We here in Massachusetts are fortunate to have an almost endless supply of beautiful natural space at our disposal. While it’s wonderful to have so many options, sometimes it means that truly special spots can get overlooked. Take a look at these under-appreciated but genuinely lovely natural spots that deserve your attention.
1. Borderland State Park, North Easton
Borderland State Park is a history and nature preserve that feels like taking a hike back in time. Visit the park’s Ames Mansion, an early 20th-century estate that’s been beautifully restored. In addition, there are over 20 miles of wooded trails and a well-stocked fishing pond.
2. Moore State Park, Paxton
Moore State Park is a 737-acre space located in Paxton. The park features amazing old ruins of historical buildings, as well as a restored sawmill, waterfalls, and plenty of wildflowers. It’s the perfect blend of history and nature.
3. Alan E. Rich Environmental Park, Athol
This park is pretty much in the middle of Athol, but it feels like a different country. Millers River runs right through the area, and there are plenty of grassy spots to set up a picnic blanket or just bask in the sun. You can also hike the trails that run through the wooded parts of the park.
4. Callahan State Park, Framingham
This park is perfect for taking a long walk. There are seven miles of marked trails through the 820-acre area. Over 100 acres of that is open field, which makes this park one of the most dramatic and scenic around. You can also pursue fishing and horseback riding at this park.
5. Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Edgartown
This underrated state park is worth the ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard. With 194 acres of beautiful grassy meadows, coastal walking trails, and even butterfly gardens, you'll want to spend all day here.
6. Otter River State Forest, Baldwinville
This is a great, underappreciated place to camp. There are plenty of spots to pitch your tent along the bank of a beautiful lake, and you can also settle in by a lovely brook. Even if you don’t feel like staying overnight, you can stroll along the beautiful paths here.
7. Halibut Point State Park, Rockport
This place was once a granite quarry, but now it’s a lovely spot for a bit of strolling and picnicking. You can easily spend hours exploring this beautiful place. There are restrooms available and though parking is a few dollars, it’s free if you’re a member of the Trustees of Reservations.
8. Mytoi, Martha's Vineyard
The Mytoi garden is our very own slice of Japan. This garden features a small pond and island, a charming bridge, and plenty of native and exotic trees and flowers. You can wander the pine forest or spend time in contemplation near the water.
9. Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston
This might not be your standard state park, but the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a gorgeous necklace of green space in Boston. If you're seeking a bit of open space and greenery while in the city, the Greenway is a great alternative to the Public Gardens or Common. There are foundations and splash pools in the summer to help keep everyone cool.
10. Beartown State Forest, Monterey
This state forest isn't the biggest in the state, but it's still pretty huge. At 12,000 acres of beautiful woodlands and fields, there's no reason not to lace up your hiking boots and pack some trail mix right away. You might even catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife, including deer, bobcats, and fisher cats.
11. Great Brook Farm State Park, Carlisle
Great Brook Farm State Park is a gem of northern Massachusetts. This park is unique in that it features an actual working farm that has been in operation for decades. There’s an ice cream stand that’s open from mid-April to October and over 1,000 acres of beautiful landscape to explore.
12. Spencer State Forest, Spencer
The Spencer State Forest is a 965-acre reserve that’s an ideal place to go for a swim and have a picnic. Actually, there’s not much you can’t do here. The park offers opportunities to fish, canoe, hike, Nordic ski, and even snowmobile. You can also access the Midstate Trail to Mount Watatic near the park.
13. Maudslay State Park, Newburyport
This beautiful state park is located in Newburyport along the right bank of the Merrimack River. There are lots of places to explore, including thickets, gardens, and meadows of wildflowers. The most striking part of the park might be the primeval stand of white pine trees on the slope of the river.
14. Lynch Park, Beverly
Lynch Park in Beverly is a beautiful, manicured space situated right on the water. The most striking feature of the park might be the lush rose garden that looks like something from a fairytale wedding. There is a small fee to park right at the park during the summer season, but you can leave your car a few blocks away and avoid the fee.
There’s nothing like spending time outdoors to clear your head and put you in a good mood. If you’re looking for more beautiful Massachusetts nature,
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