Nature December 12, 2016
9 Picturesque Trails In Massachusetts That Are Perfect For Winter Hiking
There’s something special about walking out into the cold, wintery world. The smell of snowflakes on the wind and woodsmoke in the air is a magical part of the season, and there’s no better way to experience that enchantment than a winter hike. Check out some of these wonderful winter hikes across the state, and don’t let the chill keep you indoors.
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. Tyringham Cobble, Tyringham
Tyringham Cobble is a 206-acre open space nature reservation. There are two miles of trails to explore, including a loop trail that will bring you past the rocky ledges and up to the breathtaking summit of the cobble. Though the area offers plenty of wildflowers and wild berries in the spring, the view of the valley below is absolutely magical in the snow. The trail is open daily and year-round, sunrise to sunset.
2. Coggshall Park, Fitchburg
Miles of wooded trails crisscross this beautiful park. During the snow season, you can hike around Mirror Lake (or even skate if conditions are right), as well as cross-country ski and snowshoe along the trails. The park is generally open from 8 a.m. until dusk, which will be earlier in the winter than in the summertime, so visitors should take care not to overstay. (159 Electric Avenue, Fitchburg)
3. The Let Conservation Area, Westport
Westport is one of the last coastal farming communities in Massachusetts, and this nature reserve is an absolutely beautiful place to indulge in a winter walk. The only public access to this area is by water from the east branch of the Westport River, so you're sure to have an incredibly private and peaceful experience. Even without snow, exploring many of paths here feels like traveling through tunnels of trees and beautiful vines.
4. Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Cheshire, Lanesborough and Adams.
This trail was a former railroad corrider. Now, it's a gorgeous pathway through some of the most picturesque wintery scenery in the Berkshires. It passes through the Hoosac River Valley, between Mount Greylock and the Hoosac Mountains. Visitors can bike, jog and rollerblade here, as well as simply walk.
5. Blue Hills Reservation, Milton
The forested land of the Blue Hills Reservation look absolutely enchanting under a blanket of snow. There are a number of trails to explore here, but the Ponkapoag Pond Trail is an easy 4.4-mile path that open year-round.
6. Walden Pond, Concord
Take the 1.7-mile loop trail around this historic pond for a dreamy and peaceful winter hike. Depending on the amount of snow the area receives, the trail may be inaccessible, so be sure to check before you go.
7. Arnold Arboretum, Boston
Hiking through this natural wonderland is a great experience at any time of year, but snow makes the scenery almost otherworldly. It's the second largest "link" in the urban system of parks known as the Emerald Necklace, and is a great option for people who want to escape into nature this winter, but don't necessarily want to scale a mountain.
8. Mohawk Trail State Forest
Head to the northern Berkshires and wander through over 6,000 acres of pristine wilderness. There are plenty of ponds, frozen streams and winding paths to explore. Admission to this state forest is free from April to November, if you need an extra nudge to get out there.
9. Norwottuck Rail Trail
This rail trail is 10 miles long, and connects the towns of Northampton, Hadley and Amherst. There's plenty of natural beauty to soak up, but you'll also come across wonderful pit stops like ice cream shops and cozy cafes. It's the perfect way to explore in the snow, without feeling like you're a million miles away from civilization.
If you’re looking for more winter enchantment, check out these
11 majestic spots in Massachusetts that will make you feel like you’re at the North Pole.