nature center will find plenty of self-guided trails, as well as live native birds. Of particular interest are ospreys nesting in their natural environment. There is an admission fee.

Williamsburg Road Ashfield, MA Phone: 413-684-0148

At the core of Chapelbrook is Pony Mountain, whose nearly vertical 100-foot rock face offers a challenge to very skilled, technical rock climbers. A gentle, half-mile trail leads around the western side of Pony Mountain to its summit, offering unobstructed views south toward the Berkshire foothills. Chapelbrook is also popular for its sometimes-torrential Chapel Falls. The steady trickle of Chapel Brook becomes a deluge in spring, but in summer, the pools that form under the falls offer a cool, welcome dip.

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

280 Eliot Street Natick, MA Phone: 508-655-2296

At this sanctuary, visitors can enjoy nine miles of hiking trails, in addition to lectures and other programs in a renovated horse barn.

260 Central Shaft Road Florida, MA Phone: 413-663-8469

Handicap-accessible hiking and camping; water sports, picnicking, hiking, camping, paddling, pets allowed

No matter the season, you can go hiking on more than 50 miles of trails at Savoy Mountain State Forest. Experience natural spectacles like rich fall foliage and hawk migration. Spruce Hill on the Busby Trail is recommended by locals for its stunning view. See Savoy Mountain State Forest for full description of park.

Woodland Road Winchester, MA Phone: 781-322-2851 or

Natural refuge set on over 2,000 acres. Visitors here can enjoy biking, hiking and cross-country ski trails. Canoeing, fishing, and swimming areas are offered, as well as a visitor's center with historic information.

Hartford Street Medfield, MA, 02052 Phone: 508-785-0339

Fork Factory Brook’s easy network of trails track the edges of lovely hay fields and meander through wooded upland offering views of surrounding forested wetlands and the remains of a 19th-century pitchfork mill. For a brief time after the Civil War, owners used the mill for a paper cutting enterprise, but it fell into disuse with the advent of coal-power. When Main Street was widened in 1927, the mill was dismantled and the granite reused to construct a house on Foundry Street. Much of the mill site now sits under Route 109, and all that remains is its broad earthen dam and stone raceway.

250 Martin’s Lane Hingham, MA Phone: 781-740-6665

World's End is one of the 30 islands of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreational Area, and comprises over four miles of walking paths that offer dramatic views of the Weir River, Hingham Harbor, and the Boston skyline. In 1889, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was commissioned to design a residential subdivision here, and his plan included 163 house plots connected by tree-lined roads. The cart paths were cut and the trees planted, but the development never occurred. These wide paths now line broad grassy fields that attract butterflies and are managed to provide habitat for grassland-nesting birds.

Woodland Road Lee, MA Phone: 413-243-1778

At 16,500 acres, October Mountain is the largest state forest in Massachusetts. Visitors can camp, hike, and enjoy the outdoors while they visit nearby Tanglewood and other Berkshire Region points of interest. Forty-seven 47 campsites dot a sunny hillside and offer a great base to explore this vast forest. Trails are available for every level of experience, and include the famous Appalachian Trail. One of the most scenic trails lead through Schermerhorn Gorge, a striking natural feature which has intrigued generations of geologists.
The forest is open from sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Access is free. Camping season is from mid-May through mid-October in designated campground only. RV size is restricted to 34 feet. No electric hook-ups available. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Don't forget you are in Black Bear country. Never physically confront, feed, torment or throw anything at bears. All Terrain Vehicles are permitted during daylight hours on designated trails only, from May 1 through last Sunday in November (call ahead for details). Snowmobiling is available on four-inch minimum hard-packed snow base.
Recreational opportunities: Camping, non-motorized boating, boat ramp & public landing, fishing, hiking, hunting (restrictions), mountain biking, off-road vehicles, skiing (cross-country), trailer / R.V. dumping, walking trails.
Boat ramps: Car top boating is available at Housatonic River (public access nearby at New Lenox Rd.), Buckley Dunton Reservoir and October Mountain Reservoir day-use area.

86 Dearth Hill Road Brimfield, MA Phone: 413-267-9687

Good for hiking & walking, picnicking, horseback riding; fishing

At Brimfield State Forest, families and groups can walk through mile after mile of green life. Discover something new at every turn along brooks, streams, and the perimeter of Dean Pond, where you can rest at the comfort station.
See Brimfield State Forest for full description of this park.

Route 101 Phillipston, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

Once pastureland, Elliott Laurel is now a quiet woodland traversed by old stone walls. Its scenic foot trail crosses an open field before climbing a rocky hillside to a south-facing overlook, then leads gently through shaded woods dotted by white pines and hemlocks before descending past rock outcrops to a red maple swamp. The return leg of the trail passes thickets of spring-blooming mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) for which the Reservation is named. At peak in mid-June, the pink flower buds of mountain laurel gradually open to reveal brilliant white flowers, brightening the shady woodland floor.

462 North Street Feeding Hills, MA Phone: 413-786-2877

Good for paddling, picnics, swimming, fishing, and views

20 miles of trails and footpaths are the Yellow, Red, Green, and White Trails, which all connect to each other and will take you through wooded areas and along the scenic Westfield River. Look for the waterfall at Mittineague, too. See Robinson State Park for full description of this park.

South Sandwich Road Mashpee & Sandwich, MA, 02563 Phone: 508-636-4693

Extensive walking trails among holly and rhododendron gardens; two ponds stocked with fish

Four miles of foot trails and old carriage roads offer walking of moderate difficulty among groves of holly and rhododendron. Views of freshwater ponds.
See full description of Lowell Holly.

Blue Hills Trailside Museum

1904 Canton Avenue Milton, MA Phone: 617-333-0690

Museum offers hiking trails, live animals and regularly scheduled programs. There is an admission charge.

Curzon Mill Road Newburyport, MA Phone: 978-465-7223

This park features gardens from the 1800s, other plantings, rolling meadows, and huge groves of mountain laurel. Loved by visitors for the may-to-June blooming period of large beds of azaleas and rhododendrons. An exquisite place for walking, biking, and informal picnics. Portions closed in winter, but still fine for walks. Special use permits allowed for weddings. Parking fee of $2. Trail map.

Route 41 Hadley, MA Phone: 413-586-0350

This park features 10 miles of trails, which allow visitors to climb Mount Holyoke and the Holyoke Range. Offers great view of the Connecticut River Valley.

Dedham Street Dover, MA, 02030 Phone: 781-821-2977

Named after a chief of the Natick Indians, Noanet Woodlands features 17 miles of shady trails and wooded roads ideal for walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding, and a hike up Noanet Peak rewards visitors with a view of Boston's skyline above the forest canopy. In the early nineteenth century, Noanet Brook was home to a large rolling and slitting mill that made barrel hoops, wheel rims, nail plates, and nail rods from forged iron. Today the mill's twenty-four-foot-high dam and twenty-foot-deep wheel pit are preserved, but visitors will have to imagine the towering thirty-six-foot wheel that powered the mill.

86 Winchendon Road Baldwinville, MA Phone: 508-939-8962

Camping, water sports, hiking

Otter River State Forest has extensive walking and hiking trails near and around Lake Dennison Recreation Area and Beaman Pond. Trails are used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter.

Summer trail map.
See full description of Otter State Park.

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Perkins Row Topsfield, MA Phone: 508-887-9264

10 miles of trails and an observation tower are set in this natural preserve.

793 Main Street Hampden, MA Phone: 413-566-8034

An 18th century house owned by children’s author Thornton Burgess highlights the 354 acres of walking trails and natural beauty. A library and exhibits offered.

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Route 6 and West Road South Wellfleet, MA, 02663 Phone: 508-349-2615

This nature center offers a variety of educational programs for children and adults, including walks and workshops. Enjoy a naturalist-led bird walk on our property or listen to an evening lecture. This sanctuary has a nature center, walking trails, trail to Goose Pond, seasonal classroom, gardens, and a campground. Picnicking, birdwatching, restrooms, wheelchair accessible. Of particular interest is the boardwalk trail through the salt marsh.

Literary Trail of Greater Boston

Omni Parker House Boston, MA Phone: 617-350-0358

A tour for everyone who loves history, good books, and beautiful settings. Discover the homes, gathering places, and landscapes of America's most beloved authors on a guided tour, or on your own with the Self-Guided Tour Package. Travel from Boston to Cambridge and Concord and visit sites such as Walden Pond, Longfellow House, Concord Museum, and Orchard House. Tours depart from the Omni Parker House the second Saturday of the month, beginning August.

Union Street Marshfield, MA Phone: 781-821-2977

Deriving its name from rights granted in the late 1700’s to the Town of Scituate to harvest salt hay "two miles along the river and half a mile inland on each side," Two Mile Farm preserves one of the region's most scenic and dramatic river views. Trails pass through a white pine woodland, tracking the toppled remains of old stone walls and former farm cart paths. Each trail slopes down to the marsh's edge to a view of the grassy banks of the North River, a designated National Natural Landmark, and the Stetson Meadows beyond.

Summer Street (Route 127) Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, 01944 Phone: 978-356-4351

A short easy hike to the tip of Coolidge Point rewards the visitor with the magnificent Ocean Lawn views of Magnolia Harbor, Kettle Island and Great and Little Misery Islands. At one time, this vast lawn was the site of the Coolidge family's "Marble Palace," a Georgian-style mansion designed in 1902 by Charles McKim. The Ocean Lawn is now an open, grassy expanse broken only by large shade trees. Picturesquely edged by rocky headlands that extend into the sea, it is bordered on the west by Kettle Cove and Black Beach, and is a classic New England landscape, perfect for picnicking.