Massachusetts has lots of city and country trails for walking and hiking
From a cabin in the woods
, Henry David Thoreau expounded on the virtues and health benefits of walking. Here you’ll find miles of paved, lighted, unpaved, sun-drenched and shaded trails for every age, ability, and destination in mind. In charming cities and quaint towns, on beaches and in the pastoral countryside, come and discover historic battlefields and streets where patriots and presidents walked. Explore parks, woodland and wildlife areas, old railroad beds, carriage roads, farms, meadows and cranberry bogs. Travel urban paths, greenways, and riverbeds. Climb ridges along the Mohawk and Appalachian trails and stroll luscious valleys. After your walk, loosen those muscles at a luscious spa
61 Market Street, Unit 1C
Lowell, MA, 01852
Take a walk and discover the valley's beautiful spaces and places
If you love the outdoors, you’ll love the variety of beautiful, natural settings year-round in the Greater Merrimack Valley including forests, parks and trails that offer safe, scenic and car-free activities for the whole family. Walk and hike in national and state parks, wildlife management areas, on old railroad beds, and in cities and towns with their own special walkways and trails. From historic Minute Man Park where the American Revolution began to bucolic and quieter Walden Pond and dozens of places and spaces in between you’ll find great wildlife viewing and observation areas, farms, open meadows, scenic ponds and places to picnic and stop along the way. Later in the day you’ll also find some lighted and paved over trails.
301 Brown Avenue
Seekonk, MA, 02771
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
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.
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile-and-a-half string of parks in the heart of Boston. The Greenway links six parks: North End Park, Armenian Heritage Park, Wharf District Park, Fort Point Channel Park, Dewey Square Park and Chinatown Park. Seven water features and fountains are popular on hot summer days. The Greenway Carousel, open from mid-April through December, is a new Boston landmark. Fourteen fanciful characters on the carousel are native to Massachusetts.
The Greenway hosts art exhibits, festivals, a farmers market, and a concert series. The Greenway is easily accessible by several MBTA trains: the Red Line, Silver Line and Commuter Rail at South Station; the Blue Line at the Aquarium; and the Orange and Green Lines at Haymarket. The Greenway is wheelchair accessible.
Dike Road (on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard)
Edgartown, MA, 02539
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
This is a 10-mile section of the 117-mile Metacomet-Monadnock Trail (M+M) which is managed the Appalchian Mountain Club. In its entirely, the trail traverses the Metacomet Ridge of the Pioneer Valley region of Massachusetts and the central uplands of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.
This 10-mile section is moderately difficult. It takes walkers over ridges and along streams on footpaths and old-town roads, overgrown with mixed forest. Holland Glen, the start of the hike, is a steep ravine laced with a clear stream and shaded by a mature hemlock stand. There’s a waterfall at the top of the glen. Follow the white blazes.
Directions: From Massachusets Route 2, take Route 202 to Belchertown. Take the exit for Route 9 west. Proceed 2.8 miles to parking on the right. The trailhead is just north of parking lot.
Route 6 North near Snail Road
The trailhead is off Route 6 at Snail Road in Provincetown. There is a small parking area. You will be walking northward, away from the village of Provincetown, toward the ocean and away from Cape Cod Bay. You are walking through dune grass and parabolic sand dunes. Views of the dunes, ocean, and dune shacks are stunning. Bring water. Do not flip flops; the sand is very hot. Bring sunscreen. Walk to the shore takes about 45 minutes.
Parking: Trail head and parking on Route 6 North at Snail Road
915 Walden Street
Concord and Lincoln, MA
Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond from July 1845 to September 1847. His experience at Walden provided the material for the book Walden. Because of Thoreau's legacy, Walden Pond has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. The Reservation includes the 102-foot deep glacial pond. Hiking trails travel around the pond and pass the replica of Thoreau's cabin. Year-round interpretive programs and guided walks are offered as well as a gift shop, bookstore and a gallery. Trail map.
Open year-round for day use only. Hours vary by season. Call 978 369-3254 for current park hours.
Daily parking fee is $8-$10.
198 Purgatory Road
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.
West Brookfield, MA
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, and stands of red pine and spruce.
136 Damon Road at Route 9
The Connecticut River Greenway connects open spaces and parks. See park website or link below for plenty of walking and hiking opportunities.
Medfield, MA, 02052
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.
260 Central Shaft Road
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.
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
793 Main Street
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.
North Road, Chilmark
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
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.
New Marlborough Hill Road
New Marlborough, MA
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.
Wauwinet (on the island of Nantucket), MA, 02554
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.
Chicopee, MA, 01020
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.
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.
Ipswich, MA, 01938
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.
Beaver Brook Reservation
Small nature preserve offers biking paths, fishing and swimming areas, interpretive programs, and small historic sites. Full toilet facilities are available.
Tilda Hill Road
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.
Chesterfield, MA, 01012
This dramatic rock canyon features 70-foot-high walls carved by centuries of rushing water from the East Branch of the Westfield River. The Westfield is a federally designated wild and scenic river. Walkers and hikers can take a half-mile trail along the cliff tops, with beautiful views of the gorge, the river, the surrounding forest, which is home to bears, bobcats, and turkeys. This trail is easy walking.
Also, a trail from the parking lot connects to the East Branch Trail (also called River Road), which follows the river for seven miles, beyond Bliss State Forest. Walkers on this trail will past above Knightsville Dam. The East Branch Trail/ River Road also is great for mountain biking. Trail map.
April 1 to December 1; every day, 8 a.m.to sunset.
Adults, $2, children under 12 years old, free.
: Rest rooms and picnic tables. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
125 Reservation Road
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
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Refuge Road
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.
Cedar Tree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Indian Hill Road
West Tisbury, MA
This preserve along the Martha's Vineyard north shore features several trails with numerous scenic views.
472 West Mountain Road
Come and enjoy walking seven miles of trails with access to Lenox Mountain summit. Universally accessible trail (0.3 miles) and boardwalk overlooking Pike’s Pond and an active beaver colony. Summer camp and canoe trips offered on the Housatonic River. Open year-round. Trails are open dawn to cusk. Email: email@example.com
Turkey Hill Lane
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.
Dover, MA, 02492
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.
Old North Road (Harmon Road)
New Marlborough, MA, 01230
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.
307 Main Street
Sheep Pasture is a former family farm that is now operated as a public open space by the Natural Resources Trust of Easton. People – with their pets on leash -- are welcome to enjoy the land and its walking trails every day of the year, from dawn to dusk. The Sheep Pasture has trails that are well-maintained and farm animals for people to visit. The property is open for walking, bird watching, picnicking, and nature photography. Trail map.
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 http://1.usa.gov/1m4suRn. 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.
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Route 6 and West Road
South Wellfleet, MA, 02663
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.
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.
175 Mohawk Trail / Route 2
Charlemont, MA, 01339
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.
Carlisle, MA, 01741
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.
Begins at Elwell State Park, Damon Road
Northampton, Hadley, & Amherst, MA
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.
Clark Wright Road
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.
204 Union Street
Good for camping, fishing, hiking, and walking
There are many miles of walking trails in this park. Handicap-accessible recreation is a convenient feature of this park. Recommended hikes.
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.
Cape Street, Route 112
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. Trail map
See DAR State Forest
for full description of this park.
Essex, MA, 01929
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.
Dover, MA, 02030
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.
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.
6 Discovery Hill Road
East Sandwich, MA
Located on the shores of Smiling Pool, this center celebrates with animal stories by Thornton Burgess, an enormously popular children’s writer of the early 20th century. 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.
Natural history programs for children and adults are offered year-round and include classes, field trips, guided walks, and workshops on the natural sciences. There are wonderful nature trails and a spectacular wild flower garden
to explore. Walking trails are open to the public. Come take part in a regularly scheduled
jam making workshop. Calendar.
Open year-round but hours vary seasonally. Hours.
Admission by donation.
1199 Middle Road
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. Trail map.
See Clarksburg State Park
for full description of this park.
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.
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.
Medfield, MA, 02052
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.
3 Old Route 9
This property of forest and field is managed by the Trustees of Reservations has 25 miles of hiking trails, offering easy-to-moderate mountain top hiking. It is open daily, year-round, and is used extensively for cross-country skiing during snow season. It is a popular place to bird watch. Along with the other Trustees hiking properties, events like bonfires and beer tastings are often held in conjunction with a hike. Notchview also offers a dog-friendly trail that winds you through dense forest and over bridge covered rivers.
Slab Bridge Road
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: http://1.usa.gov/1e4Yxwc
See Freetown-Fall River State Forest
for full description of this park.
George Hill Road
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.
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.
485 Ware Road / Route 9 (3 miles east of intersection of routes 9 and 202)
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.
Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary
280 Eliot Street
At this sanctuary, visitors can enjoy nine miles of hiking trails, in addition to lectures and other programs in a renovated horse barn.
Weatogue Road, Ashley Falls
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.
Stony Brook Reservation
Turtle Pond Parkway
Hyde Park, MA
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.
162 West Union Street
Ashland, MA, 01721
Phone: 508 881-4092
This large park on a reservoir offers all manner of water sports along with extensive walking trails. Trail map
Mount Washington, MA
Good for hiking and picnicking; fishing; leashed pets allowed
Bash Bish Falls is nestled among 30 miles of trails at Mount Washington State Forest, which includes the South Taconic Trail, and New York's Taconic State Park. Access to the Falls is via a moderately difficult uphill trail. At the top of Mount Everett you can see a vista that includes three states.
See Bash Bish Fall State Park
for full description of this park.
Great Woods and Penny Brook Roads
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.
Cohasset & Hingham, MA
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.
William J. Day Blvd.
South Boston, MA
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.
This very large state park has extensive walking trails. Be aware you are in black bear country; stay away from bears. Trail map
See full description of October Mountain State Park
Beach Road, Route 1A
Salisbury, MA, 01952
Fantastic, sandy ocean beach with all waterfront sports; popular for 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 ofSalisbury Beach State Reservation.
Milton, MA, 02186
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.
Asbury Street and Ipswich Road
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.
See full description of Bradley Palmer State Park.
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.
Hawley, MA, 01339
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.
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.
Lloyd Center for Environmental Studies
430 Potomska Road
South Dartmouth, MA
Visitors can enjoy walking trails and exhibits at this nature preserve, set on 55 acres.
Salem, MA, 01970
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.
Medfield, MA, 02052
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.
127 Combs Road
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.
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.
Stony Brook Nature Center
This nature center includes a self-guided hiking trail. An extensive boardwalk system helps visitors explore Teal Marsh and its wildlife.
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.
Dresser Avenue and River Street
Great Barrington, MA
Housatonic River Walk is a paved path that ambles alongside the Housatonic River in Great Barrington, following the Housatonic River between Cottage Street and Bridge Street. It passes the W.E.B. Du Bois River Park. The trail’s two sections are linked by Dresser Avenue and River Street. The upstream section extends from the River Walk bulletin board at 195 Main Street to the William Stanley Overlook. The trail exits at the stairs to St. Peter’s Church parking lot on Dresser Avenue. The downstream section of the trail begins adjacent to the Berkshire Corporation parking lot on River Street and ends at Bridge Street.
107 Wallum Lake Road
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.
160 Pawtucket Blvd
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.
Medfield, MA, 02052
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.
York Lake Road
Phone: 413 229-8212
Hiking trails available in this state forest, open Memorial to Labor Days
Hike the two-mile Pond Loop Trail for good views of the lake. Moderate difficulty. Or use this Trail Map
See full description of Sandisfield State Forest
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.
305 Middleton Road
North Andover, MA, 01845
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.
204 Union Street
Good for camping, fishing, hiking, and walking
Wooded bridle paths and hiking trails.
See Wompatuck State Park
for full description of this park.
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.
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 descriptionHalibut Point State Park.
Hiking and biking through varied ecosystem
Fifteen miles of trails through this interesting preserve of many island ecosystems.
for hiking and biking.
See full description Manuel Correllus State Forest.
462 North Street
Feeding Hills, MA
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.
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.
289 Pearl Street
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.
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.
North Andover, MA, 01845
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.
177 Forest Street
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 Breakheart Reservation.
86 Dearth Hill Road
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.
164 Cedar Street
Hopkinton, MA, 01748
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.
See full description of Hopkinton 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.
69 Bluehill Road
Monterey, MA, 01245
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.
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.
508 Canaan Road / Route 295
Hilltop Orchards, also the home of Furnace Brook Winery, welcomes hikers to explore trails on its 200-acre property in the Berkshire hills. Leashed dogs are allowed on trails. Hikers are asked to sign in at the Farm Winery Store before hiking. A fee of $5 per person is used for land preservation. Hikers should appropriate shoes and hats, and bring sunscreen and bug repellent.
The property has three hikes. The easy hike goes to the top of the orchard, where visitors may sit at the picnic table and enjoy the 20-mile views. For the easy-to-moderate hike, take the Johnny Mash II wooded country trail, which is one mile long. The terrain is flat and follows the Furnace Brook creek to a forest of majestic hemlocks. This hike takes about one hour round-trip. For a moderate hike, followed the Johnny Mash 1 trail when it connects to the new Perry's Peak trail. This leads to a 2.2-mile loop beginning at the Farm Winery Store and heading up through the orchard with twists and turns in and out of the woods.
In winter, the orchard hosts a monthly Full Moon Hike & Bonfire and a Full Moon Snowshoe Trek & Bonfire. Both are guided excursions followed by wine tasting.
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.
Petticoat Hill Road
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.
Long Pond Road
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): http://1.usa.gov/19G9Z5q
See Myles Standish State Forest
for full description of this park.
Off Mystic Valley Parkway
Medford, Somerville, Everett, MA
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.
90 Fitchburg Road / Route 31
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.
See full description of Leominster State Forest.
250 Martin’s Lane
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.
Salt Pond Visitor Center at Nauset Road and Route 6
Eastham, MA, 02642
Lots of walking paths in Cape Cod National Seashore
Visitors to the Cape Cod National Seashore may walk on the many hiking trails in the park, and also may walk on the bike trails.
See Cape Cod National Seashore hiking trails
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
10 miles of trails and an observation tower are set in this natural preserve.
Once pastureland, 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 has a small lily-covered pond. From the field adjacent to the Petersham Historic Society on Main Street, visitors can take in a sweeping view of Mount Wachusett.
Off Route 41
This hike includes a beautiful, three-tiered waterfall, which spans most of the hike. The walk starts through a dense pine forest but quickly opens to a young forest. At the top of the waterall is a natural swimming hole. This hike starts right off Route 41 and is well marked. It is mostly an inclined hike, rated moderate to strenuous.
Directions: The entrance to Race Brook Falls is a few miles over the border of Connecticut from Sheffield, MA. From the center of Salisbury take Route 41 north. Pass the border and a few miles later on the left side will be a paved cutoff from Route 41.
The Minuteman Bikeway passes through the historic area where the American Revolution began in April 1775. Built by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on an inactive railroad, the trail is often used by local residents as a convenient, eco-friendly way for commuters to reach train stations. The path is 12 feet wide, plowed in the winter time, and includes lots of stops for refreshments and/or restrooms at Depot Park in Bedford, the Lexington Visitor’s Center, Alewife Station, and nearby business districts along the bikeway. Trail access in Bedford is available at the intersection of South Road and Loomis Street (exit 31B from I-95); at Lexington Center and Arlington Center, and at the Alewife T-Station.
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.
Off Long Point Road
West Tisbury (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA
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.
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.
Quincy Shore Drive
Quincy, MA, 02169
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.
Hammond Pond Reservation
Hammond Pond Parkway
Visitors to this small nature preserve can enjoy fishing, hiking and biking trails, and picnic areas.
South Deerfield, MA
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.
Nature trails are the focal point of this site, which includes a trail for the visually impaired. Exhibits and programs are scheduled here daily.
159 Walker Pond Road
Sturbridge, MA, 01566
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.
See full description of Wells State Park.
Mount Everett Road
Mount Washington, MA
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.
Noon Hill Road
Medfield, MA, 02052
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.
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.
There are guided spring wildflower walks at this 3,000-acre site, which features three miles of nature trails and two museums.
345 Mountain Road
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.
Hours: Mountain access road is open Memorial Day to the last Sunday in October. Road is open daily, 9 a.m. to sunset.
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
Route 117, South Great Road
Visitors to this nature preserve will enjoy hiking trails, live farm animals and hayrides. During the winter season sleighrides are offered.
South Sandwich Road
Mashpee & Sandwich, MA, 02563
Trails among holly and rhododendron gardens; stocked fish ponds
Four miles of foot trails and old carriage roads offer walking of moderate difficulty among groves of holly and rhododendron. Views of freshwater ponds.
New Salem, MA
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.
end of Katama Road
Edgartown (on Martha's Vineyard), MA
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. There are 2 miles of over sand-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.
1041 Cascade Street
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. Click here to read a full description of Pittsfield State Forest.
Jug End Road
Egremont, MA, 01258
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.
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.
Great Barrington, MA
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.
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.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
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.
North Andover, MA, 01845
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.
Blue Hills Trailside Museum
1904 Canton Avenue
Museum offers hiking trails, live animals and regularly scheduled programs. There is an admission charge.
Walk starts at Old State House, 206 Washington Street
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.
Literary Trail of Greater Boston
Omni Parker House
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,
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.
Cape Cod has very extensive biking trail, which also are used for walking. See full description
of Cape Cod National Seashore bike trails.
56 Highfield Drive
Named after the Beebe Family that created the Highfield estate, Beebe Woods consists of 383 acres of land given to the Town of Falmouth in 1972. The woods were once part of the 700-acre property owned in the 1870s by James Madison Beebe. Beebe Woods has an extensive network of walking trails over varied terrain, exploring wooded ridges and steep-sided hollows, and he picturesque pond known as the Punch Bowl.
The trails connect at the southern end of Beebe Woods to Peterson Farm. The Beebe Woods Trailhead can be reached via Highfield Hall. Park at Highfield Hall and enter the property at the Ice House.
Crane Memorial Reservation
Set on a barrier beach, this preserve features nature trails, and is the perfect site for bird watching.
86 Winchendon Road
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.
See full description Otter State Park.
Essex National Heritage Area
New Liberty and Essex
The area offers visitors three Heritage Trails to walk: The maritime trail, the early settlement trail, and the industry/textile and leather trail.
Visitor Center, 6 Plum Island Tpk.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a protected place for migratory birds located on the barrier beach of Plum Island. Visitors can walk boardwalks and see sandy beach and dune, cranberry bog, maritime forest and shrub land, and freshwater marsh. Stunning!
See full description of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
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.
Summer Street (Route 127)
Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, 01944
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.
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.
143 East Street
South Egremont, MA, MA
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.
Quinaquisset Avenue and Meetinghouse Road
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.
Curzon Mill Road
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.