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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 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.

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 hiking is ... the best!

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 23. Wildcat Conservation Area, Boxford. Kids and dogs are welcome. Meet at 1:00pm. It will be about 2 hours, easy terrain, moderate pace. From Rte. 95 take Rte. 133 into West Boxford center, head east on Main St. to a 4 way intersection with grassy patch in center. Go left on Ipswich Rd. to another 4 way, then right onto Hemlock Rd. (at the 4 way Spofford Rd. comes in from the left) Very soon find a parking on on the right. L Steve Davis.

Sat, Sept 23. 4th Annual Duxbury Beach Walk. 10:00am-2:00pm. This year we will extend the walk to the end of Duxbury Beach and have lunch at the Gurnet Point Lighthouse. Moderate pace. Bring lunch, snacks, and water. No children or dogs. Heavy rain cancels. If uncertain, contact Lisa or Mary. Ls Lisa Fleischman, Mary Wisbach.
Directions: From North or South: Take Route 3 to Exit 11, Turn R going East, Exit roundabout at 2nd turn from either direction which is Congress/West Street 1.8 miles, then bear R onto Church St, which turns into George St. 1.1 miles, then L at the flagpole onto Powder Point Rd (no street sign), Powder Point Rd to end, Parking in small lot to the right. No street parking. Call Mary (781-771-3680) if needed.

Sat, Sept 23. Breakheart Reservation, Saugus. Fast-paced, very challenging 6-mile hike with steep scrambles and lots of views, 9:30am-1:30pm. Bring lunch, water, and hiking boots. From Rt. 1 in Saugus take Lynn Fells Pkwy West 0.3 mi., right onto Forrest Street. Park at end. Meet at Visitors Center. Rain cancels. L Marc Hurwitz.

Sun, Sept 24. Powisset Farm to Noanet Woodlands and back, Dover. 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Easy loop walk from Powisset Farm (Trustees of Reservations) to Hale Reservation to Noanet Woodlands and back. Level walking. Meet at Trustees of Reservations parking lot on Powisset Street in Dover. L Jean Veigas.

Sun, Sept 24. Gamlin Crystal Spring, Groton. 1:00pm-3:00pm. Explore this large and pretty area of various conservation lands, including a number of beaver ponds, meadows, and upland forest. Meet at the Crystal Spring parking area on the west side of Old Dunstable Road at 42.63118N 71.51023W. About 2 hours, moderate pace. L Olin Lathrop.

Wed, Sept 27. Walden Pond/Lincoln Woods. (postponed from Sept 20) Meeting at 10:30am at Walden Pond Reservation Visitor Center. Distance is 4 miles or 3 hours. Apres hike lunch in Concord is optional. Reg. required. Limited to 12. L Barbara Fay.

Sat, Sept 30. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 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.

Sun, Oct 1. 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. Bring water and snack. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.

Sat, Oct 7. JFK/UMass to Rowes Wharf walk. 9:00am-2:30pm. Meet at the JFK/UMass Red Line T Station at the outdoor plaza located between the T Station and Morrissey Boulevard, and join us for a moderate-paced 10 mile walk, with stops at points of interest along the way. 10 miles. There will be opportunities to leave by public transportation during the walk. Bring lunch, snacks, and water. Rain date: Oct 8 (Sun). Questions? Contact Lisa or Fran. Ls Lisa Fleischman, Fran Price.

Sun, Oct 22. Flat Rock Audubon, Fitchburg, MA. Mod/easy 6 mile hilly ramble through varied woodlands and by four reservoirs. 9:30am-3:00pm. 9:30am-3:00pm. Directions: from Rte. 95/128 exit 29; Rte. 2W 28 mi. to exit 32, N Rte. 13 4.5mi, L Rte. 2A 1mi. to light, R John Fitch Hwy. 1.7mi., L Rte. 31 at stop sign (Burbank Hospital) 0.3mi. uphill bear R, past emerg. entr. to Helipad Pkg. Heavy rain cancels. L Mark Levine.

Sun, Oct 22. Groton Hills, Groton. 1:00pm-3:00pm. This walk has it all, including deep woods, open fields, beaver ponds, and even bagging a 500 footer with good views. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet at the end of Kaileys Way, 42.62245N 71.54062W. L Olin Lathrop.

Sat, Oct 21. Wollaston Beach, Quincy. Fast-paced 7-mi walk along Wollaston Beach, Marina Bay, Squantum, 9:00am-noon. Bring snack/water. From SE Expwy, exit 8 (Quincy), take Furnace Brook Pkwy. 2.8mi, L onto Quincy Shore Dr. L at first light into lot. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.

Sat, Nov 4. 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 5. Andres Art Institute Sculpture Garden, Brookline, NH. Explore trails through 140-acre hilltop international sculpture garden - largest in NE, w/views, constantly changing exhibits and interesting finds. Note, some steep sections & rough terrain. 9:45am-2:00pm. Take Rte. 2 W 20 mi. past Concord, MA rotary. R on Rte. 13N 15 mi., L Andres driveway (2.5 mi. N MA/NH state line). 100 yds to pkg. lot on R. L Mark Levine.

Sat, Nov 18. Glacial Features Walks, Sudbury. 9:30am-11:30am. Join glaciologist/geophysicist Bruce Porter for a walk through Gray Reservation/Haynes Meadow Reservation/Water District protection zone to explore the many features formed by the glacier that blanketed New England 10,000 yrs. ago. Kettles pit the plane and kame terraces rise abruptly to create beautiful vistas of the wetlands below. Be able to identify eskers, erratics, kames, and more on your next hike. Flat with one steep 50 foot section. Bring water. AMC non-member: $1. Severe weather cancels. Questions: Contact Lisa. Meet at the Curtis Middle School, (-71.43282, 42.381020) 22 Pratts Mill Road, Sudbury. L Lisa Fleischman, CL Bruce Porter. Registration required. Limit 14 participants. Contact Lisa to register.

Thurs, Nov 23. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo.

Fri, Nov 24. Annual Ayer/Groton Hills walk. 10:00am-3:00pm. Get far away from shopping malls on Black Friday and join the longest continually running hike in the AMC. We'll explore 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 NW corner of the parking lot behind Nashoba Hospital on Groton Road in Ayer, 42.57878N 71.57399W. L Olin Lathrop.

Thurs, Dec 7. Ponkapoag Pond Hike, Canton. 10:00am-12:30pm. Moderate to fast pace, with occasional stops. 4½ - 5-mi. hike around The Pond, Boardwalk/Bog option. Bring snack/lunch & water. From Rte. 93/128 exit 2A, take Rte. 138 South 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course Parking Lot (2167 Washington St.). Lot on Left. Free. L Ken Cohen.

Sun, Dec 10. Groton Town Forest. 1:00pm-3:00pm. Explore the varied topography and habitats of this scenic woodland, including eskers, kettle holes, dry upland, marsh, the dead river, and more. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet at end of Town Forest Road off of MA 225 in W Groton, 42.5973N 71.6052W. L Olin Lathrop.

Mon, Dec 25. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo.

Mon, 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. L Beth Mosias.

Mon, Dec 25. Foss Farm, Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Greenough Land, Carlisle. 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.


DCR Southeastern Massachusetts Adult Walking Club - Fall 2017 (PDF)


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 (2017)

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.