Willow Brook Farm Preserve is a fairly standard woodland trail with a few features that set it apart. There is a large open field in the middle, a high wooden tower with scenic views, and boardwalks and bridges over wet areas. There are two main loops (one is 1.1 miles, the other is 1.8 miles) that would be great options for children who are ready for a longer hike but might not be able to handle several miles. The only downside is the limited parking!
This trail is mostly mowed grass and boardwalks, making it completely stroller accessible. The beginning of the trail is also wheelchair accessible (see trail map).
The Fox Hill Trail and River walk are through a meadow and marshland, with no shade. You probably wouldn’t want to hike this trail in the middle of the day during the summer. So either come early or come late… or hike on an overcast day… or wait until spring or fall for cooler temperatures.
The trail is home to an abundance of wildlife, so bring binoculars if you have them. It’s a Mass Audubon property known for the bird watching. You’re likely to see a variety of bird species here.
Initially a flood control project for Weymouth Landing, the park opened in 1976 and is operated by the Weymouth-Braintree Regional Recreation-Conservation District. The nonprofit “Friends of Pond Meadow” has helped raise awareness and funds to support the park. It oversees the popular Summer Nature Program, which provides a week of nature experiences for children of Braintree and Weymouth. This hidden gem is enjoyed year-round, thanks to the foresight of a few residents back in the 1970s.
We are huge fans of the Trustees of Reservations. They do amazing work making nature available to the masses while simultaneously preserving historic buildings and promoting the history of Massachusetts. The Bradley Estate, with its 90 gorgeous acres, is no exception. It’s immaculately kept, convenient, and beautiful. The estate hosts weddings from May to October, features amazing gardens in the spring and summer, and offers a wooden reindeer hunt and holiday light walk-through in the winter. Located near Route 95 and the Blue Hills, the Bradley Estate is easy to get to. Parking is a breeze (although it costs $6 if you’re not a member of the Trustees), and you really cannot get lost here, which makes this property a much less intimidating option than the Blue Hills across the highway. Speaking of the highway, that is the one downside to this spot–you will hear the constant hum of cars during your whole hike. However, after a while, it becomes white noise, and you’ll be more focused on your burning calves–this property has a fair amount of steep hills!
This, by far, one of the wackiest places we’ve ever been out in nature. There are painted rocks, toys, trinkets, tchotchke, and random surprises at every turn on this trail. From rusty old chairs, to bedazzled rocks, to dream catchers, to Christmas trees, to a story book trail, Rockland Town Forest has it all. The kids kept repeating–over and over–“We give this trail a 5 for interest level!” They *LOVED* this place. If you’re looking for purity and nature in its rawest form, this trail might not be for you. But for a bit of whimsy and fun that will draw in the kids, this is your spot!
When you think of the Blue Hills, you may think of Great Blue Hill, or the ski area, or maybe Houghton’s Pond or the Trailside Museum. However, the Blue Hills Reservation is HUGE, stretching over 7000 acres, from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph. There are over 125 miles of trails, according to the website. The Blue Hills has much more to offer than just the hike up the main hill (which we love too!).
Bird St. Conservation Area has miles of trails and lots of interesting things to do along the trail. The trail we hike in the video is just under 3 miles. There’s the added benefit of a nice playground and plenty of parking at the entrance.
Webb Memorial State Park is a peninsula that extends half a mile into Hingham Bay. Visitors are treated to scenic views of Boston’s harbor and skyline, and groups can rent a pavilion for special events from May – October. Available activities include fishing, picnicking, and walking.
Ames Nowell is a year-round day use area with recreational activity (including non-motorized boating and fishing) centered around Cleveland Pond. Facilities include a picnic area, ball field and several miles of trails along the pond edge and the surrounding woods.
A well-marked, 2.5mi loop trail accessible from the local high school, Oliver Ames, provides fun for the whole family. There are geocaches, bridges, and a playground at the start of the trail.