The birds are chirping, the ground is thawing and nature is calling. There are plenty of amazing places to breathe some fresh air and admire the landscape in Massachusetts, and these are a few favorite (and totally easy) hikes that will inspire you to get out there and explore.
1. Fort Hill Trail, Eastham
This is one of the most beautiful trails on the Cape, if not in Massachusetts. It's a great choice for kids (the terrain is very flat) or for when you just feel like strolling through a gorgeous landscape rather than going for an intense hike. Plan to spend at least 45-60 minutes on this hike, including lounging at the top of the hill to watch the sunrise.
2. Pine Hills, Plymouth
This is a great hiking spot for families or beginners. There are plenty of easy, quick trails that small kids or "lazy hikers" can tackle with no problem at all. The trails are well-marked, and the woods are lush and very quiet.
3. Wachusett Mountain West Side Trail, Wachusett Mountain
This is a quick and easy loop trail that is only 2.7 miles round trip. Located near Westminster, this hike features gorgeous fields of wild flowers and shady, quiet woodland groves. The trail is open year-round, and is particularly beautiful in the spring and fall.
4. Solstice Stones Trail, Andover
This hike has an incredible end destination. The Solstice Stones are a cluster of rocks that fan out in a beautiful circle at the top of Holt Hill in the Ward Reservation. If you're willing to spend 30-45 minutes ambling up the hill, you'll get to gaze out over the countryside and picnic on the beautiful field surrounding the stones.
5. Harold Parker Loop Trail, Andover
This trail is definitely on the longer side (16.6 miles round-trip), but you can easily shorten it to fit your needs. The best part of this trail is the lovely lake that peeks through the foliage. The trail is dog-friendly, relatively flat, and is open from March until October.
6. Bristol Blake State Reservation, Norfolk
This spot is perfect for hikers who don't want to deal with too much rough terrain. The Bristol Blake State Reservation offers wooden boardwalks that wind along beautiful ponds and forest. You can even bring a stroller if you want to get the kids involved, or just strike out on your own for some well-deserved peace and quiet.
7. Noanet Woodlands, Dover
This place is an extremely convenient place to explore nature. There's plenty of parking, and all the paths are colored and numbered so you won't get lost. Dogs are allowed on leash, and If you take the Peabody trail and head out towards Upper Mill Pond, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the old Dover Iron Works mill site.
8. Chapel Brook Falls Trail, Ashfield
Chapel Brook Falls cascade gracefully over a large rock bed by the side of an easy, manicured trail. There's a small parking area that makes driving to this hike a breeze. If you feel like getting a bit more ambitious, you can also hike to the top of Pony Mountain or do some rock climbing in the surrounding area. After you're done admiring the falls, head to the Williamsburg General Store nearby for delicious baked treats.
9. Silvio O Conte National Wildlife Refuge, Hadley
This is a perfect, 1.2-mile trail that is wheelchair accessible and dotted with benches along the way. It's a great way to experience nature in a way that isn't too strenuous or intimidating. There are plenty of lovely flowers and chirping birds to keep you company on the trail.
10. Breakheart Reservation, Saugus
This place comes fully-loaded with a large amount of parking, a visitor center and a good variety of trails that range from very easy to moderately difficult. Try the quick loop around Silver Lake (about 2.5 miles) or tackle the more difficult Ridge Trail.