We get it. You like to get out into nature, but you’re not Bear Grylls for Pete’s sake. A nice, quick hike there and back will do just fine. That’s why we’ve put together this list of easy hikes that clock in at under 5 miles round trip. You’ll get all the beauty and fewer blisters.
1. Great Island Trail, Wellfleet. 3-6 miles.
Okay, so the full hike is around 6 miles. However, the Great Island Trail features a turn-around spot about halfway through. This trail isn't at all steep, though it does involve walking on sand. That may tucker you out, but just think about the workout your calves are getting.
2. Purgatory Chasm, Sutton. 1 mile.
If you like scrambling over boulders (or your kids do) this is a great, easy hike. The trail leads through the gorge itself, which means that you don't necessarily need to climb any big rocks on this trip. Bring a blanket and some snacks for picnic in the shade.
3. Bash Bish Falls, Mount Greylock Reservation. About 1 mile.
This hike definitely gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Though the hike itself will only requires a little under a mile of walking, you'll be rewarded with the sight of beautiful Bash Bish Falls.
4. Hulbert's Hill, Bartholomew's Cobble, Sheffield. 5 miles.
There is a small fee to take this hike, but it's worth it. This is a relatively short hike that offers one of the best views in the area. Though the terrain is very easy to handle, you are basically walking up a hill the whole time.
5. Mount Watatic, Ashby. 2.2 miles.
This hike is located on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. Follow the Wapack trail through beautiful woodland to a steep cliff face where the views are unparalleled.
6. Race Brook Falls, Sheffield. 2 miles.
This is a fairly straight-forward hike to a collection of beautiful waterfalls. Definitely pack your camera for this one.
7. Blue Hills Reservation, Tucker Hill Loop, <4 miles.
Take the Tucker Hill Loop for the easiest path. This is a great hike for Boston-based adventurers, as its only 10 miles south of the city.
8. Mount Greylock, Lanesborough. 2.2 miles.
Mount Greylock Reservation was actually Massachusetts's first state wilderness park. Hiking the loop trail is one of the best ways to get to know the mountain.
9. Wachusett Mountain State Park, Princeton. 3.9 miles.
Thought this place has over 17 miles of trails available, the simplest loop trail comes in just under 4 miles and will take you through an enchanting grove of hemlock trees.
10. Gates Pond, Berlin. 2.5 miles.
This is a great hike for all seasons. Gates Pond is completely undeveloped with no buildings along its shore, so you can enjoy the unspoiled natural surrounds. During the winter, you can also cross-country ski and snowshoe around the frozen pond.
11. Ice Glen, Stockbridge. 1.4 miles.
As the name might suggest, this is a great place to go for a snowy hike. There are lots of caves to explore and beautiful hemlock trees to admire. This trail isn't a loop, so you'll simply need to turn around when you reach the end.
12. Mount Tom Reservation, Northampton. 4.5 miles.
This is one of the longer hikes on this list, but it's a good one. You'll actually get to see Triassic era dinosaur footprints and floral fossils! Take the Dinosaur Footprints trail for an easy and fascinating hike.
13. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick. 3 miles.
This hike will take you about three hours, and give you the opportunity to spot some rare and beautiful wildlife. This trail is definitely at its prettiest during the summer.