Massachusetts is home to plenty of well-known natural spots, but we’ve also got a bunch of hidden parks and nature preserves that are just as beautiful as the big name attractions. Here are some of the best secret parks that are perfect for an afternoon of adventure.
1. Peaked Mountain, Monson
Pronounced "pee-kid," Peaked Mountain is a stunning natural area that deserves way more attention that it gets. Well-maintained trails and breathtaking scenery combine to make this spot one of the best hidden gems in the state. (43 Butler Road, Monson)
2. Bryant Homestead, Cummington
The Bryant Homestead is a beautiful farm on a hill that offers gorgeous grounds and historical sites to explore. Check out the ruins of the estate’s old sugar house, stroll amongst the towering maple trees and tour the picturesque red barn.
(207 Bryant Road, Cummington)
3. Francis William Bird Park, Walpole
This 89-acre park features gorgeous landscaped grounds complete with a trio of ponds and sweeping lawns perfect for picnicking. It’s also a great spot to snowshoe and birdwatch. (Polley Lane, East Walpole)
4. Noanet Woodlands, Dover
This forest preserve offers 17 miles of hiking paths as well as amazing city views. It’s a quick drive from Boston so even urbanites can get a dose of the great outdoors. (Powisset Street, Dover)
5. Rocky Woods, Medfield
This hidden park has over six miles of hiking trails. There are also over 491 acres of beautiful forests, wetlands and ponds to explore. You could spend all day soaking in the sights and sounds of this gorgeous park. (Medfield)
6. Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield
This 196-acre preserve surrounds Carter Pond in West Brookfield. It features unique rock outcroppings that are remnants of the last Ice Age and is a great place to get some use out of those sturdy hiking boots. (Route 9, West Brookfield)
7. James P. Kelleher Rose Garden, Boston
This hidden flower garden is tucked right into the heart of Boston. Filled to the brim with blooming roses and offering perfectly manicured walking paths, this is one secret spot that is great for escaping the bustle of the urban sprawl. (73 Park Drive,
8. Poet's Seat, Greenfield
This peaceful spot overlooks the town of Greenfield and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. There's also a beautiful tower to explore. (Mountain Road and Maple Street, Greenfield)
9. Skinner State Park, Hadley
This state park must be one of the most beautiful spots in the state. A hike to the top of Mount Holyoke will reward you with absolutely jaw-dropping views of the landscape below. Plan to spend most of the day at this scenic spot. (10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley)
10. Doyle Conservation Center, Leominster
This lovely park features ADA-compliant paths that make it easy for parents with strollers or people with mobility restrictions to visit. There's a charming footbridge over a stream and plenty of places to spread a picnic blanket. (325 Lindell Avenue, Leominster)
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