Hiking around/outside Boston

Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 09:30 AM
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Hiking around/outside Boston

First, before anyone slams me for this I did do a text search for this information and I am searching for a good hiking guide for the area (book or website).

However, if anyone has any personal suggestions for good hikes around Boston, I'd love to hear them. I will be there mid-October, which I hear is peak foliage season. I know about the hikes/walks around the city itself and am more interested in wilderness-type hikes (especially ones with waterfalls) outside the city. Thanks in advance.
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 12:43 PM
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hmmm, no response.

does this mean there aren't any good hikes up there?
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:18 PM
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There are wonderful hikes in the Boston area, even some in the Blue Hills that are accessible by public transportation.

I think the problem is with the specifics of the original request: there isn't much wilderness around Boston. Certainly no noteworthy waterfalls.
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:34 PM
mimi taylor
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Hiker, Suzy is right. Nothing around in waterfalls unless you drive three hours to the white mountains..Superb...if you can do it!
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:36 PM
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Are you willing and able to leave the Boston area?
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:38 PM
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I'm not sure if you'll find waterfalls but there is a ton of neat history in Lexington/Concord just 5-10 miles west of the city. In Lexington, you can walk the trails that British took when the revolutionary war began. In Concord you can walk around Walden pond including Thoreaus ruins.
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:18 PM
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There's plenty of good hiking in Massachusetts. How far out of the city are you willing to go? Will you have a car? I've done a fair amount of hiking, but most of it has been in central/western Mass. and southern New Hampshire. I think to see waterfalls (with one exception) you'll have to go to the mountains. How strenuous a hike are you looking for?

For starters, take a look at this great web site I found called Boston Hiking Guide at Also the Trustees of Reservations, a conservation group that owns lots of properties in Massachusetts, has a site at that describes all of their properties.

Very close to the city is the Arnold Arboretum, not exactly wilderness, and more a nice walk than a hike, but a beautiful place with nice trails full of all kinds of trees - a good spot for foliage viewing.

Northwest of Boston (maybe in Malden?) is the Middlesex Fells Reservation. I've never been there, but I'm told it's very nice, with great trails - supposedly, you'd never know you were so close to the city. This has the waterfall exception - Shilly Shally Brook falls 120 feet over a cliff, but I don't really know how big this is. We've had a very dry summer, so it may not have much water. There's also the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, southwest of Boston, with lots of trails and a very tall hill with a good view of the city at the top. Once again, I've never hiked there, but I've heard it's popular.

If you'd like to hike near the ocean, World's End Reservation in Hingham is very scenic. Last week I took a day trip to Misery Island in the ocean near Salem, which has really nice trails. You can hike the whole island in about an hour, but it's quite beautiful, and a fun trip. I posted a trip report titled "Misery Island off of Salem MA" if you'd like more info about that.

The Minuteman National Park in Lexington/Lincoln/Concord has a very nice trail that's about five miles long. As the previous poster mentioned, you can hike around Walden Pond in Concord; it takes about 45 minutes.

Purgatory Chasm in Sutton (south of Worcester) is a neat place to hike. Mount Wachusett (probably a little over an hour west of Boston on route 2) has great trails to the top. Of course, in southern New Hampshire is Mount Monodnock, one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world, and worth the climb.

Further afield, about 2 hours from Boston, is Doane's Falls in Royalston. Easily accesible from the road, but you can continue on the trail and hike all the way around Tully Lake, which is a wonderful hike. We parked at the other end of the lake, hiked to the falls, and back around the other side of the lake. Near there is also Spirit Falls, a bit harder to get to, but worth the effort.

There are a lot of other hikes you could do, but I hope this gives you some ideas. Happy trails!

Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:21 PM
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For sure, the best hiking, especially during the glorious fall foliage seaon, would be in the White Mountains of NH, the Green Mountains of VT, or the Berkshires in Western, MA. Not too far is Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire (about two hours drive). It's not a difficult climb (more of hike) that's well worth the effort for the views at the top. You'll have to leave Boston to see LOTS of foliage, anyway.
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for all the info!! Sorry the question came across as so open-ended, but I (obviously) haven't been to the area before (as noted by the wilderness request).
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 06:59 AM
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If you look at the web site for the Appalachian Mountain Club,

you will find they publixh some excellent guides. There's one for hikes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as many for NH, etc.
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