Your local guide to what’s happening in Boston — with a flair for the avant-garde.
When you want to be outside and away from large crowds, mother nature has the answer. We’ve talked about beaches near Boston, but when you want less sea and more green, nature reserves are the way to go. Escape from it all at these beautiful parks and nature reservations, less than an hour’s drive from Boston.
Stretching over 7,000 acres, Blue Hills Reservation is a true oasis near downtown Boston. Its lined by 22 hills, the highest being Great Blue Hill with a height of 635 feet. Go for a hike and wander along its 125 miles of trails, also open for skiing during winter. Mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, boating and kayaking are also available.
Another place with nice hills to climb is Wilson Mountain Reservation. If you’re looking for a peaceful setting without the bustle of outdoor enthusiasts, this is the place for you. The only activities available are hiking and fishing. The hill is only 207 feet tall, but the surrounding thickets of rhododendrons offer great photo opportunities.
Relive the beginning of the Revolution at Minute Man National Historical Park. Between Memorial Day weekend and the end of October, visitors will be treated to historical reenactments, musical performances and guided tours. However, there’s still plenty of space to get lost in nature. Walk the five miles of the Battle Road Trail and see the North Bridge, the site of “the shot heard ‘round the world.”
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If you are looking for a small space that is still surrounded by nature, go to Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord. This is where Thoreau crafted his work “Walden” and Louisa May Alcott drew inspiration for scenes of “Little Women.” You can walk around the pond or go to one of the short trails in Walden Woods.
Great Meadows is an amazing wildlife refuge covering 3,800 acres between Concord and Sudbury rivers. Birdwatchers will have the time of day trying to spot as many of the 220 species that live in these wetlands, many of which are migratory birds. Go for a hike, photograph wildlife, get a bird’s eye view from the observation tower or catch some fish.
Remember that these beautiful natural settings can only be preserved if we adopt everyday sustainable practices.