Mount Greylock


Best Hiking Spots In Massachusetts

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Hiking is a fun way to get some exercise, smell the fresh air, and see something new.  Here in the Bay State, we’re lucky that we have so many great trails to visit, but it can be hard to know which ones to choose, which is why we’ve come up with this list of the best spots to go hiking in Massachusetts!

Blue Hills Reservation – Located only a few miles from Boston, the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton offers visitors 125 miles of trails to explore.  There are a variety of plants and wildlife that you may see on your hike, along with historic structures, ponds, swamps, and much more.  Once you reach the rocky mountain summit you’ll see a beautiful view of the Boston skyline in the distance, the perfect spot to rest and take in the sights of the city while also enjoying the seclusion of nature.

Cape Cod National Seashore – When you think of hiking, you may not typically picture hiking on the beach, but the Cape Cod National Seashore is one of the best places to visit if you want to get some exercise in the great outdoors.  There are forty miles of beaches, marshes, ponds, and more that feature different kinds of wildlife, lighthouses, cranberry bogs, and beautiful views of the coast.  There are trails for both biking and walking, and two visitors centers, one located in Eastham, which is open year-round,  and one Provincetown that is open seasonally.  If you’re in the area trust us when we say you won’t want to miss a chance to hike this local treasure.

Harold Parker State Forest – This forest has so much to offer to its visitors.  It spans across Andover, North Andover, North Reading, and Middleton but the park headquarters are located in North Andover.  Guests can explore 35 miles of trails, go hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, camping, or pack a lunch and enjoy a nice picnic!  There’s something for everyone here, so we’re sure you won’t be bored!  There are also 11 ponds within the forest, all of which allow non-motorized boating.  The forest itself is comprised of over 3,000 acres, so if you’re looking for a secluded trail to enjoy a quiet hike you’re in luck.

Mount Greylock State Reservation – Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts!  At the top you can see stunning views of up to 60-90 miles away!  If hiking to the top might be too strenuous or take too long, there are roads that you can drive up and shorter hiking trails leading off of the road.  Access to the park itself is free but there is a parking fee of $2 for Massachusetts residents and $4 for non-residents, so make sure you have a bit of cash on hand when you go.  If you’ve never been to Mount Greylock we highly recommend making the trip just for the spectacular views alone!

So, have any of these spots peaked your interest?  We hope you’ll take advantage of these hiking spots at some point, they’re too beautiful to miss out on!

Photo By: Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism

 

 

Scenic Summer Drives in the Bay State

The Gloucester Shore - A beautiful stop along the Essex National Heritage Area Scenic Byway.

Boasting of summer’s arrival the trees are green, beaches now open, and the shorts and tee-shirts have been taken from storage. Whether you have an afternoon or an entire day, a summer drive through the beautiful Massachusetts roadways is the perfect way to see more of the Bay State and learn about its history. To get out of your usual grind without spending bundles on a vacation check out the following Massachusetts scenic routes:

North-western corner of Massachusetts are the Mohawk driving trails. Three popular routes within the Mohawk driving trails include: Mouth Greylock – approximately 26 miles, Mohawk Trail – approximately 55 miles, the combined Mt. Greylock/ North Berkshire route – approximately 33 miles, the combined North Bershire/ Mohawk Trail route – approximately 53 miles, and the Mohawk Trail/ Pioneer Valley route – approximately 55 miles. Along the Mohawk driving trails are many attractions including the bridge of flowers where over 500 varieties of annuals and perennials are planted and maintained throughout the summer season. For more information on the scenic routes through North-Western Massachusetts visit the Mohawk Trail website.

For a wonderful view and aversion the Mass Pike, Jacobs Ladder Trail is a fantastic drive and a National Scenic Byway. This drive winds through parts of Western Massachusetts like the Mohawk trails however takes a few twists and turns of its own. Enjoy original 19th-century architecture in Lee Center or along the way a restored railroad station from the 1840s, an Italiante Grange Hall, two mill villages, and churches that remain the tallest building in town. For additional information about this scenic drive visit the Jacobs Ladder Trail website.

For drivers residing closer to Southern Massachusetts the beautiful drive along the Cape Cod Route 6A may be a perfect trip. Cruising through some of America’s oldest villages the Cape Cod route travels through: Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster. If you’re into history, many of the homes along this route are listed under the National Register of Historical Places. If you’re not so interested in the Route 6A’s historical pit stops you may stop by Sandy Neck and Sandwich Town Beach, perfect for a leisurely  swim or to soak in a few rays. For the more adventurous and outdoorsy Nickerson State Park is a perfect pit stop along this calming drive. For more information about the Cape Cod route 6A read up about it on the Travel Guide of America website.

Those living closer to the eastern coast will want to take a drive through the Essex National Heritage Area Scenic Byway. The Byway holds a plethora of historic seaports, colonial farms, village centers, and architecture. About 24 miles in length this would make a perfect evening drive and opportunity to learn more about local history. At one end of the Essex Byway is Gloucester, the large fishing community popularized in the movie “The Perfect Storm” and at the other the town of Newburyport, a historic trade and shipbuilding port. For more informaiton about this historically rich drive visit the Go-Massachusetts website.

Happy driving!

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