Breakheart Reservation
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9 best hiking spots near Boston

Step away from the screens and enjoy the great outdoors on these trails

Olivia VanniCheryl Fenton
Written by: Cheryl Fenton

While urban living offers the best in restaurants, nightlife and theater, sometimes you just want to get outside, stretch your legs and hit the open trails in peace. Believe it or not, you don’t need to travel to the White Mountains or the Appalachian Trail to get your nature fix. There are plenty of picturesque hiking spots near Boston. Whether it’s climbing scenic wooded preserves or exploring waterfront trails, these local hikes are perfect for walking off the bustle of The Hub. No time to leave the city limits? Head over to one of Boston’s best parks. And if you want to turn an afternoon stroll into a full-on escape, check out the best weekend getaways from Boston and the best day trips from Boston.

Best things to do in Boston
Best secluded Airbnbs near Boston

The best hiking near Boston

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Boston is no Denver, but there are still a couple of mountains (glorified hills, really) to climb. Just a few minutes outside of the city proper is a 7,000-acre reservation with 125 miles of pristine hiking trails. Climb to the top of Great Blue Hill and enjoy an unmatched view of the Hub's skylinejust prepare to share the scenery with crowds during the warmer months. Ski bunnies can return in the winter for some modest slalom action.

Just north of Boston, this 2,500-acre state park in Stoneham features more than 100 miles of trails. While the reservation has hikes for all levels, the Skyline Trail is both the most challenging and the most popular. It includes seven miles of rough terrain passing over hills, through wooded forests and around stunning lakes. A climb to the top of Wright’s Tower (when it’s unlocked for most afternoon exploration) affords gorgeous Boston views. Even if the observation tower is closed to visitors you can still grab those vistas from atop the rocks ledges surrounding the structure.


Though relatively small (251 acres), this lush nature preserve is a mere 11 miles outside of the city. Overlooking Hingham Harbor, there are 4.5 miles of easy-to-moderate trails available for exploring. Hike through rolling hills, past saltwater marshes and along the shoreline while still catching glimpses of the Boston Skyline. Head back into the forest to watch the countless species of birds who call this preserve their home.

Great for both hiking and mountain biking, this state park features numerous trails—ranging from easy to challenging—through dense hardwood forests. Seven hills within the park, which spans Saugus and Wakefield, offer views of Boston as well as New Hampshire and central Massachusetts. The Saugus River cuts through the park, and trails follow along the riverbanks of two lakes.


This area may be the largest conservation area in leafy Lincoln, but it's namesake mountain is actually more like a manageable hill. Wander these trails and you’re bound to see quaint wildlifefrom chipmunks and squirrels, to birds and deer. The top of Mount Misery offers views of the Sudbury River and Fairhaven Bay. Concord’s wildly popular Walden Pond (Henry David Thoreau's inspiration for Walden) is located nearby, so make a day of it and hit up both natural attractions while you're out there.

Located in Andover, this vast expanse includes 35 miles of trails and 11 quaint and quiet ponds – some even available for lazy day canoeing. With more than 3,000 acres of hardwood, hemlock and white pine forest, don’t discount an overnight stay at the 91-site campground. When just an afternoon is all your schedule affords, hit the Yellow Diamond Trail for a stroll to and around Salem Pond.


We all know that Wachusett Mountain is a popular winter destination for skiiers, thanks to those catchy commercials—but the tallest mountain near Boston also offers hiking throughout the rest of the year. The surrounding reservation includes the largest area of old growth forest in Massachusetts, as well as ponds, streams, a raised bog and 17 miles of trails. The 2.6-mile-long Harrington Trail is a popular hike that leads to the mountain's peak, where you can see the Boston skyline and New Hampshire's Mt. Monadnock on a clear day.

Locals mostly know the quiet little town of Hopkinton as the starting point of the Boston Marathon. However, Hopkinton State Park is a hotbed of outdoor activities, with several trails running through its 1,500 acres of forest. There are paths for hikers of all levels, some of which are also used for horseback riding. In the summer, you can cool off and wash the sweat away with a swim in the reservoir.


This beautiful, five-mile path connects historic sites from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington. The easy, level trail follows the route that Minutemen once took to the battle at Concord Bridge, where they prevented the British from seizing the Colonists’ weapons. There are informative markers along the walk and an educational presentation at the visitor center, so your hike can double as a history lesson.

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