11 New England Hikes to Try This Winter
Spend a Saturday on these trails, open all season long.
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Already swap out your hiking boots for Bean boots? Not so fast. Don’t let plummeting temperatures lure you into packing away trusty outdoor gear just yet.
Some of the region’s most-traversed trails offer a completely different hiking experience come wintertime. Pull on some wool socks and get your fill of snow-dusted evergreens at these 11 destinations across New England.
Lincoln Woods Trail
Lincoln, New Hampshire
The moderate, mostly flat Lincoln Woods Trail follows along New Hampshire’s Pemigewasset River. It’s appealing to novice and expert hikers alike, making it one of the most popular trails in the White Mountains. While there’s plenty of natural beauty (including a waterfall), the trail also features a wooden foot bridge.
Kancamagus Highway, Lincoln, NH, visitwhitemountains.com.
Mohawk Trail State Forest
Located in the northern Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, this state forest offers 6,000 acres to hike through, with large gorges and mountain ridges. Check out the ponds, open meadows, and streams as you trek along one of the many trails. Bonus: The trails are free from November through April.
Cold River Road, Charlemont, 413-339-5504, mass.gov.
Tucker Preserve’s 1.8-mile loop crosses land formerly owned by a rubber company that operated along the Indian Head River. Today, the preserve’s trail winds through the woods to the river and back, and passes by stone walls that once marked farmers’ pastures.
West Elm Street, Pembroke, Mass., wildlandstrust.org.
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation
You may know Wachusett Mountain for skiing and snowboarding, but it also offers a number of year-round hiking trails. On clear days, hikers can see Mount Monadnock and the Boston skyline from the mountain’s summit. Appreciate the views and the current lack of snow, and come back to hit the slopes later this season.
Mountain Road, Princeton, 978-464-2987, mass.gov.
Bartlett, New Hampshire
This wildly popular swimming hole becomes an icy, sparkling jewel in the winter. While it’s a relatively short walk to Diana’s Baths—a stunning series of waterfalls—hikers should come equipped with proper footwear, as the packed snow can be slippery.
West Side Road, Bartlett, NH, northconwaynh.com.
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
Arcadia’s five miles of trails meander through forest, meadows, wetlands, grasslands, and marshes. The sanctuary is open all year round, and runs programming—like bear tracking and nature field trips—throughout the winter months.
127 Combs Road, Easthampton, 413-584-3009, massaudubon.org.
Bauneg Beg Mountain
North Berwick, Maine
Not far from the New Hampshire border, this mountain in North Berwick, Maine boasts unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Mount Washington on the other. Strap on snowshoes to follow the half-mile trail to the top, then take in the scenery knowing you’re atop the only mountain in Southern Maine without a communications tower.
Fox Farm Hill Road, North Berwick, Maine, gwrlt.org.
Brooks Woodland Preserve
Run by the Trustees of Reservations, Brooks Woodland offers more than 13 miles of trails and roads on land set aside for conservation. Choose from one of the many trail options, or check out the Swift River or Roaring Brook, alongside wetlands.
East Street, Petersham, 413-532-1631, thetrustees.org.
Blue Hills Reservation
Blue Hills is a good option for a quick getaway hike, located only minutes from the city. Try hiking here on a weekend afternoon and enjoy the varying terrain and 125 miles of trails. Stretching from Randolph to Milton, and Quincy to Dedham, Blues Hills Reservation comprises more than 7,000 acres. Bundle up in layers and climb to the top of Great Blue Hill this winter season.
695 Hillside Street, Milton, 617-698-1802, mass.gov.
This Trustees of Reservations property is about an hour’s drive outside of the city. There’s the option to follow a short trail leading to Noon Hill’s peak, where you can take in views of the Charles River and surrounding towns, while another trail loops around Holt Pond.
Noon Hill Road, Medfield, Mass., trustees.org.
With stunning views of the Boston skyline and charming carriage paths reminiscent of an older time, World’s End is a great hiking destination to visit in any season. Walk along the 4.5 miles of footpaths and enjoy the coastal views on the 251-acre property, or bring a thermos of hot cocoa and a blanket for a picnic. When the snow does fall, this Trustees destination is optimal for snow-shoeing and cross country skiing.
Martin’s Lane, Hingham, 781-740-7233, thetrustees.org.