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Appalachian Mountain Club
Local Walks/Hikes Committee

The AMC Boston Chapter Local Walks/Hikes Committee leads day hikes and nature walks year-round primarily in eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. They range in length from 3 to 20 miles over terrain which ranges from smooth and flat to rocky and hilly. A typical hike is 5 to 8 miles in length along woodland trails over rolling terrain with some hills and takes 4 to 5 hours, including lunch. The pace is usually moderate, allowing participants to socialize as they walk. Some of our hikes are hilly enough to be useful as conditioning hikes for the more rugged trails in the White Mountains or elsewhere. Dogs are not permitted on AMC Local Walks/Hikes unless explicitly stated in the hike description. Proper footwear required incl. traction gear for snow/ice.

AMC Local Walks on Twitter
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AMC Local Walks/Hikes on Instagram

To see the kinds of activities we do, go to the listing of recent walks/hikes or check out the other pages linked above and below. You can also download a PDF of all AMC Boston Chapter event listings for the next two months at http://current.amcboston.org. This may be useful now that trip listings are no longer in Outdoors magazine. To find out how to join the AMC, go to outdoors.org/get-involved/join.

The Hiking Areas page is a compilation of over one hundred of the larger areas for day hikes out of Boston plus information on obtaining trail maps. The Photo Gallery pages contain a growing collection of photos of trail scenes from those areas and from recent walks. The Easy Walks page has a list of nearby places where there is a scenic, level walk that is easy to follow. The Nature Walks page is about what to expect from an AMC nature walk, what to bring, and where to go on your own nature and bird walks.

The Local Walks/Hikes Authors page is about the Weston conservation lands guidebook written by AMC Local Walks/Hikes leader Elmer Jones and the guidebook to plants commonly seen on walks written by AMC Local Walks/Hikes leader Hilary Hopkins.

Leadership opportunities: AMC members with an aptitude for leading group hikes and knowledge of a local hiking area are encouraged to contact the Local Walks/Hikes chairman listed below and in AMC Outdoors magazine at the beginning of the Boston chapter activities.

Website contributions: Send corrections, additions, and photos to [localwalks AT rwinters DOT com]. You can also direct any questions or concerns to this address.

Lisa Fleischman, Chair, Local Walks/Hikes

Robert Winters, Local Walks/Hikes, trip coordinator

Amazing Outdoor Workouts: Hike (Casey Lyons, Boston Magazine, June 2012)
Get out for a walk - Fast walking, not trendy gadgets, is a key to long life (Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe, Jan 8, 2011)
Advice on choosing the best hiking boots
from OutdoorGearLab

Fall is here!

Upcoming Local Walks (Non-members welcome......but, please, become a member!):
[Most AMC Local Walks/Hikes are "show and go" without registration. If registration is required, it will say so explicitly in the hike description. Proper footwear required incl. traction gear for snow/ice. Unless otherwise stated, you should assume each hike is at a moderate pace.]

Sun, Sept 22. Fitch's Bridge to Hayes Woods, Groton. 1:00pm-3:00pm. We will cross the scenic Nashua River, hike along a old railroad bed, thru the Johnston Conservation area, around a lovely beaver pond in Hayes Woods, and back. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet at Fitch's Bridge, 42.62549N 71.60886W. Park by either end, but note that cars can't cross. About 2 hours, moderate pace. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Sept 28. Literary Walk in Concord, MA. 10:00am-12:00pm Meet at Walden Pond parking area, at Thoreau cabin replica. Walk to Concord center via the Reflective Walk and the Thoreau-Emerson Amble. Bring a short, one minute, reading - quote or bio fact - of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcotts, Hawthorne. Stops for readings at Fairy Land Pond, Emerson, Alcott and Hawthorne houses. Optional lunch at Thoreau family homestead, now Colonial Inn, on Concord Green. Rain cancels. Leader: Jean Veigas. Email if interested in lunch reservations.

Sun, Sept 29. Mt. Wachusett, Princeton. 9 mi. hike. 10am-3pm. Hike starts at Wachusett Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. 113 Goodnow Rd, Princeton. 4 dollar fee for non-Audubon members. Must come in from Rt. 62, Hubbardston Rd. IF YOU COME FROM GATE Rd YOU CANNOT GET TO LOCATION! Bring H2O, trail snacks, lunch, rain gear, winter hat, gloves. Get's VERY cold at top. Wear trail shoes/hiking boots. No sneakers on this hike please. Leader: Nelson Caraballo

Sat, Oct 5. Warner Trail Fall Hike, Wrentham. 9am-4pm. 10-mi. mod. hike from Wampum Corner, Wrentham to Diamond Hill, Cumberland, RI. Bring lunch and water. We will spot cars before the hike. We will meet at Diamond Hill State Park. I-95S to Route 295S Exit 11 in Cumberland, RI, then Route 114N for 3.7 miles to Diamond Hill State Park on the right opposite the Ice Cream Machine. Heavy rain cancels. Phone Laura if uncertain. L Laura Cerie, CL Jim Goyea

Sun, Oct 6. Explore Lexington's Whipple Hill. 2:00pm-4:00pm. Registration required. Whipple Hill is Lexington's largest conservation area with varied woods, ponds and hills. Our route will include a visit to neighboring Wright-Locke farm in Winchester. Rain cancels. Moderate/fast pace. About 4 miles. No dogs, please. Bring water and suitable footwear. If parking lot is full, park on nearby Berkshire Drive. L's cell day of hike 617-571-3740. L Thurman Smith.

Sat, Oct 12. Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. Moderate pace 5 mile walk, around scenic Ponkapoag Pond, with beautiful views of Great Blue Hill. Pleasant stroll across golf course, on maple tree walkway. Enjoy sit-down break, on the dock at AMC Camp. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at The Lodge Bar & Grill, in nearby Randolph, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Ponkapoag Golf Course parking lot. From Route 93/128, exit 2A, take Route 138 South for 0.7 mile. See Ponkapoag Golf Course parking lot on left. L Brian Connolly

Sat, Oct 12. Forest Bathing in the Middlesex Fells with Lisa Mediano. 8:30am-10:30am. Forest Bathing in the Middlesex Fells with Lisa Mediano, a Certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and Programs “ANFT™”. As nourishment for body and soul, the Boston Chapter Local Walks & Hikes group, is delighted to offer the restorative practice of Forest Bathing, which was developed in Japan. Forest baths are gentle walks that support well-being through sensory immersion in forests and other naturally healing environments - the perfect antidote for today's modern fast-paced life and our increasingly "over stimulated" culture tethered to technology. With a background in literature and history, Lisa Mediano is fascinated with the works of the Transcendentalists, Naturalists and Aesthetics throughout history, who have wisely recognized the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of being in Nature. You can find her written work on the ANFT blog https://www.anft.blog and in the International Forest Bathing Magazine. Usual hiking clothes are fine, sneakers or boots, NO bare feet, small day with water and snack. Heavy rain cancels. Limited to 10 participants. Cost is $20. To register send email to Lisa Fleischman: localwalks@amcboston.org who will answer any questions and provide instructions to register by Sat Oct 5 and directions.

Sun, Oct 13. The Throne, Groton. 1:00pm-3:00pm. Come hike thru one of the largest contiguous undeveloped parcels in the area, featuring upland forest, interspersed wetlands, and generally pretty woods. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet at the end of Rockwood Lane, 42.62968N 71.64003W. L Olin Lathrop.

Mon, Oct 14. Webb Memorial State Park and Great Hill Park, North Weymouth. Moderate pace 5 mile scenic walk with views of Grape Island, Slate Island, Quincy Bay, Fore River, Hingham Back River, Boston's Harbor and skyline. 9:30am-12:00pm. Bring snack + water. From MA-3A in N. Weymouth take Neck St. (0.6 mi.) continue on River St. (0.7 mi.) then left into Webb Memorial State Park 371 River St. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.

Sat, Oct 19. Plymouth Harbor. Brisk pace 7 mile walk 9:30am-2:00pm along Plymouth Harbor including Jennie's Grist Mill and Historic Monuments. Lunch stop on the walk back at Lobster Hut (counter service). From Route 3 South take exit 9 towards Kingston/N Plymouth then left on MA-3A S/ Main St. for 1.7 miles, turn left onto Cordage Park Circle then first right into parking area by the brick tower. We will meet at the Gazebo. Bring snack and water. Storm cancels. Leader: Beth Mosias

Sun, Oct 20. Historic Middlesex Canal, North Billerica. Level 5-mi. walk along historic canal N to Chelmsford, 1:30-4pm. Joint Middlesex Canal Association - Appalachian Mountain Club Fall Walk. Meet at 1:30pm at the Middlesex Canal Museum and Visitor Center at the Faulkner Mill at 71 Faulkner Street in North Billerica. The Museum and Visitor Center, including the bookstore, will open at 12 noon. The 2-2½ hour walk will cover part of the Merrimack branch of the canal in Billerica and Chelmsford, about 3 to 4 miles over generally level wooded terrain and streets. Sites to visit en route will include a guard lock, the anchor stone for the floating towpath that bridged the Concord River, and many stretches of watered canal. From Rte. 95/128, take Rte. 3 N to exit 28, Treble Cove Rd., L towards N. Billerica 1.7 mi., L on Rte. 3A/129 0.7 mi., R on Lowell St. 0.7 mi. becomes Faulkner St., cross river at Faulkner Mills, R into pkg. lot opp. Middlesex Canal Museum. Middlesex Canal signs point the way. Info: www.middlesexcanal.org. L Robert Winters, Marlies Henderson.

Sat, Nov 2. Castle Island, South Boston. Fast-paced seven-mile scenic walk along ocean to Castle Island, 10:00am-1:30pm. Bring lunch and water. Meet inside JFK/UMass Red Line T station, upper level gates (no nearby parking). Storm cancels. Leader: Beth Mosias

Sun, Nov 10. Boxford State Forest. Meet at 1:00pm in the parking lot on Middleton Rd. in Boxford, at the steel gate. Kids and dogs are welcome. If you come north on route 95, cross the Boxford line and take exit 51. At the end of the ramp, turn left on Endicott St. (if heading south turn right on Endicott St. Take first right on Middleton Rd and pass 3 streets on your left. Thereafter look for parking area with steel barrier fence on the left. Hike will be about 2 hours with a moderate pace and easy terrain. L Steve Davis

Sun, Nov 10. Kailey's Way to Crystal Spring, Groton. 1:00pm-3:00pm. Join us for this one-way traverse thru a exceptionally scenic area featuring beaver ponds, hemlock groves, upland forest, and the beautiful Crystal Spring. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet in the Gamlin Crystal Springs parking area on Old Dunstable Road, Groton, 42.63114N, 71.51027W. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Nov 16. Crane Beach, Ipswich. Moderate pace 5 mile walk, across scenic sand dunes, and along the ocean beach. Beautiful desert landscapes, include pitch pine forest, views of Essex Bay, and sea birds. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at Woodman's Seafood Restaurant, in nearby Essex, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Crane Beach parking lot. Parking Fee. From Route 128, exit 14 in Gloucester, take Route 133 West for 5 miles. Turn right on Northgate Road. Then, turn right on Argilla Road, follow to beach. L Brian Connolly

Sat, Nov 16. Glacial Features Walks, Sudbury. 9:30am-12:00pm. Registration Required via email; call only if you have questions. Limit 12 participants. Join glaciologist/geophysicist Bruce Porter for a walk through Gray Reservation/Haynes Meadow Reservation/Water District protection zone to explore the many features formed by the glacier that blanketed New England 10,000 yrs. ago. Kettles pit the plane and kame terraces rise abruptly to create beautiful vistas of the wetlands below. Be able to identify eskers, erratics, kames, and more on your next hike. Flat with one steep 50 foot section. Bring water. Severe weather postpones to rain date the following day (Sun, Nov 17). Directions: Meet at the Curtis Middle School, 22 Pratts Mill Road, Sudbury. (lat/long is 42.380893, -71.432735) The parking lot is to the right of the school and behind it, just beyond the basketball courts. L Bruce Porter.

Sat, Nov 16. Cutler Park Reservation, Needham. 9-11am. Join us for a walk in this local gem, conveniently located directly off of Route 128. As you walk the trails, you will not believe that you are so close to the highway. Highlights include Kendrick Pond, views of the Charles River, and the boardwalk crossing a marshland. Easy trails, minor ups and downs, with some roots and rocks, moderate pace. Bring water and snacks. No children under 10 or dogs. Severe weather cancels. Call Lisa if you have questions. Leader: Lisa Fleischman; Co-Leader: Judith Watson

Thurs, Nov 28. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo

Fri, Nov 29. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 5 mi. mod.-paced hike, 10:30am-1:30pm. Bring lunch+water. I-93/Rte. 128 exit 2A to Rte. 138S for 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course pkg lot on L. Storm cancels. Leader: Beth Mosias

Fri, Nov 29. Annual Ayer/Groton Hills walk. 10:00am-3:00pm. Get far away from shopping malls on Black Friday and join the longest continually running hike in the AMC. We'll explore the natural areas between the Nashua River and the Snake Hills. Exact route determined on the fly. Some bushwhacking possible. Around 7 mi, 5 hours. Bring warm clothes and lunch. Meet in in NW corner of the parking lot behind Nashoba Hospital on Groton Road in Ayer, 42.57878N 71.57399W. L Olin Lathrop.

Sun, Dec 15. Groton Town Forest to Fitch's Bridge. 1:00pm-3:00pm. We will start in the scenic Town Forest, with eskers, kettle holes, unusual bogs, hemlock groves, and more. Then we will use Groton's extensive trail system thru a string of conservation lands to end at Fitch's Bridge over the beautiful Nashua River. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet at Fitch's Bridge, 42.62549N 71.60886W. Park by either end, but note that cars can't cross. About 2 hours, moderate pace. L Olin Lathrop.

Wed, Dec 25. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo

Wed, Dec 25. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. Moderate pace 4-mi. hike/snowshoe around pond, 10:00am-12:15pm. Bring snack & water. From Rte. 93/128 exit 2A, take Rte. 138 S 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course lot on L. No dogs. If no snow, bring traction device for boots. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias

Wed, Jan 1. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. No dogs. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo


DCR Southeastern Massachusetts Adult Walking Club – Fall 2019 (Sept through Dec 1)

DCR Blue Hills Reservation & South Coast Hikes & Happenings - Fall 2019


Want more listings? Interested in listings for other AMC chapters and committees? You can do a complete search at http://trips.outdoors.org. You can also download a PDF of all AMC Boston Chapter event listings for the next two months at http://current.amcboston.org. This may be useful now that trip listings are no longer in Outdoors magazine.

Frozen Waterfall - Middlesex Fells, Jan 26, 2019 - photo by Carol Fyfe
Frozen Waterfall - Middlesex Fells, Jan 26, 2019 - photo by Carol Fyfe

Hike Beautiful Billerica - Feb 6, 2016 with Marlie Henderson
Hike Beautiful Billerica! - Feb 6, 2016

Cutler Park Reservation, Needham
Cutler Park Reservation, Needham


Zippy walks in the woods

with permission of Bill Griffith

Zippy - Nov 11, 2012

with permission of Bill Griffith

Site Contents:

Local Walks/Hikes Home - this page.

Recent Local Walks/Hikes (2019)

Local Walks/Hikes, 2018 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2017 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2016 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2015 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2014 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2013 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2012 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2011 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2010 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2009 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2008 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2007 - brief descriptions

Local Walks/Hikes, 2003 (partial)

Local Walks/Hikes, 2002

Local Walks/Hikes, 2001

Hiking Areas - list of hiking areas and map info

Middlesex Canal - canal walk details

Hunting Seasons - hunting seasons to be aware of

Conditioning Hikes - nearby trails with elevation gain

Easy Walks - walks that are level and easy to follow

Nature Walks - nature and bird walk info

Photo Gallery - photos of the hiking areas and hikes

Local Walks/Hikes Authors - books by Local Walks leaders

Cat Rock and 80 Acres - sample chapter from Elmer Jones' book

Common Plants index - index from Hilary Hopkins' book

Common Plants sample pages - sample pages from Hilary Hopkins' book

BLUE = south of Boston

PURPLE = north of Boston

GREEN = west of Boston

BROWN = out of state

  • Sylvatica Tortuosa (Arnold Arboretum) Sylvatica Tortuosa (Arnold Arboretum)
  • View from Hemlock Hill (Arnold Arboretum) View from Hemlock Hill (Arnold Arboretum)
  • Fawn Lake (Bedford Conservation Lands) Fawn Lake (Bedford Conservation Lands)
  • Fawn Lake Rocks (Bedford Conservation Lands) Fawn Lake Rocks (Bedford Conservation Lands)
  • Ponkapoag Bog Boardwalk (Blue Hills) Ponkapoag Bog Boardwalk (Blue Hills)
  • Brook on Hemenway Hill path (Blue Hills) Brook on Hemenway Hill path (Blue Hills)
  • Blue Hills Skyline Trail Blue Hills Skyline Trail
  • Pearce Lake (Breakheart Reservation) Pearce Lake (Breakheart Reservation)
  • Pearce Lake (Breakheart Reservation) Pearce Lake (Breakheart Reservation)
  • Pearce Lake Trail (Breakheart Reservation) Pearce Lake Trail (Breakheart Reservation)
  • Silver Lake Cove (Breakheart Reservation) Silver Lake Cove (Breakheart Reservation)
  • Great Blue Heron (Charles River Greenway) Great Blue Heron (Charles River Greenway)
  • Beavers at work (Concord Conservation Land) Beavers at work (Concord Conservation Land)
  • Beavers at work (Concord Conservation Land) Beavers at work (Concord Conservation Land)
  • Fairhaven Bay (Concord Conservation Land) Fairhaven Bay (Concord Conservation Land)
  • Sudbury River (Concord Conservation Land) Sudbury River (Concord Conservation Land)
  • Sudbury River Overlook (Concord Conservation Land) Sudbury River Overlook (Concord Conservation Land)
  • Halibut Point (Rockport) Halibut Point (Rockport)
  • Halibut Point (Rockport) Halibut Point (Rockport)
  • Feeding Chickadee (Ipswich River Audubon) Feeding Chickadee (Ipswich River Audubon)
  • Goose (Lexington Conservation Land) Goose (Lexington Conservation Land)
  • Lunch at Lower Mill Pond, Mt. Misery (Lincoln Conservation Land) Lunch at Lower Mill Pond, Mt. Misery (Lincoln Conservation Land)
  • Upper Mill Pond, Mt. Misery (Lincoln Conservation Land) Upper Mill Pond, Mt. Misery (Lincoln Conservation Land)
  • Jackson Path (Lynn Woods) Jackson Path (Lynn Woods)
  • Stone Tower (Lynn Woods) Stone Tower (Lynn Woods)
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Most photos by Jack Boudreau. Others by Mike Stadelmaier, Phil Witonsky, and Susan Luo.