AMC logo                      

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
We'll lead. Follow us!

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 here!

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 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.

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.

Thurs, Nov 22. 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 23. 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.

Fri, Nov 23. 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.

Sat, Nov 24. Emerald Necklace, Jamaica Pond and Jamaica Plain. 10:00am-2:00pm. Meet at Longwood T (Green Line D) return Heath St. T (Green Line E). Bring lunch, water. Heavy rain cancels. L Sharon Marshall.

Sun, Nov 25. Middlesex Fells Skyline Trail Loop, Medford. 9:00am-4:00pm (or sooner). Approx. 8 mile hike on the Middlesex Fells Skyline Trail. Meet at Bellevue Pond parking lot at 161 S Border Rd, Medford. L Nancy Cahn.

Sat, Dec 8. Holiday Wreaths & Green Boughs, Boston. Admire seasonal decorations in Boston's Back Bay & Beacon Hill. 9:30am-11:30am. Meet near Park Street T Station (Green Line) at the corner of Tremont and Park Streets. Bring snacks, water. Heavy rain/snow cancels. New members welcome. L Sharon Marshall.

Sat, Dec 15. Walden Pond, Concord. Moderate pace 5 mile walk, across grassy meadows and through hemlock forest, to scenic Walden Pond. Visit a cove, once inhabited by Henry Thoreau. Enjoy sit-down break, on the shore of Walden. 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.

Sun, Dec 16. Habitat Audubon Sanctuary, Belmont - Celebrate the Solstice Walk. The Winter Solstice arrives in just 5 days. We’ll take a slow-paced nature walk through forests and fields and around a pond focusing on plant ID of bare trees, naked shrubs and winter weeds as the natural world prepares for winter. We’ll also talk about fun and interesting natural history about the Winter Solstice as well as about the plants we see. 1:00-4:00pm. 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.

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.

Tues, 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.


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)
{image.index}/{image.total}

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