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Open year-round, dawn to dusk. a peninsula on the hingham/weymouth line at the mouth of the back river, stodder's neck was once an unsightly gravel pit. reclaimed and landscaped in a manner reminiscent of frederick law olmsted's work at world's end, stodder's neck provides harborside walking trails and a hilltop view of the back river.


Ames nowell is a year-round day use area with recreational activity centered around cleveland pond which is popular with boaters and fisherman. development includes a picnic area, ball field and several miles of trails along the pond edge and the surrounding woods.


Ames nowell is a year-round day use area with recreational activity centered around cleveland pond which is popular with boaters and fisherman. development includes a picnic area, ball field and several miles of trails along the pond edge and the surrounding woods.


The appalachian national scenic trail (at) is a passive recreation footpath that runs 2175 miles from springer mountain in georgia to mount katahdin in maine. ninety miles of this long-distance trail are in massachusetts, running along the ridges and traversing the valleys of berkshire county. conceived in 1921 by massachusetts native benton mckaye, the at was designed to provide a continuous green corridor along the ridge of the appalachian chain of mountains and hills.


Ashland state park has 470 acres including the 157 acre ashland reservoir. the park is operated seasonally and provides opportunities for swimming, picnicking, boating, fishing, bicycling and hiking. beach improvements at the park include facilities for wheelchair access to the boathouse and by ramp into the pond.


The ashuwillticook rail trail is a former railroad corridor converted into a 10-foot wide paved, universally accessible, passive recreation path. the ashuwillticook runs parallel to route 8 through the towns of cheshire, lanesborough and adams. the southern end of the rail trail begins at the entrance to the berkshire mall off ma rte. 8 in lanesborough and travels 11.2 miles north to the center of adams. parking lots and restrooms are available at selected locations along the way.


In the extreme southwest corner of the state is a cluster of state parks noted for their spectacular scenery and breathtaking views. located here is bash bish falls, one of massachusetts' most dramatic and its highest single-drop waterfall. cascading water tumbles through a series of gorges and a hemlock-hardwood ravine forest, and then drops about 60 feet into a sparkling pool below.


Beartown state forest has two distinctly different worlds between the summer and winter. during the warm months the pristine 35-acre benedict pond attracts swimmers, boaters and fishermen. an extensive network of trails on over 12,000 acres offers visitors a chance to glimpse deer, bear, bobcat, fisher and other wildlife, including the park's namesake, the black bear. brooks, beaver ponds, rich deciduous forest, flowering shrubs and wildflowers and fall foliage are plentiful. the Appalachian Trail passes near benedict pond and offers spectacular wooded views.


The first reservation established by the metropolitan parks commission (later the mdc) in 1893, beaver brook reservation is 59 acres of open fields, wetlands and woodlands. ponds, fields, marsh, and a cascading waterfall make the park's north section a delightful place to walk or picnic. the more developed south section features ballfields, a wading pool, and a tot lot. beaver brook's historic significance includes reminders of its past; the remains of a 19th century fulling mill, the historic robert morris copeland house (c.1835) and a monument to the waverly oaks, perhaps the most famous trees of the 1890's


Open year-round, 9:00 a.m. to dusk. belle isle marsh reservation preserves 152 acres of the 241-acre belle isle marsh, boston's last remaining salt marsh. a unique place to explore, the reservation exemplifies the type of wetlands that once lined the massachusetts bay shore. centuries of flourishing plant life have made the marsh more fertile than the richest farm land. its protected waters are nurseries to fish and shellfish and are critical habitat to many saltmarsh plants and wildlife rare to the metropolitan area. in addition to the preservation of the natural areas of the marsh, the dcr manages 28 acres of landscaped park with pathways, benches and an observation tower.


The blackstone river and canal heritage state park recalls the role of canals in transporting raw materials and manufactured goods between emerging industrial centers. walk along restored sections of the blackstone river canal and towpath from the River Bend Farm Visitors Center.


Located only minutes from the bustle of downtown boston, the dcr blue hills reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from quincy to dedham, milton to randolph, providing a green oasis in an urban environment. rising above the horizon, great blue hill reaches a height of 635 feet, the highest of the 22 hills in the blue hills chain. from the rocky summit visitors can see over the entire metropolitan area. with its scenic views, varied terrain and 125 miles of trails, the blue hills reservation offers year-round enjoyment for the outdoor enthusiast.


Borderland is one of the most historically significant tracts of publicly owned land in the commonwealth. created in the early 1900s by artist and suffragist blanche ames and her botanist husband oakes, borderland offers many of the same pleasures that the ames family enjoyed: walking and horseback riding on woodland trails, fishing and canoeing in the ponds, or, in winter, ice-skating and sledding.


The massachusetts department of conservation and recreation (ma dcr, state parks) is one of twelve managing partners of the boston harbor islands national recreation area. this park system includes 34 islands and peninsulas spread over fifty square miles of bays, harbors, and rivers within the greater boston harbor basin.


This 721-acre former estate features pine needled paths, acres of sunny rolling meadows and spectacular rhododendrons which line old carriage roads. peak bloom is usually in mid-june.


Open year-round, dawn to dusk. breakheart reservation is a 640-acre hardwood forest with jagged, rocky outcroppings, two fresh-water lakes, and a rambling section of the saugus river. seven rocky hills, over 200 feet high, provide vistas of boston, southern new hampshire and central massachusetts. an extensive trail system through the woodlands guides visitors to various areas of the reservation. fishing in silver and pearce lakes, hiking the trails and birdwatching by the saugus river are popular year-round activities. the supervised swimming area at pearce lake, one of the few fresh- water swimming spots north of boston, draws crowds in the summer. in addition to its natural resources, the reservation has a rich cultural history.


This rolling, heavily forested property has over 20 miles of roads and trails and is used primarily for hiking, walking, horseback riding and fishing. dean pond recreation area, located in the western portion of brimfield state forest, has a pavilion, comfort station, 100 linear feet of beach and picnic facilities. the roads are popular for equestrian use and related special events.


Offering 140 acres in the town of norfolk, the reservation was once home to a commercial sawmill operation. a large, open field welcomes visitors and an old stone lined cow path leads to stony brook pond and teal marsh where turtles and great blue herons are easy to spy. a boardwalk leads over kingfisher pond to a stand of beech trees,  which is a popular spot for a wide variety of wildlife viewing.  it is adjacent to the massachusetts audubon’s 116 acre stony brook wildlife sanctuary and is managed collaboratively with them. 


This national historic landmark is 179 acres of rolling fields, woodland and wetland and was the location of the experimental society of transcendentalists who lived on the farm in the 1840's. tours are offered periodically through the year.


Callahan state park is a 820-acre day use area located in northwest framingham. callahan has seven miles of marked trails and is used for activities including fishing, hiking, horseback riding (horses not provided) and cross-country skiing. within the park are nearly 100 acres of open fields, 70 acres of which are currently under an agricultural lease.


The cape cod rail trail follows a former railroad right-of-way for 22 miles through the towns of dennis, harwich, brewster, orleans, eastham and wellfleet. its paved surface, few hills, and well-marked automobile crossings make it ideal for cyclists. the trail has a wide unpaved shoulder on one side to accommodate horseback riding, walkers, and runners.


Fort independence, a pentagonal five-bastioned, granite fort built between 1834 and 1851, is the dominating feature of castle island. this 22-acre urban park is connected to the mainland by both pedestrian and vehicular causeways. pleasure bay, the m street beach and carson beach form a three mile segment of parkland and beach along the south boston shoreline of dorchester bay. carson beach offers some beautiful views and great public amenities: a rehabilitated mothers' rest, public restrooms, exhibit space, first aid and lifeguard functions, while the outdoor courtyards allow space for passive recreation. carson beach also features a walkway which allows one to walk, bike, or run along the water's edge from castle island to the kennedy library.


Dcr's charles river reservation is a linear park stretching from boston harbor up the river for 20 miles. the lower half of the reservation, from downtown boston to the watertown dam, is the Charles River Basin, which includes the esplanade on the boston side. the basin abuts the campuses of mit, boston university and harvard. the Upper Charles River section of the reservation begins at watertown square and meanders to riverdale park in west roxbury.


Chester-blandford state forest offers a rustic park experience and spectacular sanderson brook falls. explore trails and places with names like mica mine road and gold mine brook that recall the days when the hills of Chester were pitted with small mines producing mica, emery and corundum. boulder park features an easy-graded universal access interpretive trail and pavilion amidst shady eastern hemlocks.


Considered a nineteenth-century masterpiece of engineering, urban planning and landscape design, the chestnut hill reservation is listed on the national register of historic places and is a city of boston landmark.  today, visitors can jog, walk their dog (please keep on leash and remove waste), or just stroll around the historic reservoir. open year-round, dawn to dusk. click here for more information on the history of the reservation.
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