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6 Trustees Spots to Peep Massachusetts’ Fine Foliage

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Posted by Holly Hannaway, guest blogger of The Trustees

From farms, forests and mountains to coastlines, wetlands and beaches, the Massachusetts landscape is wild, scenic and diverse.

Whether you like to earn your leaf-peeping from a peak or prefer to stroll leaf-littered paths, The Trustees of Reservations – America’s first land trust based in Massachusetts – locations offer foliage fans the crème de la crème, with more than 100 special outdoor spots across the state.

So grab a friend or the family, pack a picnic and head out to one of these destinations before winter arrives; you’ll be sure to find your fill of fall colors!

Appleton Farms & Grass Rides in Hamilton & Ipswich

Appleton Farms R.Cheek

Photo: Cows at Appleton Farms by R. Cheek

Iconic and bucolic, America’s oldest working farm supplies the fall explorer with an authentic New England sensory experience along the Commonwealth’s North Shore. Miles of trails and old farm roads edged with vibrant maples and oaks provide a backdrop of color, while surrounding scenery dotted with stone walls and cows add texture and sound.

As a reward after your stroll, stop at the farm’s Welcome Center and Farm Store to sample hand-crafted farmstead cheeses made from the farm’s herd, or to stock up on farm fresh eggs, products and grass-fed beef.

If you visit on the weekend, you can also take advantage of the many weekend farm tours and visit the historic Appleton Family home. To extend your Ipswich stay, you can sleep overnight at The Inn at Castle Hill, which just so happens to have several fall getaway packages.

219 County Road, Ipswich, MA 01938 | 978.356.5728 | www.thetrustees.org/appleton

Trails open daily, sunrise to sunset. Trustees Members FREE. Nonmembers $3.

Farm Store Open: Monday–Friday, 11a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Old House Open: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Noanet Woodlands in Dover

The summit of modest Noanet Peak offers an unexpected and spectacular view of the Boston skyline and surrounding suburban woodlands in full bloom. With 17 miles of colorful trails, Noanet has options for young ones and experienced hikers.

Noanet Woodlands R. Smith

Photo: Noanet Woodlands by R. Smith

There are several loop routes to choose from that return you to your starting point in one hour or four, depending on your ambition. The Trustees’ Powisset Farm is also nearby, where travelers can round off their day with a quintessential farm experience.

Powisset Street, Dover, MA 02030 | 508.785.0339 | www.thetrustees.org/noanet

Open daily, sunrise to sunset. FREE.

World’s End in Hingham

You don’t have to travel far from the city for a relaxed afternoon with a view. World’s End’s in Hingham, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, offers a vibrant array of coastal leaf-peeping opportunities, including a picturesque panorama of the Boston skyline.

World's End (c) R. Cheek

Photo: World’s End in Hingham by R. Cheek

From the rolling hills and rocky coastline to open fields, woodland pockets, and tree-lined carriage paths lit up with color, World’s End is a picnic- and picture-perfect destination for a leisurely fall day in the outdoors. And, if you find yourself yearning for more fall tradition, swing by The Trustees’ nearby Weir River Farm for a farm and barnyard experience.

Martin’s Lane, Hingham, MA 02043 | 781.740.7233 (office), 781.740.6665 (gate) | www.thetrustees.org/worldsend

Open daily, 8AM to sunset. Trustees members and children: FREE. Nonmember adults: $6.

Rock House Reservation in West Brookfield

Rock House Reservation might not immediately spring to mind as a day-trip destination but it’s well worth a trip. The centerpiece of the property is a massive, cave-like shelter built by glaciers, which once served as a winter camp for Native Americans. Kids and adults alike can clamber about the jumble of boulders that form this “house,” beyond which they’ll discover a serene pond that becomes kaleidoscopic as the trees lining its shores reflect their seasonal colors – and all this is within a short hike from the parking lot!

Rock House R. Cheek

Photo: A Rock House resident by R. Cheek

To extend the trip, consider driving into the Pioneer Valley Hidden Hills area, where more spectacular foliage viewing spots await.

Route 9, West Brookfield, MA 01506 | www.thetrustees.org/rockhouse

Open daily, sunrise to sunset. FREE.

Mount Warner Reservation in North Hadley

Location is everything. Situated in the historic village of North Hadley and near the outdoors-oriented college community of Amherst, Mount Warner occupies prime foliage and hiking real estate in the heart of Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley. The reservation’s gently sloping woodlands, scenic overlook and old cart paths provide a picturesque blend of moderate hiking and leaf peeping.

MT Warner from balloon

Photo: Mount Warner foliage as seen from a balloon by The Trustees

Mount Warner Road | North Hadley, MA 01035 | 413.532.1631 | www.thetrustees.org/mtwarner

Open daily, sunrise to sunset. FREE.

Monument Mountain in Great Barrington

Hiking Monument Mountain is something of a Berkshires rite of passage. Rising from the Housatonic River Valley, peak-and-leaf-seekers will be rewarded with panoramic views from the 1,642-foot summit of Squaw Peak.

Monument Mountain (c) T. Coffin

Photo: Monument Mountain by T. Coffin

From the top, you can relax and enjoy the unfolding blanket of color. If you still have gas left in the tank, you can also check-off some other amazing Trustees properties with a view in the area, including nearby Bart’s Cobble in Sheffield or Naumkeag in Stockbridge.

Route 7, Great Barrington, MA 01230 | 413.298.3239 | www.thetrustees.org/monumentmountain

Open daily, sunrise to sunset. FREE.

Holly Hannaway is part of The Trustees of Reservations Communications & Marketing team. A Massachusetts native and North of Boston resident, she grew up exploring Trustees properties. When she’s not in the office, Holly loves trail running and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

Photo at the top of Appleton Farms by R. Cheek

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