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Best Winter Hikes Near Boston

December 19, 2015 6:00 AM

(Photo credit: MARTIN SCHUTT/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: MARTIN SCHUTT/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: MARTIN SCHUTT/AFP/Getty Images)

Hiking trails are abounding in and around the city of Boston. There are some trails that are more challenging than others. There are exciting and beautiful winter hikes for everyone to enjoy the season in and around the city. Some trails offer views of the expansive Blue Hills, while others showcase the beautiful and natural landscape surrounding the city. Some trails are perfect for snowshoeing and exploring the great outdoors.

Noon Hill
Noon Hill Road
Medfield, MA 02052
(508) 785-0339
www.thetrustees.org

This venue offers 4.5 miles of trails for a great winter hike with expansive views of the Charles River. From the forest to the river’s edge, there are woodlands abundant with wildlife. The hike is of moderate exertion and a little tougher in other places.

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

The DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) Blue Hills Reservation encompasses 7,000 acres and offers 125 miles of trails spanning into four suburbs south of Boston. There are 22 hills in the Blue Hill chain with the highest peak being Great Blue Hill, which stands 635 feet high with the Blue Hills Weather Observatory, a National Historic Landmark built in 1885, at the summit. The wildlife, including coyotes, copperheads, dragonflies and hawks, live among the flora, which includes lady’s slippers, dogwoods and Atlantic white cedar. The views of the Boston skyline prove that the city is only a short ride to the north.

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
Mass. Audubon
127 Combs Road
Easthampton, MA 01027
(413) 584-3009 or (800) 710-4550
www.massaudubon.org

This 723-acre sanctuary offers five miles of trails over very diverse terrain, which includes forest, meadows, grasslands, marsh and wetlands. The Connecticut and Mill Rivers abut the trails, which were once a coach road and then a trolley line through the property. Uniquely, there is a universally accessible Sensory Trail with an audio tour and tactile formats. There is an opportunity to observe wildlife along the trails, including bald eagles, great blue herons, wood ducks and more.

Related:  Best Family Hikes In Eastern Massachusetts

Mohawk Trail State Forest
175 Cold River Road
Mohawk Trail/Route 2
Charlemont, MA 01339
(413) 339-5504
www.mass.gov

Situated in the towns of Charlemont, Hawley and Savoy, the Mohawk Trail State Forest has mountain ridges, gorges and seasoned forests covering the 6,400-acre DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) property. Originally, the Mohawk trail was a Native American footpath. In addition to hiking the trail, there are also cabins, which are heated with a wood stove, available for winter camping. 

Mt. Wachusett
Wachusett Mountain Visitor Center
345 Mountain Road (not the ski area parking location)
Princeton, MA 01514
(978) 464-2300
www.mass.gov

The view from Mt. Wachusett is spectacular and diverse in each direction. There is Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire in one direction, the Berkshires to the west and the Boston skyline to the east. It is important to note that the average winter temperature at Mt. Wachusett is 20 degrees F and the average season snowfall is about 100 inches. This winter hiking paradise is about one hour from Boston.

Related: Boston Area’s Best Family-Friendly Bike Trails 

Nancy is a native Bostonian. She enjoys the sights, sounds and tastes of Boston while exploring the city by day or night. Nancy is also a school nurse at an independent middle/high school. Her work can be found on a variety of websites, including Examiner.com.

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