Active City Spotlight: Boston

Your Guide to Running, Cycling, Hiking and Getting Active in New England

Hiking

Places to Hike

For being a centuries-old city, Boston has a good amount of untouched land close by for hikers to explore.

One of the more popular is the Blue Hills Reservation, about 20 minutes south of downtown Boston near Milton. Blue Hills has more than 125 miles of trails that explore the 7,000-acre park.

The best of those trails may be the Skyline Loop, a challenging 3-mile trek that takes hikers to the top of Great Blue Hill, the highest peak on the Atlantic coast south of Maine. Other hikes at Blue Hills include the Buck Hill Loop, and a 4-mile trip around Ponkapoag Pond.

Other great hikes:

Medford: Middlesex Fells a few miles north of Boston has extensive hiking opportunities. Try the Skyline Trail, a 7-mile trek through the woods that will make you forget about the urban metropolis that surrounds you.

Dover: Go to the Noanet Woodlands, with 17 miles of trails, and climb to the top of Noanet Peak (it's not easy!). There, you get a cool view of the Boston skyline in the distance.

Regional: The only national park anywhere near Boston is Acadia, which is located four hours away on the coastline of Maine. A long drive...but it might be worth it if you want to see New England's natural beauty at its best.

Stores to Check Out

A lot of outdoors gear is crammed into the four-story Hilton's Tent City (272 Friend Street), but that's part of the charm. Go here to find outerwear, boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, and more. The entire fourth floor is tents (hence the name). Hilton's Tent City has been in business since 1947. They can help you find a good place to explore the outdoors, too.

Other stores to check out:

  • REI, 401 Park Drive
  • Patagonia, 346 Newbury Street
  • Eastern Mountain Sports, 1041 Commonwealth Avenue

One Last Tip

Looking for a nontraditional hike? Head to the coastline of Ipswich and explore the sand dunes of Crane Beach. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the beautiful scenery and challenging terrain.

More: Hike New England This Summer

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