There are a lot of great places to hike and go on nature walks around the Boston area. None of them are very strenuous or intense – you’ll have to go up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for that! But these are some of our favorite ‘easy’ hikes around the Boston area. They are all easily day trips, and some are even quick afternoon trips. So grab a group of friends, or your dog, or both, and go get some fresh air this weekend!
Noanet Woodlands – So much exploring to do here. Not only is this close to Boston, but you also get a great view of the city (see above). It’s a decent sized area; there are multiple trail options and the wide trails are perfect for a nice walk or run. A couple trails have ruins of old houses and you can even explore an old dam.
Rocky Narrows – Smaller in area, but just as much adventure. You can walk by the Charles River, or hike up to a great view of the Charles River. The trails vary in width, from wide and groomed, to rooted and rocky, but either way you’re in for a good day.
Check out my past blog posts about these other great outdoor spots near Boston!
F. Gilbert Hills State Park
Nate and I hiked up West Rattlesnake Mountain with my parents this past weekend. The thing is, it shouldn’t reaaaaallly be called a mountain, considering it only took about 35 minutes to hike to the top, and it wasn’t even that hard! The path is clear and very nicely groomed; some parts even have actual stairs built in. We saw lots of diversely aged and sized humans (and dogs!) along the way, so it’s safe to say that this hike is a good activity for everyone in the family.
If you don’t spend much time at the top (which you should) you can do this hike in under an hour and fifteen minutes. But I would definitely suggest taking some time to enjoy the view and maybe even bring a picnic with you! The body of water you’ll see from the summit is Squam Lake, a mid-sized lake for the region. We went on a pretty cloudy day, but it really didn’t hinder the great view.
We’re hiking more in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! 🙂
To celebrate 60 degree weather in February, Nate and I took a trip to F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxoboro, MA to do a little hiking/exploring. It was seriously such a nice day out and we couldn’t let it go to waste. We parked on Mill Street near the main entrance, but not inside it because the gates closed at 4 (on a Sunday) and we wanted to be out longer. We planned on taking the Wolf Meadow trail, but the names on the map and the names on the actual trails didn’t seem to be lining up… so we just explored wherever!
There were so many people enjoying the weather, whether it was walking, running or even mountain biking. Very versatile trails all around the park. The trail we followed was, for the most part, wide and flat with a few nice hills here and there. I’m pretty sure there were more less-traveled, strenuous trails that we’ll have to go back and do in the spring. We came across lots of huge rocks to climb on and a small pond that looked pretty against the almost-sunset sky.
Overall we had a super fun time and can’t wait to go back! And let me just say that our new Merrell hiking boots are the bomb dot com. What are you favorite MA state parks? Please share!
Nate and I, along with our friends Kay and Josh, explored Middlesex Fells in Melrose, MA last weekend! It was a pretty chilly day, probably 35 at the warmest, so we all layered up before we headed into the woods. We were out walking – with a few bouts of hiking mixed in – for almost an hour and a half. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
We started at the Woodland Road entrance, which has a small parking lot and a stack of maps. The trail was wide and flat for a while, and then we found ourselves with a few options! Our (ok, MY) first big decision was to take the trail less traveled, which led us down a skinnier path close to the water. We found a huge rock that was – obviously – meant for climbing on, and the views from the top were awesome. It was a good detour. From then on, Josh was on map patrol and only got us semi-lost once ha! Don’t worry, we recovered.
I really enjoyed Middlesex Fells! There were many trail options, some that were many miles long, and I could tell it was a popular place to be on a sunny weekend! Hopefully we’ll go back next summer to explore even more.