Appalachian Mountain Club
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
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
Spring is here! (Really)
Upcoming Local Walks ($1 for non-members...but, please, become a member!):
Fri, Mar 23. Beacon Hill/North End, Boston. Leisurely 5-mi walk including historic streets, secret alleyways, and a visit to two bakeries and an Italian food shop. 6:30-9:15pm. Meet outside Park St. T-stop at wall/fence abutting Park St. Steady rain/snow cancels. L Marc Hurwitz.
Sat, Mar 24. Fairyland Pond, Walden Pond, Fairhaven Bay, Concord/Lincoln. Brisk 8-mile hike/snowshoe including multiple bodies of water, old-growth forests, and scenic views. 9:45am-2:00pm. Bring lunch/water. From Rte. 2, take 126 North 0.6 mile. Park on R behind Concord Courthouse. Rain/snow cancels. L Marc Hurwitz.
Sun, Mar 25. Mine Falls, Nashua, NH. 6-mile easy walk along Nashua River, canal with 1886 gatehouse, spectacular waterfall in 325-acre park, from 9:45am-2:00pm. Bring lunch and water. Route 128 Exit 32, Burlington, to Route 3N toward Nashua. Stay right on Exit 5 lane and take Exit 5A (Simon Street), then left on Simon Street, left on Whipple Street to parking lot at the end. Heavy rain cancels. L Mark Levine.
Sun, Apr 1. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. Moderate pace 5-mi. hike around pond, 10:30am-2:00pm. Bring lunch & water. From Rte. 93/128 exit 2A, take Rte. 138 S 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course lot on L. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.
Sat, Apr 7. 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, Apr 8. Horse Hill Nature Preserve, Merrimac, NH. A 6 mi. forest hike over two prominent hills on well maintained trails Some ledges and steep ascents. 9:30am-2:00pm. This area is approx 14mi north of the NH/MA border. Head north on Rte. 3 toward Nashua, NH. and at the state line continue on the Everett Tpk. Take Exit 11, turn left onto Continental Blvd and then right at the first cross street onto Amherst Rd. Parking on left just under 3 mi. GPS address is 184 Amherst Rd, Merrimac, NH. L Mark Levine.
Sun, Apr 8. Medfield Charles River State Reservation, Medfield. 1:00pm-3:00pm. Hike new trails along the Charles River and through former farmland on the 400 acre campus of the abandoned Medfield State Hospital. Park and meet at the stone entry gate at 45 Hospital Rd., Medfield. L Jean Veigas.
Sat, Apr 14. Warner Trail, Cumberland, RI. 9am-4pm. 10-mi. mod. hike from Wampum Corner, Wrentham to Diamond Hill. 74th season. Bring lunch and water. We will spot cars before the hike. I-95S to Route 295S Exit 11 in Cumberland, RI, then Route 114N for 3.7 miles to Diamond Hill State Park on the right opposite the Ice Cream Machine. Heavy rain cancels. Email Jim if uncertain. L Laura Cerier, CL Jim Goyea.
Thurs, Apr 19. Billerica Bay Circuit Presentation, Billerica. The Bay Circuit trail - sometimes named "Bay Secret" trail: A brilliant idea conceived in 1929 as an 'outer emerald necklace' connecting green gems surrounding Boston. Today it is a 230 mile thru-hike, but Billerica is still a gap! Find out why and 'til when, and how trails and land conservation go hand in hand. Unless you've already attended one of these, this (free) multimedia presentation by Alan French, Dan and Marilyn Brielmann is not to be missed. Billerica Public Library on 15 Concord Rd. L Marlies Henderson (978-808-6634 between 8am and 8pm).
Sun, Apr 22. Historic Middlesex Canal, Wilmington. Meet at 1:30pm at the Wilmington Town Park across from 760 Main Street (Rte. 38). The Appalachian Mountain Club and the Middlesex Canal Association will host the walk along a section of the historic Middlesex Canal. Points of interest along the route will include the Ox Bow Turn where striations from the tow ropes are embedded in the ledge along the canal, the signs of spring as the trek continues through the 14-acre tract gifted to the MCA by Stanley Webber and his daughter, Julia Ann Fielding, and finally Patches Pond. Additional information is available at www.middlesexcanal.org. I-95/Route 128 Exit 35 (Woburn), Route 38N for 2.4 miles to the Wilmington Town Park lot on the left. L Robert Winters.
Sun, Apr 29. Groton Traverse. 1:00pm. This hike will feature an impressive variety of environments while traversing a large patchwork of open and conserved lands. We will see beaver ponds, eskers, drumlins, marshes, dry uplands, hemlock groves, open fields, pretty streams, and wide vistas from hilltops. We will meet at Williams Barn (42.6265N 71.5610W), leave some cars, carpool to the start, and end up back at Williams Barn. About 2 hours, moderate pace. L Olin Lathrop.
Sun, Apr 29. Acton Arboretum, Acton. Slow-paced nature walk in search of a variety of early spring wild flowers and other signs of spring in the meadow, woods and bog of the Acton Arboretum. The walk will focus on plant ID and natural history. 1:00-4:00pm. From Concord rotary, take Rte 2 West 2.2 miles, Right on Taylor Road 0.7 miles to Arboretum on right. The Acton Arboretum is opposite #15 Taylor Rd. Arrive early, parking limited. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.
Sun, May 6. Hale Reservation, Westwood. Level woodland walk, past two lakes, then a short scramble up Powisett Peak and return. Meet at Cat Rock Parking Lot, Hale Reservation, Westwood., 1:00-3:00pm. 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. L Jean Veigas.
Sat, May 12. Warner Trail, Wrentham. 9am-4pm. 10-mi. mod. hike from Wampum Corner to Crocker Pond. Bring lunch & water. We will spot cars before the hike. Meet at Crocker Pond Conservation Area on Myrtle St. (off Rt 1). Heavy rain cancels. Email Jim if uncertain. L Laura Cerier, CL Jim Goyea.
Sun, May 13. Blue Hills Hike, Milton. Blue Hills - 5 mile brisk-paced hike along yellow triangle trail with rolling hills, 9:30am-noon. Meet at Houghton's Pond parking lot. From Rte. 93/128 exit 3 (Houghtons/Ponkapoag), go N 0.5 mi. to stop sign, R on Hillside St. 0.2 mi. to Houghtons Pond lot on R. Bring lunch and water. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.
Sun, May 13. Beaver Brook Assoc., 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.
Sun, May 20. Rocky Hill Sanctuary and adjoining woodlands, Groton. 1:00pm. This is a great area to hike around in, with a beautiful point on Long Pond, beaver marshes, a heron rookerie, and more. About 2 hours, moderate pace. No dogs. Meet at the Rocky Hill Sanctuary parking area off of Robin Hill Rd. in Groton, 42.5811N 71.5311W. L Olin Lathrop.
Sun, May 20. Grassy Pond Conservation Land, Acton. Slow-paced nature walk through fields and forests to Grassy Pond and the bog boardwalk looking for spring wildflowers The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 1:00-4:00pm. 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. Co-listed under “Family Outings”. Registration Required. Steady rain or heavy snow cancels. L Boot Boutwell.
Sat, May 26. Warner Trail, Sharon. 9am-5pm. 13-mi. mod. hike from Edge Hill Rd. in Sharon to High Rock in Foxboro. Bring lunch & water. We will spot cars before the hike. Meet at High Rock Rd. Turn onto High Rock Rd (paved woods road) 100 yds S of MOM South Motorcycles, 1000 Washington St (Rt 1), Foxboro. Heavy rain cancels. Email Jim if uncertain. L Jim Goyea, CL Laura Cerier.
Mon, May 28. 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, June 17. Horn Pond Conservation Land, Woburn. Slow-paced nature walk looking for late spring wildflowers. The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 1:00-4:00pm. 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. The parking area is opposite #48 Lake Ave, Woburn. Parking limited, arrive early. There is additional parking on Arlington Road on the east side of the pond. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.
Sun, June 17. Wollaston Beach, Quincy. Fast-paced 7-mi walk along Wollaston Beach, Marina Bay, 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.
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 permission of Bill Griffith
with permission of Bill Griffith
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)
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