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Recent Walks/Hikes (2014) 2012 Local Walks/Hikes 2010 Local Walks/Hikes 2008 Local Walks/Hikes Easy Walks Local Walks/Hikes Authors Photo Gallery AMC Boston
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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 1. Boston's Developing Waterfront. Moderately fast-paced walk. Explore Ft. Point Channel, Marine Industrial Park, Seaport District, Rowe's Wharf, Rose Kennedy Greenway. 10:00am-2:00pm. Meet at South Station (Red Line T) indoors at exit to Dewey Square. Bring lunch, water. Heavy rain cancels. New members welcome. L Sharon Marshall.

Sat, Nov 1. Grassy Pond Conservation Land, Acton, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through woods and fields focusing on plant ID and fun natural history. 9:30am-12:30pm. Rte. 2 to Exit 42 (Rte. 27/Main St., Acton) Follow Rte. 27 north for about 1 mile through Acton Center and turn left on Nagog Hill Rd. Travel Nagog Hill Rd. for about 1.1 miles. Parking on left just past the small meadow. No registration. Parking limited, arrive early. Heavy rain cancels. Boot Boutwell is a freelance itinerant naturalist who teaches and leads nature walks for Mass Audubon, The New England Wild Flower Society, The Winchester Public Schools, and The Friends of the Middlesex Fells as well as the AMC. L Boot Boutwell.

Sat, Nov 1, 2014. Midstate Trail - Mt. Watatic. Meet 10:00am for a loop hike to Watatic summit at MST northern terminus. Park at Mount Watatic trail parking lot on north side of Route 119, opposite Pierce Road, 1.4 miles west of Route 101 junction in Ashburnham – look for chain link fence. Hike north up cart road to Midstate Trail terminus granite marker on N.H state line, follow path east a few hundred feet to join Wapack Trail [it becomes Midstate Trail in Massachusetts, with same yellow triangle blaze] and turn right to head south, following Midstate to summit of Watatic where markers make a sharp turn to the right to merge with Blueberry Ridge Trail and back down to original cart road where you turn left to the parking lot. Moderately strenuous hike featuring gradual climb up, over and down Watatic with steady pace. Total loop about 4+ miles. L Tim Loftus.

Sun, Nov 2. Blue Hills Hike, Milton. Hike 7 miles on a variety of trails in the Blue Hills Reservation, some steep, including the Skyline Trail with views, 10 am-3 pm. Meet at Houghton's Pond parking lot. From I-93/Route 128 Exit 3, go north to the stop sign at Hillside Street and turn right. Go 0.2 miles to the lot on the right. Joint with Friends of the Blue Hills. L Steve Olanoff.

Sat, Nov 8. 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. L Beth Mosias.

Sat, Nov 8. Cutler Park Reservation, Needham. Meet at 9:30am. This will be a 2 to 2½ hour walk in Cutler Park, located in Dedham and Needham. Bring water and snacks. Wear hiking/sturdy walking shoes. Trails are mostly dirt, with some boardwalks, flat, with some gentle hills. Moderate pace. Heavy rain cancels. Contact a leader if uncertain. After the walk, optional lunch out at a nearby restaurant for all those interested. 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. Contact us if you have any questions. L Lisa Fleischman, CL Mary Wisbach. Website: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-south/cutler-park-reservation.html

Sun, Nov 9. Sheldrick Forest & Heald Tract, Wilton, NH. Six-mile hike through diverse woodlands and hilly old-growth forest with streams, ponds, ridges, eskers and interpretive points. 9:45am. Bring boots and be prepared for snow cover or ice. From Nashua, NH: take Route 101A W toward Milford, join Route 101W toward Wilton. Approximately 2.1 miles after Route 31S, left on Temple Road (just past Gary's Restaurant), bear left across bridge, left on Town Farm Road. 0.7 miles uphill to parking area. Heavy rain cancels. L Mark Levine.

Sat, Nov 15. Midstate Trail hike in Ashburnham - Mt. Hunger. Meet 9:00am at trail crossing at Route 12 in Ashburnham [at 1 Jewell Hill Road, GPS 42.625721 - 71.881289]. From Route 12 in Fitchburg, heading north toward Ashburnham for 4.9 miles, watch for corner of Jewell Hill Road on right w/ traffic island. Park some cars on Jewell Hill Road and shuttle to trail parking lot on north side of Route 119 [GPS 42.696239 - 71.903911]. Hike south over Fisher Hill and Mount Hunger with great views, 6.7 miles at moderate pace and short, steep climbs, back to Route 12. L Verne Hebard.

Sat, Nov 15. West Quincy Quarries & Granite Railway. 5.5-mi.walk to Granite Railway & quarries, some rock scrambling and steep sections, 10:30am-2:30pm. Bring lunch/water/hiking shoes. Meet at Shea Ice Rink, 651 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. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.

Sat, Nov 15. Middlesex Fells, Stoneham. Easy 2 hr. walk in Middlesex Fells. Meet at 2pm at Greenwood Park (across from Stone Zoo). Take Rte. 93 to exit 34. Go N on Rte. 28 to South St., right to park. Bring sturdy shoes, water and snack. L Betsy Goeke.

Sun, Nov 16. Hale Reservation, Powisett Farm, Westwood. Easy walk, mostly woods, across a dam & thru a meadow, 1-3pm. From Rte. 95/128 exit 16B, take Rte. 109 W 1.2 mi., R on Dover Rd. 0.3 mi., R on Carby St. 0.6 mi. to Cat Rock pkg. lot. Rain cancels. Wear traction device on boots if conditions warrant. L Jean Veigas.

Sun, Nov 16. Blue Hills Hike, Milton. Hike 7 miles in the Houghton section of the Blue Hills Reservation on a variety of trails with several views and lunch on Buck Hill, 10 am-3 pm. Meet at Houghton's Pond parking lot. From I-93/Route 128 Exit 3, go north to the stop sign at Hillside Street and turn right. Go 0.2 miles to the lot on the right. Joint with Friends of the Blue Hills. L Steve Olanoff.

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 in in NW corner of parking lot behind Nashoba Hospital on Groton Road in Ayer, 42.57878N 71.57399W. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Nov 29. 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.


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.