Lace up your hiking boots and hit these Boston-area trails.
If hiking or biking is big in your house make sure to add these Boston suburbs to your list. These towns have some of the best trails around, including plenty of options for little hikers (and even dogs!).
#1. Blue Hills Reservation (Milton)
Hiking enthusiasts are likely already familiar with Blue Hills Reservation. Just 10 miles south of Boston, this popular go-to includes 125 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. And if you’re into winter sports? This is a great spot for downhill and cross-country skiing.
#2. Minuteman Bikeway (Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington and Bedford)
More of a cyclist? Strap on your helmet and hop on the Minuteman Bikeway. This 10-mile trail travels from Bedford to the Alewife Station in Cambridge. Commuters can use this trail to connect with a Boston-bound red line train.
Don’t worry if biking isn’t your thing. This multi-use trail is open for cycling, running, walking, and even in-line skating.
#3. Middlesex Fells Reservation (Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham and Winchester)
Hikers can bring their pups (on-leash) to explore the 100+ miles of trails in the Middlesex Fells Reservation. There’s even an off-leash dog park where dogs can run. But, here, the trails are just the beginning. You can also bring the whole group for a day of boating, fishing, or biking.
#4. World’s End (Hingham)
This 251-acre park was once planned to be a residential neighborhood designed by legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The development never worked out, but today you can hike along the miles of carriage roads crossing the area.
While you explore on foot (or cross-country skis depending on the weather) take some time to admire the impressive view of the Boston skyline.
#5. Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary (Marshfield)
For wildlife viewing, take a hike at Daniel Webster. The three miles of trails cover a variety of habitats from grasslands to wetlands. Bring the kids and encourage them to keep an eye out for critters. This sanctuary is home to turtles, muskrats, and a ton of different birds.
#6. Norris Reservation (Norwell)
About 30 miles south of Boston sits the historic Norris Reservation. The Norris family developed the area in the 1920s and created a trail system and wildlife refuge.
During your hike, you’ll enjoy scenic views of the North River. When you need a break, find a bench and take in the peaceful surroundings. If you are lucky you might even spot a kingfisher.
#7. Borderland State Park (Easton)
If you like variety, check out Borderland State Park. Here you’ll find over 20 miles of trails that range from moderate to difficult. Besides hiking, you can go fishing or horseback riding in the park. There’s also an early 20th-century mansion on the grounds you can tour. Fun fact, the park, and mansion have been featured in several popular movies.
#8. Hopkinton State Park (Hopkinton)
This park is a nature lover’s paradise. There are 1,500 acres for hiking, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. If your family loves to be in the water, you’re in luck. This is one of the best spots around to go swimming, fishing, canoeing, and sailing.
#9. Hale (Westwood)
Locals head to Hale for the 20 miles of trails and waterfront views. This nonprofit recreation site also hosts events for all ages — think summer camps, yoga classes, toddler nature classes, and more.
#10. Cutler Park Reservation (Needham)
For fresh air, Needham residents can visit Cutler Park Reservation. There’s a 1.5-mile pond-loop trail that is great for both hikers and birdwatchers. Another perk? Dogs are allowed, so leash up your pup and head over.
#11. Elm Bank Reservation and Wellesley Trails (Wellesley)
Hikers (and walkers) will want to check out Wellesley. Trekking is huge here and there are 46 miles of paths that cross the town. The town sometimes hosts guided walks, which would be a great way to meet fellow hiking enthusiasts. In addition to the trails, there’s also Elm Bank Reservation. Outdoor enthusiasts can head here for woodland hikes or kayaking trips.
#12. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary (Natick)
If you land in or around Natick, consider joining Broadmoor. As a member, you’ll have full access to the park, including more than nine miles of amazing trails, many spanning woodlands and marshlands. Pack some binoculars and look for some of the 175 bird species that live in the sanctuary.
#13. Noanet Woodlands (Dover)
When you visit the woodlands, you’ll be stepping back in time. Throughout history, these 600 acres have been used as a Native American hunting ground and an industrial-era sawmill. Now, it’s a preserved natural space for local hikers. Tackle Noanet Peak if you want Boston skyline views.
#14. Walden Pond State Reservation (Concord)
Made famous by Henry David Thoreau, this beautiful area is still a favorite spot with locals looking to reconnect to nature. Pack a picnic and take the littles for a day at the pond. You can take an easier hike around the pond or through Walden Woods. On warm days, the kids can even cool off in the water while you relax on the shore.
#15. Harvard Conservation Trust (Harvard)
If the Harvard area is on your list, browse the trails on the Harvard Conservation Trust website. This nonprofit currently protects over 400 acres and features an extensive trail network. From the website, you’ll find a map for each trail, which you can either print or save to your phone for easy access during your hike.
#16. Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust (Essex, Manchester)
Hikers, bikers, trail runners, and cross-country skiers are all welcome to use the 50+ miles of woodland paths that cross the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust. Want to start getting involved in your new community? Volunteer with the Trust to help out and meet other nature lovers.
#17. Maudslay State Park (Newburyport)
Picnickers especially love this park during the spring when the rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming. Throughout the year, you can use the park for some outdoor activities. Follow the 16 miles of trails for a scenic hike. And since dogs are allowed on a leash you don’t have to leave your pup at home.
#18. Harold Parker State Forest (North Andover)
For a staycation for the whole group, take a camping trip at Harold Parker State Forest. In addition to the campsite fun (s’mores, anyone?) you can go for hikes, bike rides, or kayaking trips. During the winter this is also a favorite with cross-country skiers and ice skaters.
No matter what is on your “must-have” list, we’re here to help you find the suburb that checks all of your boxes. Schedule your FREE Suburbs Strategy session today to get started.