Best Summer Backpacking Trips Near Boston

May 3, 2014 6:00 AM

Photo credit: Facebook/Wachusett Mountain

Photo credit: Facebook/Wachusett Mountain

After being stuck indoors in the city for the winter, it is time for an outdoor getaway. Leave the crowded city streets behind and become one with nature on a fun-filled backpacking adventure. Hike the mountains and trails in your own backyard and perhaps even spend the night under the stars. Pack a bag and head out on a backpacking trip near Boston.
Photo credit: Ipswich Trails

Photo credit: Ipswich Trails

Ipswich Water Trail
High St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
(978) 356-6607

The land around the Bull Brook and Dow Brook reservoirs is owned by the town of Ipswich and boasts 11.5 miles of wooded trail. Begin the trail at the marked sign near the boardwalk bridge. Don’t worry about getting lost, as the trail is one big loop. This beautiful trail will take you past salt marshes, open bays and beaches with sand dunes. Running, hiking and birding are permitted here, however, no swimming and no motorized vehicles are allowed. Dogs are also welcome but must be leashed.

Photo credit: Facebook/Wachusett Mountain

Photo credit: Facebook/Wachusett Mountain

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation                           
345 Mountain Road
Princeton, MA 01541
(978) 464-2987

A day hike up Mount Wachusett will take you above the forest to an elevation of 2,006 feet. Simply follow Mountain Road all the way to the summit where you will find the John Hitchcock Visitor’s Center. From here you will have a view of the Boston skyline, the Berkshires and Mount Monadnock. Be sure to appreciate all the natural resources on your way up and down the mountain, including the meadows, ponds, fields, streams and bog. Take a break for a picnic lunch and keep an eye out for any hawks that might be flying overhead.

Photo credit: Facebook/Friends of Blue Hills

Photo credit: Facebook/Friends of Blue Hills

Blue Hills Reservation
695 Hillside St.
Milton, MA 02186
(617) 698-1802

This lush reservation spreads over 7,000 acres with its highest summit reaching 635 feet. It features 125 miles of trails of varying terrain so there are hikes for all levels. While on the trails, you will be surrounded by a mix of natural phenomenon including flora, fauna, swamps, marshes and ponds. You might even be greeted by rattlesnakes, dragonflies and turkey vultures. Temperatures can creep up as the day goes on so don’t forget your bathing suit, as there is swimming in designated areas of Houghton’s Pond.

Related:  9 Professional Tips For Taking Insane Adventure Photographs

Photo credit: Boston Harbor Islands

Photo credit: Boston Harbor Islands

Peddocks Island
Boston Harbor
Boston, MA
(617) 223-8666

Load up your backpack and take the ferry over to the diverse Peddocks Island. This island offers hiking trails, historical structures, solar energy installations and geologic features. You could spend an entire day exploring the unique features of this island. If you want to extend your stay, tent sites and yurts are available. Reserve a site here and bring your pillow and blanket. All campsites are equipped with tables and grills.

Photo credit: Friends of the Fells

Photo credit: Friends of the Fells

Middlesex Fells Reservation
698 Fellsway W.
Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 662-2340

Middlesex Fells Reservation is over 2,500 acres of forest, table lands and stony hills. The varied terrain is suitable for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding so plan ahead for this adventure. Must-see features of the Fells include Wright’s Tower, Bellevue Pond, Virginia Wood, Sheepfold Meadow, Spot Pond and Lawrence Woods. There are also over 100 miles of trails ready for exploration. Trail maps can be purchased or are free for members here.

Related: How To Stay Healthy While Traveling

Kim Vareika is the owner of Vareika Personal Training and Yoga in Plainville. She has been in the fitness industry for over ten years, and believes that wellness is about more than just physical health. When she is not teaching, practicing, or writing, she resides in Bridgewater where she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her nephew Caesar. Her work can be found at


More From CBS Boston

Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live