Want to create an itinerary from this post?
Who doesn’t love fall? It’s a beautiful season for all, particularly when it comes to sweeping landscapes of foliage. We know how much you appreciate the colors Mother Nature wears this time of the year, Massachusetts is one of the best states for leaf peeping, especially for hikers.
If spending time outdoors is on the agenda, here are just a few of the amazing trails and fantastic vistas hikers can experience in Massachusetts.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Ipswich River Trail Map, source: Mass Audubon
Along the Ipswich River, there are 12 miles of interconnecting trails will take you on a journey through wetlands, forests, meadows, and esker. You will be charmed by all the colors of the fall. Along the trails, you will be able to hear birds of different species. You can also visit a grotto of narrow passages, along with a series of caves that were constructed in 1905.
Doane Falls on the Tully Trail, credit: Dorothy Miller
This mountain is great for seasoned hikers. The Tully Trail is a 22-mile loop that goes around the Tully Valley in the North Quabbin Region of Central Massachusetts. Hiking from Mount Monadnock into the hills of Quabbin offers many, picture-perfect and colorful scenes for hikers and tourists to enjoy.
If an advanced mountain hike sounds like a bit much for you, consider a journey to Doane’s Falls – an easy, leisurely route near Tully Lake Dam.
View of Boston from Noanet Peak, credit: C.R. Cheek
More than 17 miles of trails await hikers of all experience levels at the Noanet Woodlands. Shaded trails and beautiful, leaf-covered paths can be found here, but the most eye-catching element is found at Noanet Peak. If you make it to the top, you will discover a terrific view of the Boston skyline. It’s an image that will stay in your memories forever. The cityscape is a sharp contrast to the colors ablaze in nature. Just imagine waking up in the morning, unzipping your tent, and soaking in the view.
Additional trails connect Noanet Peak to Hale Reservation – a private, 1200 acre open space full of trails for hiking and connecting with nature. This area is also great for mountain biking, horseback riding and birding.
Middlesex Fells Reservation
Middlesex Fells Reservation, source: Meghan Ireland, AllTrails.com
The trails at Middlesex Fells Reservation guide hikers through a variety of scenery. Difficulty levels range from beginner-friendly to expert hikes.
Trails West of I-93
- Skyline Trail – a difficult one, but just like the Noanet Peak route, you’ll find a Boston skyline revealed.
- Long Pond Nature Trail – an easy trail where you can learn about animals, plants, insects and geology along the way from manuals found at the trail stations.
- Cross Fells Trail – on this challenging trail, you will find almost all the features of the reservation. The trail starts in the Western Fells, goes to wetlands at Whitmore Brook, and it ends in the Eastern Fells.
- Bear Hill Trail – the trail begins in the woods at the base of Bear Hill Tower, which you may climb if you choose.
Trails East of I-93:
- Crystal Spring Trail – this trail ascends Whip and Wamoset Hills, goes near the Crystal Spring and connects to Virginia Wood trail.
- Virginia Wood Trail – this trail traverses one of the first private lands given for public conservation purposes. In the woods you can also find the site of the old, mill town of Haywardville. The remains of the town, mixed with the colors of autumn, are a sight to behold.
- Rock Circuit Trail – this hike is a difficult one, as the trail traverses a rocky outcrop best suited for experienced hikers.
Race Brook Falls
Race Brook Falls, source: NewEnglandWaterfalls.com
Prepare to be awed on six miles of trails that run through the southern Berkshires at Race Brook Falls. Along the hike, you’ll encounter a gorgeous scene of five waterfalls and a beautiful view along the Taconic Ridge. Here, you can also find Mount Everett, the highest peak in the southern Berkshires.
There you have it: the best hikes in Massachusetts! Before embarking on any hike, no matter how easy, you should always be prepared and consider a few guidelines:
- Even if you are not planning on staying in the woods for very long, you must have some food, water, a compass, and a map with you
- Wear adequate footwear and clothing
- If you get lost, don’t panic. Sit down, relax and try to see where have you been with the help of your map
- Some trails, such as the Tully Trail, cross through private properties. Please respect the rights of the owners and stay on the trail.
- Note instructions on bringing pets on trails. On the Tully Trail, dogs must be on leash at all times.
- During autumn, there might be some heavy rainstorms; and parts of various trails may be under water. Take proper precautions and call park or trail services for information.
Hiking in Massachusetts during the foliage season is not to be missed! Whether you’re going with family, friends, or solo, you’ll find beautiful sights and discover the source of lasting memories.