Given that I’m a squirrel, I spend the majority of my days outdoors; and now that spring is upon us, aside from gathering nuts, soaring from branch to branch, and speeding across picketed fences, I find that my bushy tail and me like to hit the trails every so often for a wonderful Massachusetts hike.
But, hiking here in Massachusetts isn’t so much about elevation as it is about undeniably beautiful skylines, nationally noted historical references, and an array of distinct sights, flora, fauna, and terrain.
A hike in Massachusetts is like no other, but don’t take my word for it (I’m just a squirrel!), make sure to get out there and do some spring hiking this season. For a few suggestions, check out some of the nuts that I’ve gathered up below.
World’s End – Martin’s Lane, Hingham, MA 02043, Phone: 781-740-7233:
This 251-acre coastscape includes sweeping views of Boston’s skyline, rocky shores, broad hillsides, and open fields bracketed by pockets of woodlands. World’s End sits on a peninsula that cuts into Hingham Bay and stare into Boston Harbor. Ideal for walking, picnicking, jogging, horseback riding, and for enjoying Mother Nature and the great outdoors. World’s End has 4.5 miles of tree-lined carriage paths and footpaths. This is the perfect spring location for a moderate hike that requires approximately a minimum of 2-hours hiking time.
The Blue Hills Reservation – 695 Hillside Street, Milton, MA 02186, Phone: 617-698-1802:
The Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7,000-acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph, providing the ultimate green oasis in an urban environment as it is located only minutes from downtown Boston. From the summit of Great Blue Hill – roughly 635 feet – visitors can see over the entire metropolitan area as they look out through the Eliot Tower. With 125 miles of trails, the Blue Hills Reservation offers year-round fun for outdoor enthusiast from all over.
Merrimack Valley: (Photos Courtesy of the Greater Merrimack Valley CVB)
Great Brook Farm State Park – 984 Lowell Street, Carlisle, MA 01741, Phone: 978-369-6312:
Offering more than 20 miles of hiking trails for walkers, hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, the occasional glimpse at an early New England cellar hole, and the ruins of an old grist mill (the entire property was once a working farm), Great Brook Farm State Park stands as an absolute gem in northern Massachusetts. The park is also home to a dairy farm, that allows for the combination of hiking and ice cream with kids. The homemade ice cream is available April through October, and there are small parking fees that are in effect.
Walden Pond State Reservation – Concord, MA, Phone: 979-369-3254:
The inspiration for Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Walden Pond State Reservation features 335 acres of protected open space with hiking trails and a beautiful public beach, located right off of Route 2. Hikers can see a replica of Thoreau’s one-room cabin, as well as the actual site where his cabin was located deep in the woods.
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail – Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford, MA:
Created from a disused railroad bed, Phase 1 of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is open to hikers, non-motorized bikers and runners. Beginning in Lowell, the trail currently stretches 6.8 miles through Chelmsford and Westford. Proposed extensions to the trail will bring it out another 17.7 miles through Carlisle, Sudbury and Framingham following the 25-mile route of the old New Haven Railroad’s Framingham and Lowell line. The trail is free and open to the public year-round.
Monument Mountain – Route 7, Great Barrington, MA 01230, Phone: 413-298-3239:
Noted as the Berkshires’ most historic hike, Monument Mountain kicked off the initial inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick back in August of 1850, while he was hiking alongside Nathaniel Hawthorne. The hike up Monument Mountain is one of the easiest in the Berkshires, a gradual climb on a well-trodden path through mixed woods of hemlock, oak, and beech trees. In less than 45 minutes, you’re on a summit that Hawthorne wrote, resembles “a headless sphinx wrapped in a rich Persian shawl.” Clearly, he had one very creative imagination.
Tyringham Cobble – 20 Jerusalem Road, Tyringham, MA 01264, Phone: 413-298-3239:
A two-mile hike through woods, with a section of wooden walkways along the famed Appalachian Trail, Tyringham Cobble is known as a geologic wonder with it’s exposed underbelly of rock. Offering spectacular valley views, wildflowers, blackberries, blueberries, and wild strawberries.