The Best Hikes Near Boston for the Whole Family

Get out and see the fall foliage without leaving anyone behind.

The beginning of fall on Boston Common. Photo by Melissa Malamut

The beginning of fall on Boston Common. Photo by Melissa Malamut

Even though the city trees have just started changing colors, the hills are alive (sorry) with fall foliage. But you don’t have to travel to Vermont or Maine to see the beauty. Try one of these hikes near Boston.

Blue Hills Reservation, Milton

Adventuresome kids can take on Great Blue Hill, a moderate hike starting at the museum; let the trailside red dots be your guide to the top. For an easier trek, Foul Meadow on the westernmost side is a flat five-mile loop through flowerbeds and wetlands.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, Medford

A massive, 2,500-acre expanse that spans east and west of I-93 offers a challenging mountain bike loop and an educational trail for kids. Try the seven-mile Skyline trail—you’ll feel like you’re in the New Hampshire woods. The Fells also houses Boston’s ultimate dog park, called Sheepfold, a massive open field where dogs can play off-leash.

Noanet Woodlands, Dover

There’s 17 miles of shady hiking trails at these woodlands where you’ll see historic dams and bridges nestled amongst the four ponds. Try taking the red trail to the yellow trail, which will take you up to the summit and back, or commandeer a picnic table hidden amongst the fall foliage—for reading, writing, or introspecting.

Hale Reservation, Westwood

The meandering, well-marked trails at Hale Reservation tend to be less crowded than other parks and can be completed in just a few hours, ideal for half-day adventurers.

White Mountains (Sargents, New Hampshire)

The highest peak in the Northeast offers challenging trails and spectacular views for the experienced hiker. It’s almost 4,000 feet to the top and the terrain can be rugged, so it’s much more than a nature walk. Hikers are encouraged to have previous experience before trying these sometimes-tricky hills.