We here in Massachusetts are lucky to have so much gorgeous green space and protected natural landscape. Sometimes it seems like there’s an undiscovered oasis around every corner.
Here are some state parks in Massachusetts that fly under the radar, but are full of natural beauty.
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. Drummer Boy Park, Brewster
This is a hidden little park by the ocean that features a picturesque windmill, plenty of grass and fresh sea breezes. The windmill was built in 1795 and moved to the park. There are frequently events here in the warmer months such as arts and crafts fairs and outdoor concerts. (86 Drummer Boy Road, Brewster)
2. Long Hill Reservation, Beverly
This is a beautiful North Shore property for lovers of gardens and flowers. Ther are cherry trees to admire, plenty of Japanese peonies, a Chinese pagoda, a lovely rose arbor and a bunch of tulips. Explore the 2 miles of trails through the landscaped greenery and learn about the plants via helpful signs along the way. (572 Essex Street, Beverly)
3. Doyle Conservation Center, Leominster
This is a great little park with beautiful landscaping and dog-friendly trails. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife like frogs, deer and ducks. Don't miss the postcard-pretty footpath over the water. (325 Lindell Avenue, Leominster)
4. Moore State Park, Paxton
Stop by and enjoy winding dirt trails, lounge trails and beautiful waterfalls. The park is also loaded with rhododendrons, which are beyond beautiful when they are in season. Dog friendly too!
(1 Sawmill Road, Paxton)
5. Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield
The highlight of this natural reservation is definitely the cool "rock houses" or caves that you can enter and explore. There are also a bunch of easy trails that are great for small dogs or young kids. This is a great park for when you're feeling a touch adventurous.
6. Ellisville Harbor State Park, Plymouth
Looking for a seaside escape that isn't overrun by tourists? This is a quiet and beautiful coastal park with a pebbly shoreline and great sunset views over the water. If hiking is more your thing, there are plenty of trails between the beach and the parking lot. Yes, there's parking. (Route 3A)
7. Norris Reservation, Norwell
This South Shore park is tucked away from the coastline, so you're likely to have the place to yourself on beach days. This park along the North River offers 2 miles of trails, a scenic pond and boat house, beautiful wetlands and even a view of historic shipyards. (Dover Street, Norwell)
8. Callahan State Park, Framingham
Beautiful woodland trails, scenic farmland and lovely grassy fields are the highlights of this charming park just outside the city. It's dog friendly, and there's a small pond that your pups can swim in. (Millwood Street, Framingham)
9. Wells State Park, Sturbridge
This is a shady campsite and park with plenty of shady trees and a great lakeside locale. There are plenty of trails if you feel like a stroll, or you can just take a dip in the water to cool off.
(159 Walker Pond Road)
10. Robinson State Park, Feeding Hills
Robinson State Park has a great trail system and is popular with hikers and mountain bikers. There are picnic spots and grills galore, so you can dine while enjoying the break taking woodland scenery. This is also a good spot for cross-country skiing in the wintertime. (462 N Street, Feeding Hills)
11. Stanley Park, Westfield
This picturesque state park is filled with enchanting views. There are tennis courts, playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball courts, ponds and hiking trails. Don't forget to stop by the wildlife sanctuary, Japanese rock garden and the flower gardens. It's a popular place for wedding photography, so don't be surprised if you come across a shoot.
(400 Western Avenue, Westfield)
12. Amethyst Brook Conservation Area, Amherst
Named after the lovely Amethyst Brook that runs through the park, this is a great spot to relax and get lost in nature. The trails aren't weedy or hard to navigate, and the thick pine trees provide a shady canopy on hot days. (Amherst Road, Amherst)
13. Wahcaonah Falls State Park, Windsor
The obvious draw here is the dramatic cascade known as Wahconah Falls. Hiking to the waterfall is a short jaunt from the parking area, and there are plenty of picnic spots if you'd like to follow up your adventure with a celebratory snack.
14. Lake Wyola State Park, Shutesbury
This state park is a great place to swim during the warmer months and grill up some hot dogs with friends. The park also has walking trails that provide a great escape into the beauty of the surrounding landscape. (94 Lakeview Road, Shutesbury)
15. Energy Park, Greenfield
With lots of lush grass and a charming gazebo, this park is the perfect place to spread your picnic blanket or take in some of the live music that frequently pops up here in the summer. There are stone benches and tables at your disposal, and the park is remarkably clean. (50 Miles Street, Greenfield)