By Kate Siber
Middlesex Fells Reservation
From downtown Boston, it takes approximately 16 minutes to drive to Middlesex Fells Reservation, a 2,500-acre swath of hills, ponds, meadows, wetlands, and hemlock groves. Though located only nine miles north of the city, it can feel a planet away, particularly the southeast corner, free of the dog walkers and stroller pushers ubiquitous in most urban parks.
Get Hiking: The 3.7-mile Rock Circuit Trail can take over four hours to complete thanks to its rugged forest terrain and steep rocky scrambles. Just when you’ve forgotten your proximity to the city, you’ll top out at Pinnacle Rock, which has views over the Boston skyline and the tree-speckled New England landscape.
Après Hike: Moulton’s Surf and Turf Restaurant, an inexpensive, family-run hole-in-the-wall just a few miles away in Medford, serves up excellent creamy New England clam chowder and fresh local seafood at recession-friendly prices.
Photograph by Krista Guenin