Great outdoors destinations in the Boston area

Now that it’s (almost) spring, it’s time to get outside!  One of the things I love most about Boston is how easy it is to escape the city and find beautiful places.  Here are some of my favorites.

Halibut Point Reservation (Rockport): This gorgeous reservation features a former granite quarry and a rocky shoreline.  Managed by The Trustees.

Stevens-Coolidge Place (North Andover, below. Photographs taken by me): This estate has acres of beautifully manicured gardens.  Managed by The Trustees.

Picture of garden with circular pond

Arnold Arboretum (Boston): This is more of an urban location, but tree lovers will enjoy seeing many interesting tree species from around the world.  Managed by Harvard University.

Great Brook Farm State Park (Carlisle): Walk around a farm and a picturesque pond.  Managed by the state of Massachusetts.

Ward Reservation (Andover and North Andover, below): Trails lead through hills and fields.  This reservation is especially gorgeous in the autumn.  One hill has a skyline view of Boston.  Managed by The Trustees.

Picture of field and fall foliage

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (Concord): Trails run around the perimeter of a wetland, where you can see numerous bird species and muskrats. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Harold Parker State Forest (North Andover): Explore a large landscape of lakes and forests.  Managed by the state of Massachusetts.

Appleton Farm (Hamilton and Ipswich, below): This beautiful farm features trails along fields and hilly cow pastures.  Managed by The Trustees.Picture of field and blue sky

Middlesex Fells Reservation (Malden): This reservation is very easy to access from the city. Rocky hills make for a dramatic landscape. Managed by the state of Massachusetts.

Ipswich River Wildlife Reserve (Topsfield, below): This large reservation contains meadows, woods, and marshes.  In the marshes you can spot birds, muskrats, and several beaver dams.  Managed by Mass Audubon.

Picture of marsh

If you enjoy going to places like these, it’s worthwhile to contribute to organizations like Mass Audubon or The Trustees.  These groups are responsible for most of the land reserves in Massachusetts.  Purchasing a membership helps give them the financial support they need to continue protecting land and species in our state.

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