Boston August 17, 2017
8 Amazing State Parks Around Boston That Will Blow You Away
Massachusetts’ state parks and reservations are filled with hiking and biking trails, lakes, beaches, marshes, and more. If you’re at a loose end, venture into the great outdoors and immerse yourself in their natural beauty. You might be surprised by how many of these soothing spots lie within Boston, or just a short jaunt from the city! Here are 8 incredible parks that you should visit:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Dorchester Shores Reservation
A series of parks and beaches make up this reservation. Malibu Beach, a protected cove, is a great swimming spot. You can also take a dip at Tenean Beach and Savin Hill Beach. Other popular activities at the reservation include baseball, basketball, tennis, and fishing.
2. Alewife Brook Reservation
This huge green space spans 120 acres and incorporates a large wetland where migratory birds take refuge – so not all of it is accessible to the public. However, hikers and runners can take advantage of the trails and paths here.
3. Walden Pond State Reservation
The crown jewel of this 335-acre reservation is Walden Pond, which became famous after Ralph Waldo Emerson allowed his friend Henry David Thoreau to live in a cabin next to the water for two years. Thoreau shared his experiences in nature in "Walden," thereby launching the conservation movement. Even without the literary connection, this glacial-formed pond is pretty enough to warrant a visit in its own right. Follow the trails around the water or spend time on the beach, where you can take a dip. While you might find solitude here in colder weather, during the warmer months, it’s a beloved swimming hole.
4. Charles River Reservation
One of the best-known and most heavily used green spaces in the city is the vast Charles River Reservation. Stretching for 20 miles, it’s so extensive that it can get a little confusing. Essentially, the reservation is divided into two sections: the Charles River Basin connects the Watertown Dam to Boston, while the Upper Charles River joins West Roxbury’s Riverdale Park to Watertown Square. There’s no end to the recreational possibilities here, from boating, to biking, to ice-skating.
5. Southwest Corridor Park
The Southwest Corridor Park is another chain of green spaces that is popular with walkers, bikers, street hockey players, and tennis enthusiasts! It’s also extremely family-friendly, with multiple playgrounds for little ones. The park ties together the JP, Roxbury, Back Bay, and South End neighborhoods. It was originally intended to be part of I-95, but the project was met with so much local resistance that it was halted. Since then, the space has evolved into the park you see today.
6. Chestnut Hill Reservation
The loop path around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir is roughly 1.5-miles long and it's a pleasant place to take a stroll. With all the geese moseying around and ducks bobbing on the water, this serves as a small oasis in an urban environment.
7. Quincy Shores Reservation
At this diverse park, discover a 2.3-mile long beach, a marsh, and even a little history. Native Americans used Moswetuset Hummock as a seasonal camping area, which is why this portion of the reservation is a National Historic Site. While hunting is no longer permitted here, fishing is allowed. Alternatively, explore the lookout tower or go swimming at Wollaston Beach.
8. Breakheart Reservation
When you next have some free time and a yearning for fresh air, grab your hiking boots and head to this 640-acre forest. Clamber up some of the park’s seven hills or try a little birding near the Saugus River. Take the plunge into Pearce Lake, an invigorating freshwater lake within the reservation. You can still take advantage of the reservation in colder months, when cross-country skiing is a popular activity.
Whether you want a physical challenge or simply to unwind, these Boston-area parks rarely disappoint. Do you have a personal favorite?
If you’re looking for some great trails near you, check out these
9 epic hikes.