Download the Merrimack Valley Walking Tour App! 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.

Find more great outdoor adventures at Explore New England.

ma outdoor adventures
Deerfield Inn Carriage House & Bikes - Distinctive Inns of New England
Distinctive Inns of New England

Luxurious Accommodations throughout New England , MA Phone:

Massachusetts inns are in the heart of fun outdoor activities from strolls to sails

There are so many things to do outside in Massachusetts – and three lovely inns are in the heart of it all. The Deerfield Inn is the perfect place to launch a tour of this historic area, visiting the Hancock Shaker Village or Sturbridge Village. Explore Cape Cod from your fireplaced room or suite at The Captain’s House Inn in Chatham. Nearby activities include fabulous beaches, the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Chatham Lighthouse and fish pier. Stroll the shops and galleries of Marblehead’s harbor district after you check in to the Harbor Light Inn, close to everything from whale-watching, harbor cruises and fishing charters to historic sites like Fort Sewall and Old Burial Hill. You can also rent paddle boards and arrange for private sailing charters.
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

Visit this resort any season of the year and see why the outdoors is even greater than you imagined

Come see why lovers of the great outdoors return season after season to the Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. Some love to rush down the 3,600 twisting, turning feet of the alpine coaster, others want to arc high into the sky on the giant swing. At the Aerial Adventure Park, 74 exhilarating elements including zip lines and rope bridges present fun challenges. A chair lift ride takes you to the top of the mountain, with breathtaking valley and mountain views. There are several hiking and snowshoeing trails for all levels of ability. And, of course, the skiing and snowboarding at the resort, with top-notch snowmaking capabilities, are incredible, with three snowboarding terrains and 45 skiing and snowboarding trails covering over 167 acres.
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.
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

Plymouth has it all for lovers of the great outdoors

With its active waterfront, miles of trails and acres of parks, the Plymouth area is a must for those who treasure their time outdoors. Go for a whale watch, take a fast-ferry to Provincetown or cruise the harbor in a classic paddleboat. Step aboard the Mayflower II, go on a walking historical tour (or evening ghost tour!), picnic by a grist mill or let the kids play on a beachside splash pad. Go kayaking, canoeing, fishing or swimming in a pond, play a round of golf or take in an outdoor concert or play. Check out miles of biking and hiking trails in a state forest, go bird-watching on a barrier beach or watch a dugout canoe being made at the Plimoth Patuxet Museums. 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.
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. 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, 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.
Autumn Boat River - Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge, MA
Old Sturbridge Inn & Reeder Family Lodges

369 Main Street Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 774-304-1011

Let this outdoor living history museum help you launch your 1830s adventure

Old Sturbridge Village is open! Advanced ticketing required is required. Please visit our updated policies & procedures before reserving your visit.

Begin your 19th century adventure at Old Sturbridge Village, the largest outdoor living history museum in the Northeast. Go back in time to a New England rural village, circa 1830, as you stroll by shops, schoolhouses, a cider mill, printing office, bank and other historic homes and buildings. Costumed historians demonstrate everything from how the sawmill operated and how cooking was accomplished to how shoes (human and horse) were made. Many displays are currently outside. At the farm, animals – sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys – await your visit. There are gardens to admire, covered bridges to enjoy, and nature trails offer walks through pastures, woodland and along the banks of the Quinebaug River.
John Adams Homestead - Discover Quincy - Quincy, MA
Discover Quincy

Adams National Historical Park Visitor Center - 1250 Hancock Street Quincy, MA, 02169 Phone: 617-471-1700

Revel in this city’s history, recreation spots and natural surroundings

With 27 miles of coastline, including 11 beautiful beaches and miles of trails bordering rivers and marshes, Quincy is all about the outdoors. But there’s plenty of fun away from the water, too, since the city also boasts 52 parks, three golf courses, baseball fields, tennis and bocce courts, bike and jogging trails and a plethora of picnic places. Launch your boat off the public ramp at Houghs Neck Maritime Center, pitch your umbrella on spacious Wollaston Beach, go birding or rock-climbing at Blue Hills Reservation or check out the Boston skyline from the Neponset River Walk. Even the city’s history is outdoors, including a Native American campsite at Moswetuset Hummock and the site where Abigail Adams watched the Battle of Bunker Hill.
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