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Adventures in Recreation and Exploration Await in the Greater Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts! Click here to Learn More.

Massachusetts mountains and nature centers are primed for outdoor adventure

The beauty of nature in the Berkshires Mountains of western Massachusetts – think, for example, of the views from Mount Greylock – gets the heart racing, especially for people who love to throw themselves into the outdoors to play. Ski mountains in the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley will keep the whole family – from kids to grandparents – busy and tired during cold-weather and warm-weather vacations. Naturally, the ski areas will have snow sports and lessons and rentals. In the summer and fall foliage seasons, come to enjoy zip lines and canopy tours and other aerial adventures, mountain coasters and mountain biking, white water rafting, and water sports. Tired muscles? It is not hard to find a spa with massage and fitness rooms, and game rooms for the kids.

ma outdoor adventures
Destination Plymouth Brewster Gardens Plymuth MA Credit Kindra Clineff
See Plymouth

4 North Street Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-747-0100 Toll-Free: 800-872-1620

Historical sites, activities from whale-watching to golfing make Plymouth ideal for outdoor enthusiasts

Plymouth is a terrific location for those who want to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. Talk a walk through Brewster Garden to the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock, statues of Massasoit and William Bradford and the Pilgrim Sarcophagus, with the remains of Pilgrims who died the first year after their arrival. Enjoy one of the area’s inviting, sandy beaches, play golf, go on a whale watch or fishing excursion or take the fast ferry to Provincetown. Visit Plimoth Patuxet Museums and walk through a 17th-century English village and a Wampanoag homesite. Take a tour of Plymouth by night, play golf, go sea kayaking, walk the breakwater jetty at the harbor, go hiking or biking in the state forest or in an Audubon sanctuary. Please call 1.800.USA.1620, or visit our website to learn more about these activities and others to prepare for your trip to Plymouth.

Check out some more great things to do while visiting Plymouth County, MA!
Whitewater Rafting in the Berkshires - Photo Credit Crab Apple Whitewater
Visit the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts

Beautiful Berkshire region boasts four-season fun for all outdoor enthusiasts

You’ll find four-season outdoor fun around every corner in the fabulous Berkshires. Summer means kayaking, fishing and swimming in the region’s pristine lakes and streams, along with golfing, biking, and horseback riding. See an outdoor performance at Shakespeare & Company or a concert under the stars on the picturesque lawn at Tanglewood. In the fall, hike through glorious mountain foliage, pick apples and pumpkins, or tackle a final whitewater rafting trip. Winter means alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and ice skating - or days by fireplaces. In the spring, visit the baby animals at Hancock Shaker Village or take a ride in a hot air balloon. From holiday and harvest festivals to walking and scenic railway tours, there is always something exciting to see — and do — in the Berkshires.
Giant Swing - Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort - Hancock, MA
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

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

Resort adventures include skiing, mountain biking, alpine slides, zip lines and so much more

It isn’t only about skiing and snowboarding at the Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, although the trails and terrain parks for both are superb. When it comes to exciting outdoor pursuits, the Berkshires resort is chock-a-block. There’s mountain biking and hiking, walking trails and snowshoeing. Over at the Mountain Adventure Park, you can zoom down an alpine slide or mountain coaster, arc high into the sky on a giant swing, see Mt. Greylock and the Jericho Valley as you ascend and descend in a scenic chairlift ride, or fly through the air on a zip line. There’s also a rock-climbing wall, playground and bungy trampoline. In the Aerial Adventure Park, you can overcome challenges from rope bridges and cargo nets to zip lines and swinging logs in the elevated ropes course.
Oxen on the Common - Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge, MA
Old Sturbridge Village

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20 Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 508-347-3362 Toll-Free: 800-733-1830

Village museum, where 1830s come to life, offers outdoor walks, explorations

Whether you’re walking the streets of the re-created village or along a nature trail, there is plenty to do in the great outdoors at Old Sturbridge Village, where visitors are transported to an 1830s New England village . Stroll from the blacksmith shop to the schoolhouse, or through gorgeous gardens (some ornamental, some for herbs, some for children). At the Freeman Farm, you can admire the heritage-breed cattle, pigs, chickens and sheep and its extensive kitchen garden. You can ride in a horse-drawn wagon, walk under a covered bridge or explore three nature trails: one through pastures, one through woodlands (watch for deer) and one along the Quinebaug River (watch for great blue herons). Grab a sandwich at the Ox & Yoke Cafe or eat outside at the Bullard Tavern.
Getting There is Half the Fun - Island Queen - Falmouth, MA
Island Queen

75 Falmouth Heights Road Falmouth, MA, 02540 Phone: 508-548-4800

Ferry connects visitors from Cape to Vineyard, from one series of adventures to another

Sea breezes, the sparkling waters of the Vineyard Sound, glimpses of an over-changing Cape Cod: That’s what makes traveling aboard the Island Queen, the passenger ferry from Falmouth to Oak Bluffs, MA, so enjoyable. With a snack bar, restrooms and plenty of room for bikes, kayaks and paddle boards, the ferry is a comfortable, fun way to travel. And the Vineyard is such wonderful place to explore, from the Flying Horses carousel in Oak Bluffs to the sea captains’ houses and restaurants in Edgartown, MA to the spectacular red cliffs of Aquinnah, MA. There are bike paths, hiking trails and village streets to explore. In Falmouth, make time for its shimmering beaches and Shining Sea Bikeway. On the Cape, visit lighthouses, stroll village streets and go for a whale watch, among other adventures.
Whitewater Splash 500x250 - Crab Apple Whitewater - Charlemont, MA
Crab Apple Whitewater (MA)

2056 Mohawk Trail Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-553-7238

Variety of exciting whitewater rafting trips for families, groups and all levels of experience

Between the historic Mohawk Trail and the Deerfield River is the base camp for your whitewater rafting adventure. Crab Apple Whitewater offers four different adventures in Massachusetts for individual rafters, families and groups. The Fife Brook section of the Deerfield River is exciting yet family friendly; the Monroe Bridge section full of big waves (and a snack time along the banks of a deep gorge). Millers River trips happen on special dam releases and natural flows from spring rains, and then there are the Funyak (inflatable kayak) trips on the Deerfield, MA’s more quiet lower section, with giant squirt guns provided for extra fun. At the base camp, an outdoor patio overlooks the river. Crab Apple recommends several nearby hotels and motels for overnight adventurers.
Dunkerque - American Heritage Museum - Hudson, MA
American Heritage Museum

568 Main Street Hudson, MA, 01749 Phone: 978-562-9182

Historical re-enactments and encampments and tank-driving opportunities part of this exciting museum

The museum is now open! Wednesdays-Sundays from 10am-5pm. Advance ticketing is preferred - Please call or visit our website.

At the American Heritage Museum, the Jacques M. Littlefield Collection, the world’s largest privately held collection of tanks and military vehicles, takes center stage. Visitors can see the collection in exhibits and dioramas that chronicle battles, wars and conflicts, including both world wars, Vietnam, Korea, the Gulf War and the War on Terror. Outdoors, in the tank training area behind the museum, you can actually drive or ride aboard a tank, either the M24 Chaffee Light Tank or the M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank. Check the website for how to make arrangements for that exciting activity and to see what special outdoor events are coming up on weekends, including re-enactments and historical encampments, an early-aviation weekend and weekends featuring magnificent classic automobiles.
John Adams Homestead - Discover Quincy - Quincy, MA
Discover Quincy

City of Quincy Welcome Center - 1259 Hancock Street Quincy, MA, 02169 Phone: 617-471-1700

Great outdoor opportunities from swimming and kayaking to hiking, biking

Outdoor pursuits in Quincy run the gamut from hiking and biking to kayaking and, in the winter, skiing and skating. Blue Hills Reservation, a 7,000-acre urban oasis, features 125 miles of trails for hikers, joggers, bikers and mountain bikers. In the winter, there’s lift-served skiing, and snowshoeing. (There’s also a public skating rink.) For beach-lovers, the Quincy Shores Reservation boasts trails, a lookout tower and picnic areas in addition to its sandy beach. Walk the Presidents Trail through the city, past historic homes as well as shops and restaurants. In Adams National Historical Park, in addition to Adams homes, you can walk into the orchard and formal garden. Hike to the Abigail Adams Cairn to see where she and son John Quincy watched the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Horseback Riding - Visit North Central Massachusetts
Visit North Central Massachusetts

1000 Route 2 West (between Exits 103 & 102) Lancaster, MA, 01523 Phone: 978-534-2302

A wide variety of active fun adventures await you in North Central Massachusetts

From horse drawn sleighs to snowshoeing, winter fun in North Central Mass goes well beyond the ski slopes of Wachusett Mountain. Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride at Cornerstone Ranch in Princeton, MA. Sleighs are guided by one or two horses (yes, with bells on) glide across paths blanketed in fresh snow -- experience the feeling of gliding through the frosty air in a magical winter landscape. (If there’s not enough snow, you can ride in a large wagon). Enjoy hot chocolate by the wood stove after your 30-minute ride. Then it’s time to go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or winter hiking. Glide along 13-plus miles of trails in the Brooks Woodland Preserve in Petersham, MA, where you’ll explore an undisturbed forest of towering red oaks, hemlocks and white pine as well as old stone walls from early 19th-century farmsteads. - Read more about North Central Mass. here!
Paddling the Charles River West of Boston, MA
Charles River west of Boston

via properties of Trustees of Reservations Milllis, Medfield, Needham, MA Phone: 508-785-0339

The Charles River west of Boston is a welcoming place for kayakers and canoeists. Several nature preserves run by the Trustees of Reservations along this paddling route allow you to touch land, explore, and have a picnic. It's about a 20-mile float from start to finish -- prepare accordingly and take a map!
  • You can put in at Cedariver, a former farm in Millis, which has a state-run boat launch. - Area Map
  • Moving downstream, paddlers encounter Shattuck Reservation, which is old pasture land, with nice views and trails. - Area Map
  • Next, watch for Bridge Island Meadows, accessible only when the water is flowing in Bogastow Brook. - Area Map
  • Next along the Charles River float is Rocky Narrows in Medfield, with incomparable views of the Charles River as it winds between granite walls. Just across the river from Rocky Narrows is Peters Reservation in Dover, which has a mix of natural flora, designed landscape and plantings, and two miles of trails. - Area Map
  • Take out can be at Charles River Peninsula in Needham, a great picnic spot surrounded on three sides by the river, with access to a state-run boat launch. - Area Map