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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. Our hikes are announced in the Backcountry section of the monthly members' magazine, AMC Outdoors. 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@amcboston.org. 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)

Enjoy the Summer!

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, July 19. Neponset River Greenway/Milton Hill. 5-mile walk along Neponset River to Hutchinson Field, 9:30am-12:15pm. Bring snack. Meet at Hallet Street entrance to Pope John Paul II Park. From Route 93N, take exit 11 (11B from Route 93S) to Granite Avenue, north over Neponset River, immediate right on Hilltop Street, right under bridge into parking lot. E-mail if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.

Sat, July 19. Manchester-Essex Conservation Area, Manchester, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through forest up to the top of Millstone Hill focusing on plant ID and fun and interesting natural history. 9:30am-12:30pm. Rte. 128 north to Exit 15 (School Street). Left on School street. 1/2 mile to dirt parking lot on left just before Manchester-Essex town line. Steady 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.

Sun, July 20. Midstate Trail Series, Westminster. Meet at 1:00pm in Westminster at Stone Hill Road/Narrows Road. Leave some cars and drive to graffiti bridge on Oakmont Ave. Hike south, around working farm, by Round Meadow Pond and Wachusett Village Inn, about 5 miles. L Marie Auger. Driving Directions: From Boston area take Rte. 2 west, exit 27. Take left at exit, crossing Rte. 2 onto Narrows Rd. Drive straight to fork at Stone Hill Rd. where trail crosses and park along brook. From Worcester area, take Rte. 140 north, take right onto Gatehouse Road just before ski area entrance; follow about 2 miles and turn right onto Stone Hill Road, drive to bottom of hill and turn left at corner with Narrows Road and park along brook.

Sat, July 26. Midstate Trail Series, Westminster and Leominster. Meet 9:00am at Wachusett Mtn. Ski Area. Meet in main parking lot, along edge on the east side, near driveway. Leave some cars and shuttle to corner of Stone Hill and Narrows roads in Westminster. Hike south over scenic Crow Hill ledges and by Redemption Rock to ski area, 5 miles over rolling terrain with short steeps and moderate pace. Ls Marie Auger, Steve Smith. Difficulty: moderate to strenuous. Driving Directions: From Boston area, take Route 2 west to exit 25 onto Route 140 heading south, take right at ski area sign. From Worcester area, take Rte.190 to exit 5. Go north on Rte. 140 for 9.5 miles to Wachusett Mt. entrance on left.

Sat, July 26. Blue Hills, Milton. Moderate hike, 6+ mi. on lesser used trails, some steep hills. 9:30am. Bring lunch/water/sturdy footgear. Meet at Houghton's Pond pkg. lot. I-93/128, exit3, N to stop sign at Hillside St., R 0.2mi. to lot on R. Heavy rain cancels. Corinne Waite.

Sun, July 27. Purgatory Falls, Milford, NH. 6-mi. lollipop route along picturesque stream past waterfalls, cascades, along ledges & hilly forest terrain, 9:30am-3:30pm. From Nashua NH go W on Rte. 101A toward Milford 7 mi., L onto Rte. 101 W ramp toward Wilton, NH 5 mi., continue N thru light (cross Rte. 101A) over bridge onto North River Rd., 0.8 mi. cross Center Rd. 0.5 mi. to McClellan Tr. lot on L. Storm cancels. L Mark Levine.

Sat, Aug 2. Middlesex Fells, Malden. 6-mile. hike, some rocky steep hills to cliff views including waterfall w/lunch at pond. Moderate-rated hike, not for beginners. 10:00am-2:30 pm. Bring lunch/water/hiking shoes. Meet on Washington St. side of Oak Grove T sta. From Rte. 93 exit 32 in Medford take Rte. 60 E 1.2 mi., L on Highland Ave. 0.5 mi., R on Glenwood St. 0.6 mi., L on Wash. St. 0.1 mi., R into T sta. lot (fee) or park on street. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.

Sun, Aug 3. Horn Pond Conservation Land, Woburn. Slow paced nature walk looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. Focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 9:00am-12:00noon. From Rte 95/128 Exit 33A take Rte 3 South for 3 miles. Left on Pond St. 0.8 miles to parking lot on left. Parking limited, arrive early. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.

Thurs, Aug 7. Prospect Hill Park, Waltham. 6:15-8:15pm. Moderately-paced hike on trails and roads with views. From I-95/Route 128 Exit 27 (Totten Pond Road). Continue east 0.7 miles to park on the right. L Henry Gardner.

Sat, Aug 9, 2014. Midstate Trail hike over Wachusett. Meet 10:00am at "Town Hayfield" parking spot in Princeton, on Gates Road just north of Goodnow Road corner [GPS 42.459211 - 71.927087]. Leave some cars and shuttle to parking lot of Wachusett Mtn. Ski Area. Hike south over mountain summit and then through Wachusett Meadows Audubon Preserve, 6.2 miles. Rolling terrain with some steeps; moderately strenuous. L Marie Auger.

Sat, Aug 9, 2014. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 4 mi. beat-the-heat hike, 7:00am-9:00am. Bring snack/water. I-93/Rte 128 exit 2A to Rte.138S for 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course pkg. lot on L. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.

Sun, Aug 10, 2014. Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery & North Bridge, Concord. See water lotus in bloom, authors' graves and other Concord wonders on slow-paced, 5 mile ramble. Meet 10:00am. From Concord center take Monument Street 0.5 miles to North Bridge parking area on right. Bring lunch, water and sturdy rambling shoes. L Jerry Yos.

Sun, Aug 10, 2014. Noanet Woodlands, Dover. Morning hike with ponds and views. 9:00am-noon. Bring snack/water. From Needham Center take Chestnut St. for 1.5mi. to end. Bear R on Dedham St. & go 1.5mi. to pkg. lot on L at tennis courts. Steady rain cancels. L Henry Gardner.

Sun, Aug 10, 2014. Middlesex Fells, Winchester. Sheepfold pkg. lot. Mod to stren. 6 mi. hike over many hills & rough terrain. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, snacks. Take Rte. 93S to exit 35. At stop sign, go L under highway. At next stop sign go R. At first set of lights turn R onto Rte. 28S. Turn R into Sheepfold entrance. Or take Rte. 93N to exit 33. Follow Rte. 28 N 2 mi. to Sheepfold entrance on the left. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo.

Sat, Aug 16, 2014. West Quincy Quarries & Granite Railway. 5.5-mile 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, 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, Aug 16, 2014. Boston's South End Old and New. [Registration Required] From 10:00am-2:00pm. Walk shady streets and explore social history, architecture, filled land & parks. Meet indoors Back Bay T Station (Orange Line) near exit turnstile. Bring lunch and water. Heavy rain cancels. Limited to 15. Register with Leader. L Sharon Marshall.

Sun, Aug 17, 2014. Midstate Trail hike. Meet at 11:00am at Barre Falls Dam [GPS 42.427891 - 72.023797]. From Rte. 68, take Rte. 62 west for 2.2 miles. Take left on entrance road, and park in first lot on left, just before dam. Leave most cars and shuttle back to the "Town Hayfield" parking spot in Princeton. Hike south 8.5 miles over back roads, through Ware River watershed and Savage Hill. L Tia Koziak.

Sun, Aug 17, 2014. Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. From 9am-1pm. Bring lunch, water, and snacks. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, and continue 4 miles. From Route 1, take Walnut Street exit, and continue 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. L Nelson Caraballo.

Join fellow volunteers for the First Boston Parks Count!

On Saturday, September 6, 2014, the Boston Public Health Commission, community stakeholders and over 300 volunteers will come together for the City of Boston's first Parks Count. Parks Count will track park usage to better understand who is using Boston's parks, what features the parks are being used for, and establish measures for new community programs and health initiatives.

More information at: http://www.bostoncares.org/ParksCount.

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

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

Want more listings? Interested in listings for other AMC chapters and committees? You can do a complete search at http://trips.outdoors.org.

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)

Most photos by Jack Boudreau. Others by Mike Stadelmaier, Phil Witonsky, and Susan Luo.