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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.

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To see the kinds of activities we do, go to the listing of recent walks/hikes (2014) 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 www.outdoors.org/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.
Robert Winters, Local Walks/Hikes, Chair and webmaster

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)

Fall Hiking is the Best Hiking!

Upcoming Local Walks ($1 for non-members...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.]

Sat, Nov 22. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond Hike in honor and memory of Eddie DeSantis. Brisk paced 4-5 mi around Ponkapoag Pond, 9:30am-noon. Meet at Ponkapoag Golf Course, Rt. 138, Canton, 0.7 mi. S of I-93/Rt. 128 Exit 2A. This hike is in honor and memory of our dear friend and fellow Blue Hills hiker Eddie DeSantis who recently passed away at the age of 93. Rain cancels. L Debbie Kee.

Sun, Nov 23. Burrage Pond, Hanson. 5-mile hike, 10:00am-12:15pm on abandoned cranberry bog, sandy trails featuring open water and marshland. From Rte. 27 in Hanson, Pleasant Street for 0.2 mi., take sharp right to Hawks Ave. across the tracks, left on dirt road at fence, past building to trailhead. GeoCode N 42 01 49.1 W 70 51 32.3. Bring water and snack and wear appropriate footwear. L Mike Tuohey.

Fri, Nov 28. Annual Ayer/Groton Hills walk. Come join the longest continually running hike in the AMC. We'll explore the 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 at 10:00am in NW corner of parking lot behind Nashoba Hospital on Groton Road in Ayer, 42.57878N 71.57399W. L Olin Lathrop.

Fri, Nov 28. Blue Hills Skyline Trail, Quincy. Moderate-rated hike, not for beginners. 6.5-mi. loop hike with a number of steep hills, 10am-3pm, mainly on Skyline Trail, lunch on Nahanton Hill with great view, bring lunch, water and sturdy hiking shoes. Meet at Shea Ice Rink, Willard St., Quincy. From SE Expressway Exit 8, S 0.6mi. on Willard St. From I-93/Route128 Exit 6 Braintree, N 0.7mi. Storm cancels. L Mike Tuohey.

Sun, Nov 30. Blue Hills, Milton, MA. Extremely challenging 5-mi. hike/snowshoe on steep, scenic trails to Great Blue, Little Blue, and more, 9:15am-12:45pm. Bring snack, water, & sturdy footwear. From Rte. 93/128 exit 2B, take Rte. 138 N 1.3 mi. to pkg. lot on R just past Trailside Museum. Storm cancels. L Marc Hurwitz.

Tues, Dec 2. Great Streets of Cambridge. Leisurely 4-mi. walk along historic streets around Harvard and Porter Squares and Huron Village, 6:45-8:45pm. Bring snack. Meet outside of Brattle Theatre (lower level). From Harvard Square T Stop, go 1 block west on Eliot Street; take right on Brattle Street (theatre is on the left). Storm cancels. Wear appropriate footwear for conditions. L Marc Hurwitz.

Sat, Dec 6. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. Brisk paced 4-5 mi around Ponkapoag Pond, 9:30am-noon. Meet at Ponkapoag Golf Course, Rte. 138, Canton, 0.7 mi. S of I-93/Rte. 128 Exit 2A. Rain cancels. L Debbie Kee.

Sat, Dec 6. Cutler Park Reservation, Needham. Meet at 10am. This will be a 3½ to 4 hour walk in Cutler Park, located in Dedham and Needham. Bring lunch, water and snacks. Wear hiking/sturdy walking shoes. Trails are mostly dirt, with some boardwalks, flat, with some gentle hills. Moderate to fast pace. Depending on ground conditions, you may want to have snow shoes/stabilizers. Heavy rain/snow cancels. Contact Lisa if uncertain. Driving from Route 95: Take Exit 19A off Route 95. At the first set of lights, make a right onto Second Ave. At the end of Second Ave., make a right onto Fourth Ave. At the end of Fourth Ave., make a right onto Kendrick St. Look for the reservation sign on the left side of the street, before the PTC office building. Park in the lot with the sign. By Public Transportation: Take the Needham Heights Commuter Rail form South Station. Leave the train at the Needham Heights station. Cross Highland Ave and travel down West St. Cross Hunnewell and Webster Streets. West St. becomes High St. Continue on High St. and it will become Greendale Ave. Follow Greendale Ave. to the blinking yellow light. Take the left fork onto Kendrick St. and follow over the highway. Cutler Park will be on the right, after the PTC office building. Total distance from the Needham Heights station is about 1¼ mile. Ls Joyce Beatty, Lisa Fleishman.

Sun, Dec 7. Habitat Audubon Sanctuary, Belmont, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through forests and fields and around pond focusing on plant ID and fun and interesting natural history. 9:30am-12:30pm. From Rte. 2, Exit 59 go west on Rte. 60/Pleasant St. 0.6 miles. Right onto Clifton St., first left on Fletcher Rd., bear left at fork, next left on Juniper Rd. 0.2 miles to Sanctuary at #10 Juniper Rd. Steady rain or heavy snow cancels. L Boot Boutwell.

Sun, Dec 7. Blue Hills Hike. 7-mile Chickatawbut section hike in the wildest and most remote area of the Blue Hills Reservation, 10 am-3 pm. Meet at Shea Ice Rink, Willard St., Quincy. From SE Expressway Exit 8 in Quincy, go south 0.6 miles on Willard St. Or from I-93/Route 128 Exit 6 in Braintree, go north 0.7 miles. Or for public transit, take Bus 238 from Quincy Center T station. Joint with Friends of the Blue Hills. L Steve Olanoff.

Sun, Dec 7. Marblehead Light and Castle Rock, Marblehead. Approx 4-mi walk from Deveraux Beach to Castle Rock and Marblehead Light followed by optional hot chocolate break. 11:00am-2:00pm. Take Rte. 114 or Rte. 127 to Ocean St. or Beach St. Go E to Devereaux beach pkg lot. Storm cancels. L Sara Epstein.

Sat, Dec 13. Little Blue Hill Nature Hike. 3-mile nature walk in this little-known section of the Blue Hills Reservation to look for signs of birds and animals in winter, 10 am-noon. From I-93/Route 128 Exit 2B, take Route 138 north to rear of the Park-&-Ride lot on left just after Dunkin Donuts. Joint with Friends of the Blue Hills. L Steve Olanoff.

Sat, Dec 13. Wompatuck State Park, Hingham. 8.5 mile hike w/lunch at scenic pond, 9:30am-2:00pm. Bring lunch/water/hiking shoes. Rte. 3 Exit 14 to Rte. 228N toward Hingham, 4 mi. to Wompatuck sign, then R on Free St. 1.3 mi. to visitor center pkg. lot. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.

Sat, Dec 13. Middlesex Fells, Winchester. 10am-2:30pm. Moderate walk. Bring water/lunch. Meet Wedgmere Station, Winchester. From Rte. 93 exit 33 (Medford), take S. Border Rd. W 2.2mi. to Mystic Valley Pkwy., 0.9mi. to Bacon St., R under tracks. Lot on L. Storm cancels. L Betsy Goeke.

Sun, Dec 14. Nashua River, Groton. 1:00pm. Walk the scenic trails on the east side of the Nashua River in Groton. The area features a string of conservation areas providing public access to this beautiful waterway. Meet 1:00pm at the fairgrounds parking area at the end of Fairgrounds Rd., 42.6171N 71.5989W. About 2 hours. L Olin Lathrop.


DCR Southeastern Massachusetts Adult Walking Club - Fall 2014 (HTML)

DCR Southeastern Massachusetts Adult Walking Club - Fall 2014 (PDF)

Eddie DeSantisSad News: Eddie DeSantis of Canton, age 93, venerable and personable volunteer with The Blue Hills Trail Watch, Friends of the Blue Hills and the Appalachian Mountain Club, died peacefully late Monday afternoon, September 29, at the Ellis Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Norwood. How we will miss this dear man with the infectious smile and mischievous eyes. [Full story here (by Sue Scheible, The Patriot Ledger)]

All of us with the Local Walks/Hikes Committee will miss him dearly. Eddie was an inspiration to all of us. [Obituary & guest book (Boston Globe)]

We will hike Ponkapoag Pond on Saturday, November 22 in honor and memory of Eddie DeSantis.


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.

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 (2014)

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)
  • Cormorant (Charles River Greenway) Cormorant (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 (Ipswitch River Audubon) Feeding Chickadee (Ipswitch 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.