The Best Outdoor Activities in Massachusetts

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Explore Bash Bish Falls

Massachusetts / Bish Bash Falls Parking Area, MA

One of my favorite walks to a spectacular falls. The trail is easy to follow and one mile from NY parking lot and 0.5 from the parking lot. The apparent place to swim.

Lucas Gashi
516 Saves

Hike Southern Middlesex Fells Loop

Massachusetts / Middlesex Fells Parking Area

Park in the parking area near Bellevue Pond. There are multiple entrances to the reservation (some closer to the reservoir itself than others).

Hike The Skyline Trail at Blue Hills

Massachusetts / Skyline Trail Trailhead

Park in the lot across from Batterymarch Rd off of Willard St. Access the Skyline trail from here, it is marked blue. Follow the signs.

Hike the Great Blue Hill Trail

Massachusetts / Blue Hills Reservation

This is family-friendly hike takes you to nice views of Boston, after a moderately challenging stretch of elevation gain.

Hike the Purgatory Chasm Trail

Massachusetts / Purgatory Chasm

For this 1-mile hike, you can park at the Purgatory Chasm Visitor Center. From there hit the trail and explore the unusual gap between the tall granite walls, which might be adorned with climbers.

Gustavo Quiros
194 Saves

Explore the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Massachusetts / Parker River Refuge Entrance

Located just north of Boston, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to provide feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds.

Shannon Kalahan
173 Saves

Camp in Provincetown at Dunes' Edge Campground

Massachusetts / Dunes' Edge Campground

Cape Cod, Massachusetts is full of campgrounds and dunes to explore, but the best of the two are located at the very end of the cape, around the areas of Truro and Provincetown.

Chris Mongeau
151 Saves

Walk the Freedom Trail

Massachusetts / Freedom Trail, Boston, MA, United States

Park along the trail and then hop on.

Hike Mount Greylock via Thunderbolt Trail

Massachusetts / Thunderbolt Trailhead

This hike starts in Adams, Mass on Thiel Road. You can drive the road as far as you can until you reach a barrier. There is plenty of room to park off the road on both sides.

Rebecca Nichols
123 Saves

Hike the Wilson Mountain Reservation Trail

Massachusetts / Cutler Park Reservation

This easy, well maintained trail has a little bit of everything you could need for a leisurely loop hike - bridges and streams, views of Boston, bird watching, and a dog-friendly policy (leash on).

Hike Provincetown Dunes on the Cape Cod National Seashore

Massachusetts / Provincetown Dunes

Begin your journey from a small parking area that holds 3 cars just off route 6 (additionally you can park on the side of the road) The trail head is unmarked until about 50' into the woods where you.

Leah Joy
95 Saves

Hike the Coffeehouse Loop, Douglas State Forest

Massachusetts / Coffeehouse Loop Parking Area

Douglas State Forest is located off of Rte 16 in south central Massachusetts. To access trails and the lake, head to the parking area on Wallum Lake Park Road.

Chris Mongeau
85 Saves

Hike the Hellcat Dunes Trail

Massachusetts / Hellcat Dunes Parking Area

Park in the parking area off of Refuge Rd. Take the Dunes Trail, a boardwalk path for the 0.7-mile loop. Enjoy the views from an observation deck on three-story-high dunes.

Gustavo Quiros
72 Saves

Photograph Castle Hill

Massachusetts / Castle Hill

Castle Hill refers to either a 165-acre drumlin surrounded by sea and salt marsh or to the mansion that sits on the hill.

Tye Martinez
69 Saves

Run the Arnold Arboretum Trail

Massachusetts / Arnold Aboretum

Park in the lot off of Arborway to access the trail. This place is gorgeous year round.

Hike Monument Mountain

Massachusetts / Monument Mountain Trailhead

At 1642 feet (with a total elevation gain of 720 feet), Squaw Peak is a great spot to see both Mt Greylock along the Vermont border, and the Catskills in New York.

Shannon Kalahan
63 Saves

Bike the Minuteman Bikeway

Massachusetts / Minuteman Bikeway Bedford Entrance

Park in the lot on Railroad Ave to access the Minuteman Bikeway from Bedford, MA. This 10-mile point-to-point paved path takes you through the scenic natural setting of Bedford.

Catch a Sunset at Gilbert Hill

Massachusetts / Gibbert Hill

From Rt. I-495 Exit 31, Gibbert Hill has one of the greatest sunsets around Groton, MA area. You will see a lot of cows and even a castle.

Marilia Lima
60 Saves

Hike the March Cataract Falls Trail

Massachusetts / March Cataract Trailhead

Park at the Junction of Sperry Rd and Rockwell Rd. To get to the trailhead, hike along Sperry Road for about 30 minutes. (Not to the end of the road, see map below.

Hike around Walden Pond

Massachusetts / Walden Pond Path Parking

Park in the lot ($8 for MA residents) by Walden Pond to access the trail, and head out either direction on the loop around the pond. Trail is accessible from April-October.

Hike the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Trail

Massachusetts / Ipswitch River Wildlife Parking Lot

Park in the Ipswitch River Wildlife Sanctuary parking lot at the end of Perkins Row.  You can turn left on Rockery Trail or right on Innermost Trail for this 3.5-mile loop.

Kayak Lake Rico

Massachusetts / Lake Rico

Lake Rico is a decent sized lake located in East Taunton, MA. You can spend hours out kayaking and exploring.

Kyle Pierce
48 Saves

Run the Jamaica Pond and Victorian Jamaica Plain Loop

Massachusetts / Jamaica Pond

Park in the Jamaica Pond parking area. You can go either direction on this loop trail, which is highly trafficked and dog-friendly.

Hike Mount Frissell to Brace Mountain

Massachusetts / Mount Frissell Trailhead

This 5.2 mile round trip out/back hike takes you through three states. You start the hike on Mt Washington Road just across from the stone pillar designating the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.

Rebecca Nichols
39 Saves

Summit Mt. Wachusett via the West Side Trail

Massachusetts / Wachusett Mountain West Side Trail

Set your GPS to Wachusett Mountain ski area. Coming from Rt. 2 turn onto Mile Hill Rd and look for your first right to take Bolton Rd.

Gustavo Quiros
34 Saves

Hike the Ashland Reservoir Trail

Massachusetts / Ashland Reservoir Trail

Park in the lot on State Park Road (see map) to access the trail. It's a popular trail that is dog-friendly. Pay attention to the trail as at parts it is not well marked.  Photos: C.C. Chapman

Hike the Ward Trail

Massachusetts / Ward Trail Parking Area

From I-93 Exit 41, take Rt. 125 North 5 mi. Turn right onto Prospect Rd. and follow for 0.3 mi. to entrance and parking (15 cars) on right. -Or-From Rt. I-495 Exit 42, take Rt. 114 East 1.7 mi.

Hike the Blackstone Gorge Trail

Massachusetts / Blackstone Gorge Trail

Park at the lot at the corner of Staples Lane and County Street. From here you can access the Blackstone Gorge Trail. Dogs are allowed on leash.  Photos: Doug Kerr

Hike Mt. Greylock via Money Brook Trail

Massachusetts / Hopper Road Parking Area

Park in the parking lot on Hopper Rd. Walk to the end of the road where you will find the Hopper Trailhead. Take the right fork. The Money Brook trail will take you to a waterfall, the Mt.

Hike the Pratt's Brook Conservation Area Loop

Massachusetts / Pratt's Brook Conservation Area Trailhead

Park on the shoulder of Parker street to access the trailhead. You can punch in the coordinates to a GPS if you need help finding it: 42.4545482, -71.4358192.

Hike the Ponkapoag Pond Trail

Massachusetts / Ponkapoog Pond Trail

Park at the end of Ponkapoag Trail Road to access the trail. Dog friendly, open year round.  Photos: Charles Wohlers, Edward Faulkner

Watch a Sunset at Wachusett Reservoir

Massachusetts / Wachusett Dam Upper Observation Parking

Wachusett Reservoir is located in central Massachusetts, northeast of Worcester. Easy location and parking, you can go anytime of the day and you won't be disappointed.

Marilia Lima
20 Saves

Hike the Weir Hill Reservation Trail

Massachusetts / Legion Beach Parking Lot

Park at the American Legion Beach parking area. You will then cross the eastern corner of Stevens Pond to get to the trail.

Hike Gooseberry Island

Massachusetts / Gooseberry Island

Begin an hour before sunset at the intersection between West Beach and East Beach Road. The intersecting roads will lead you to a paved causeway over the ocean.

Hike along the Nashua River and the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge

Massachusetts / Nashua River and the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge Parking

Park in the lot on Tank Road to access the Nashua River Trail. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles, chipmunks, birds, and other wildlife! This trail is open from April to October.

Gustavo Quiros
15 Saves

Hike Menemsha Hills Reservation Loop

Massachusetts / Menemsha Hills Reservation

GPS service in densely wooded areas on the Vineyard is hard to come by, so plugging in Menemsha Hills Reservation before getting on the road is advised.

Summit Mount Watatic via the Wapack Trail

Massachusetts / Mount Watatic Parking Area

Entering Mount Watatic in your GPS will take you to Rindge State Road (119), continue about two minutes down the road past where the GPS tells you.

Gustavo Quiros
3 Saves