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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, webmaster & 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 coming!

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, Sept 29. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 2, J H Rich Forest. 1:00pm. Come hike along the edge of an old channel of the Nashua River, with its abundant wildlife. Along the way, enjoy the scenic woods and be introduced to the Nashua River Rail Trail. Meet at the Rail Trail parking lot on Sand Hill Road, 42.63244N 71.57577W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Sept 29. Hough's Neck, Quincy. Unusual, fast-paced 6-mile hike partly along proposed Sea to Summit Greenway, including salt marshes, a long path along a dike, hidden ocean beaches, and a former Boston Harbor island, all with spectacular views, 9:45am-1:00pm. Bring hiking boots/sturdy sneakers, snack & water. From SE Expwy, exit 8 (Quincy), take Furnace Brook Pkwy. east 2.8 mi., R onto Quincy Shore Dr. for 0.4 mi., L on Sea Street for 2.7 mi. to municipal lot across from Louis restaurant at corner of Bay View Avenue. GPS Coordinates (42.2714856N, 70.9515028W). Rain cancels. L Marc Hurwitz.

Sat, Oct 6. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 3, Town Forest. 1:00pm. Come explore this local gem with varied woods, the Nashua and Squannacook rivers, and its high concentration of glacial topography, including eskers and kettle holes. This area also features several bogs, which are unusual at this latitude. Meet at the end of Town Forest Road, 42.59741N 71.60508W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop.

Mon, Oct 8. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. 4 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. L Beth Mosias.

Sat, Oct 13. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 4, The Esker Trail. 1:00pm. Come see New England woods at their best. This hike features beaver ponds, the scenic Cow Pond Brook, glacial topography, and all around pretty woods and beautiful settings. Meet at the end of Cow Pond Brook Road, 42.62493N 71.50263W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Oct 13. Warner Trail Fall Hike, Wrentham. 9:00am-4:00pm. 10-mi. mod. hike from Wampum Corner to Crocker Pond. Bring lunch & water. We will spot cars before the hike. Meet 9:00am at Crocker Pond Conservation Area on Myrtle St. (off Rte. 1; use 270 Myrtle Street, Wrentham, MA in your GPS). Heavy rain cancels. Email or text Laura if uncertain. L Laura Cerier, CL Jim Goyea.

Sun, Oct 14. North Pack Monadnock (Ted’s & Carolyn’s loop), Greenfield, NH. A rugged, scenic loop of 6.5mi. via Ted's & Carolyn's trails. 9:30am-2:30pm. From Nashua, NH, take Rte. 101A west toward Milford, NH. Blend onto Rte. 101 west toward Wilton, NH. Head north toward Lyndeboro on Rte. 31 and turn left ~8mi. on Russell Station Rd. (look for the Trebuchet Adventure Park on the right and Trojan Horse on the left by this intersection). Continue to Mountain Rd. and turn right ~0.5mi. to parking in a small alcove on the right opposite trailhead. Storm cancels. L Mark Levine.

Sun, Oct 14. Grassy Pond Conservation Land, Acton, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through fields and forests to Grassy Pond looking for autumn wildflowers and fruits as well as winter weeds. We may also see some witches and skeletons preparing for Halloween. The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 1:00pm-4:00pm. 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. Go 1.1 miles. Parking lot on left just past small meadow. Heavy rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell (781-729-4712).

Sat, Oct 20. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 5, Sabine Woods. 1:00pm. Don't miss the season finale of our Fabulous Fall series. We will hike along the banks of a protected stretch of the Nashua River, and loop back thru New England woods in their fall splendor. Meet at the Groton Place parking area on the south side of Rt 225, just east of the Nashua River, 42.60489N 71.59599W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Oct 20. 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. We will meet at the Gazebo. Bring snack and water. Storm cancels. L. Beth Mosias.

Sat, Oct 27. Walden Pond, Concord. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across grassy meadows and through hemlock forest, to scenic Walden Pond. Visit a cove inhabited by Henry Thoreau, during the mid-1800’s. We will walk upon the woodland footpaths, where the transcendentalist contemplated life, on his early morning wanderings. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at China Ruby Restaurant, in nearby Maynard, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Lincoln Train Station commuter parking lot. From Route 2, take Route 126 South for 2 miles. Turn left on Codman Road, follow to end. Turn left, see Train Station on left. L Brian Connolly.

DCR Approves 2018 Deer Management Plan for Blue Hills State Reservation [November 2018]
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), in consultation with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), today approved the 2018 Deer Management Plan for the Blue Hills State Reservation. Based upon the success of controlled hunting efforts last year, DCR and MassWildlife will implement a controlled hunting plan this year that closely mirrors last year’s plan. Similar to last year, the 2018 plan features two phases of hunting in the Blue Hills including permitted archery hunting in limited areas of the reservation during the month of November and a four-day shotgun hunt in late November/early December. While the 4-day shotgun hunt will remain exactly the same as last year, the permitted archery hunt includes an additional 180 acres that have already been hunted in prior years during the shotgun segment of the controlled hunt. As such, there are no overall significant enhancements to this year’s deer management program.

Under legislative mandate, the DCR is required to implement a management plan where deer overpopulation is negatively impacting forests, water resources, or plant growth on department owned land. The Blue Hills Deer Management Program utilizes controlled and permitted hunting as part of DCR’s efforts to manage the high deer densities within the state reservation. Benefits of managing the deer herd within the Blue Hills Reservation include:

  • The promotion of tree and plant regeneration, including rare plants;
  • The sustainability of species diversity; and
  • The diminished risk of forest wildfires due to the growth of plant life.

DCR has safely and successfully conducted three annual controlled hunts in the Blue Hills Reservation since 2015. In light of DCR’s commitment to long-term deer management in the Blue Hills and in order to continue these successful efforts, DCR and MassWildlife will continue to implement controlled hunting in the Blue Hills in 2018. Similar to last year, Phase 1 of this year’s program features limited archery hunting in designated areas of the reservation on Mondays through Thursdays between November 5, 2018 and November 21, 2018. Licensed hunters will be required to submit an application and DCR will utilize a random lottery to select 100 hunters to receive permits.

Also similar to last year, Phase 2 of the program includes four days of shotgun hunting on the following days; Week 1: Tuesday, November 27, 2018, and Thursday, November 29, 2018; and, Week 2: Tuesday, December 4, 2018, and Thursday, December 6, 2018. Licensed hunters will be required to submit an application and DCR will utilize a random lottery to select a total of 262 hunters. Half of these hunters (131) will be permitted to hunt during the first two days and the other half will be permitted to hunt during the second two days.

The use of licensed public hunters in managing deer populations is one of the most widely used management methods employed throughout the United States. In Massachusetts, it is the primary management tool supported by MassWildlife and has been shown to be successful in addressing situations involving deer overabundance and vegetation over-browse. The Quabbin Reservoir controlled deer hunt is the most notable example. In addition, DCR manages thousands of acres of forest and parkland across the Commonwealth where licensed hunters are allowed to hunt during the regulated seasons.

Hunters interested in applying for archery and/or shotgun hunting should click on the following link: Blue Hills Deer Management Program to review application instructions as well as to complete and submit an application. Selected hunters will be required to complete a mandatory hunter orientation to review the guidelines for deer hunting in the Blue Hills. Also contained on the program webpage is the 2017 Program Overview & Results, which provides information regarding logistics and an analysis of harvest results from last year’s controlled hunting program.

Sat, Nov 3. Boston's Developing Waterfront. Moderately 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 street level at exit to Dewey Square. Bring lunch, water. Heavy rain/forecast over 90°F cancels. No dogs. New members welcome. L Sharon Marshall.

Sat, Nov 3. 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.

Sun, Nov 4. Beaver Brook Associates, Hollis, NH. 8-9mi. over varied terrain w/pond & brook views, beaver lodges, waterfowl & "French meadow", 9:30am-3:00pm. Minor rock scramble & mystery cave home to a common animal. Bring lunch, boots. From Rte. 3 exit 6 in Nashua, take Rte. 130 W 5.8 mi. to light in Hollis Ctr., continue 1.8 mi. SW to dirt pkg. area on N side of Rte. 130. Heavy rain cancels. L Mark Levine.

Sat, Nov 17. Crane Beach, Ipswich. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across scenic sand dunes, and along 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.

Tues, Dec 25. Foss Farms, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Greenough Land, Carlisle, MA. Easy approx. 4-5 mi. wander through a good birding area with river and pond views, pine forest and red maple swamp. Snowshoe if sufficient snow cover. Meet 10am. Foss Farms parking lot, about 1/3 mi west of Concord River off Rte. 225. From Rte. 128 Exit 31B follow Rtes. 4/225 through Bedford, continuing on Rte. 225 toward Carlisle. Storm cancels. If weather uncertain contact Leader. L Mark Levine.

Tues, 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. If no snow, bring traction device for boots. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.


DCR Blue Hills Reservation & South Coast Sites – Hikes & Happenings – Fall 2018

DCR Southeastern Massachusetts Adult Walking Club - Fall 2018


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.

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 (2018)

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.