Boston, Massachusetts, occupies a unique position among American cities.
Established in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest municipalities in the country. More importantly, it has also served as the theater of some of the key events of the American Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party and the infamous Boston Massacre.
Having started as an important port and manufacturing hub, Boston is now a center of scientific research, housing some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world.
If you happen to visit the area of Boston, then one of the best ways for you to get acquainted with its historic wealth is to pay a visit to its hiking trails. Aside from environmental beauties, Boston trails provide easy-to-follow insight into the history of the city and its impact on the United States as we know it today.
To offer you easier entry to hiking in the area Boston, we will now showcase 10 trails near the city that are certainly worth a visit.
Emerald Necklace is the first must-visit Boston hiking trail. This location offers its visitors some of the best sights and some of the most diverse natural riches.
The 7-mile Emerald Necklace starts in the Boston Common and Public Garden. Along the trail and across its 1,000-acre territory covering 6 different parks, you will meet a wonderful rose garden, a wildflower meadow, a zoo, and even two major art museums.
The Freedom Trail offers not only sightseeing but also history-learning opportunities. This Boston trail guides you along historic sites that have seen some of the key events of the American Revolution.
Throughout the 2.5-mile walk, there are 16 monuments and sites to see in total, including the Old South Meeting House. The Granary Burying Ground is also remarkable in that it has become the eternal resting place for Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.
This 251-acre location with an intriguing and mildly terrifying name offers a little bit of everything for the avid outdoorsman. In World’s End, you will find areas for hiking, kayaking, birding, mountain biking, and even snowshoeing.
Incorporating woodlands and salt marshes, World’s End is home to numerous species of native birds and vegetation. With its moderately challenging 4.5 miles of trails, World’s End also boasts a unique combination of abundant sightseeing opportunities and outdoor activities.
Battle Road Trail follows the steps of the Minutemen from Lexington Green (where they first smashed the British) to Concord Bridge.
This trail is laden with bits of historic knowledge, offering deeper insight into the first events of the American Revolution via historic markers and displays in the visitor’s center.
The visitor’s center, unfortunately, is only open from April to October, so if you want to have the full experience of Battle Road Trail, make sure to schedule your journey in this period.
The Breakheart Reservation is kind of a hidden gem – aside from locals, nearly no one knows of this place’s existence. And yet, its 640-acre area houses many opportunities for hiking, swimming, and for watching some stunning views of Boston, central Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire.
Hopkinton State Park is most renowned as the starting point for the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon. So naturally, if you happen to be here on the third Monday of April, then you should see this grandiose event.
Even if you don’t quite make it to the marathon, you will still have access to a number of trails for newbie and experienced hikers alike.
Hopkinton State Park is particularly rich in water-based activities. You get the chance for kayaking or canoeing in the Hopkinton Reservoir, and there are also a few dedicated beaches for swimming and bathing.
Ward Reservation in Andover is a little far from Boston, but you just have to visit this area if your route happens to lie through Andover.
This reserve offers 10 miles of trails with stunning views from three hills – Boston, Shrub, and Holt. On top of Holt Hill, you can see the so-called Solstice Stones that mark summer and winter solstices, the points of spring and autumn equinoxes, and the cardinal points of the compass.
Middlesex Fells Reservation boasts a whopping 2,575 acres of rocky terrain that is highly favored by skilled hikers.
The reserve is home to a number of trails – most notably, the 7-mile Skyline trail, a demanding hike with frequent climbs and descents along with dense woods. Aside from this trail, you can find over 100 miles of trails through ponds, meadows, quarries, and the site of the vanished mill village Haywardville.
With a peak of 2,006 feet high, Mount Wachusett is the tallest mountain in the area of Boston. It attracts a large number of skiers in winter months, so it’s a great place to visit for fans of winter sports.
If you are here to just hike and see the environment, then there’s still a lot for you to do. At the very least, you should climb as high as your time and fitness allow and watch some of the best views you’ll ever have the chance to see. Along the way, you will see a plethora of ponds, streams, meadows, and even a raised bog.
Last but not least, you should absolutely make an effort to visit the Blue Hills Reservation.
With its 7,000-acre territory, this is one of the most diverse and challenging reserves near Boston. It’ll also take multiple visits for you to see everything Blue Hills Reservation has to offer, and the 125 miles of trails will have something new every time you are here.
Aside from admiring natural views, you may pay a visit to the Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center or the Blue Hills Trailside Museum atop Great Blue Hill. You can also see remnants of early farms and traces of Native American presence in the area.