Walden Pond State Reservation
915 Walden St. Route 126
Concord, MA 01742
Walden Pond is just as serene and beautiful as it was in the days of Henry David Thoreau, who chronicled his sojourn there in the literary classic “Walden.” An autumn visit to this scenic location, just a short drive west of Boston, is the stuff of which myths are made. A date with that special someone at Walden Pond will be a memorable outdoor autumn experience. In the fall, after the sun lovers have all left, the time for autumn romance begins. Pack a picnic lunch and bring your walking shoes for a stroll around the pond. Take a camera to capture reflections of the bursts of autumn color on the pond. Visiting Walden Pond in autumn when the leaves have blossomed into their full autumn colors is a magical experience. The reservation has 62 acres of land that includes an excellent circular walking trail around the pond. Visitors can also tour the park by kayak, canoe or any other boat that is not motorized. A special bonus for visitors from Boston who drive along Route 2 West to get to Walden Pond is the line of colorful farm stands along the way where one can stop and sample fall produce. The entrance to the park and parking areas is located across the street from the pond. Check the website for the most up-to-date information about entrance fees and visiting times.
The Topsfield Fair
207 Boston St.
Topsfield, Ma 01983
The Topsfield Fair is one of the country’s longest running and most colorful fall fairs. This year’s fair runs from October 4 through October 14, 2013. This is a great place for couples to enjoy a stroll along the fair’s lively and colorful midway, take a spin on one of the many amusement park thrill rides or just enjoy the bounty of the autumn harvest in New England. This fall fair has it all, from beekeeping exhibits to a giant pumpkin contest and live entertainment. This year’s grandstand shows include appearances by bands The Dock Dogs and The Fools, singers Tate Stevens and Britt Nicole and that oldie but goodie Bobby Vinton. There’s also plenty of fall fair food such as cotton dandy, taffy apples, fried dough and other tasty treats. Check the Topsfield Fair website for ticket prices and other information.
The Minuteman Bikeway Rail Trail
Lexington Town Offices
Lexington, MA 02420
(781) 862-0500 x208000
Bicycling on The Minuteman Bikeway, which runs from The Alewife “T” Station in Cambridge to the nearby communities of Arlington, Bedford and Lexington, is a great fall date for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors while staying close to the city. Nothing beats a bike ride on a crisp fall day, and this bicycle trail, which is free from other vehicular traffic, should be on on the top of the “fall date list.” This accessible rail trail was created by the state of Massachusetts on a former railway bed. Now, it is a popular route for local and out-of-town bicyclists for recreation and transportation. This is such a beloved cycling destination that The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy selected it as a member of the national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Here’s a detailed map of the bike route with places of interest.
Apple Picking at Boston Hill Farm
North Andover, MA 01845
Apple picking is a favorite fall activity in Boston and New England. Boston Hill Farm offers apple picking and much more. Each fall, the farm holds its annual Fall Festival, from the weekend following Labor Day up to the last weekend of October. This special autumn event features traditional apple picking and pumpkin picking. For those who are looking for something more after the apples and pumpkins are picked, the festival also offers hayrides. Couples won’t go hungry either. There are fall BBQ offerings, and ice cream cones and other frosty treats are available for those with a sweet tooth. The “Ray Fredericks and the Country Express Band” provides the entertainment.
499 Mountain Road
Princeton, MA 01541
Scenic Mount Wachusett, located northwest of Boston in Princeton, celebrates the autumn season with a two-day Apple Fest on October 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For couples looking for a lively date with something for almost everyone, this is the place to go. Apple Fest features over 75 craft fair and farmers’ market booths, family entertainment and even chainsaw carving demonstrations. The scenic Foliage Skyride to the summit is a real treat for two. Apple Fest also features a mountainside barbecue, climbing wall and Euro Bungee. To round out the festivities, Apple Fest at Mount Wachusett includes an Oktoberfest Celebration with German food and a wide variety of beers in the Beer Garden, accompanied by live music. Apple Fest will be held rain or shine. Pets and coolers are not allowed. Click here for Directions.
Related: Boston’s Best Fall Festivals
Mari DeAngelis is a freelance writer covering all things Boston. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.