New England Hidden Gems You’ll Find on the New Atlas Obscura App

Looking for a fun day trip? Here are some lesser-known finds on the new app.

So you’ve seen it all. You’ve perused our guides to indoor greenhouses around Boston, or the Harbor Islands, and where to go hunting for UFOs (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for!) and you’re ready for some new charming, fascinating, or downright weird things to visit. Good news: Atlas Obscura, the outlet that specializes in off-the-beaten-path destinations all over the world, has just released a new smartphone app. We’ve been thumbing through it since it launched earlier this month, and we found plenty of stuff to keep adventurers satiated. So here, culled from the new app, are a half-dozen extremely Instagram-able day trip ideas for the Boston traveler who’s seen it all.


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Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery, Dedham

Any New England lore buffs and fans of the creepy and macabre should probably add this to their bucket list. Evidently some pet owners have gone to great lengths to memorialize their beloved companions over its more than 100 year history, as the place is packed with ornate headstones, and even sculptures of departed house cats. There are some 20,000 graves to be perused here, including some for local celebrities, among them Lizzie Borden’s three Boston Terriers.

238 Pine St, Dedham, MA

Skull Cliff, Saugus

New England graffiti artists have always found nooks and crannies out in the woods, often the tunnels of abandoned trains, to use as canvasses. But this one, at an old quarry hidden in the Lynn Woods Reservation, is really something. Attractions include a vast mural of skulls and bones, and this piece of life advice, scrawled on a giant boulder: “TAKE THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU WILL SOMEDAY BE THESE BONES, AND ENJOY NOW ALL THAT IS PRECIOUS.” Fun for the whole family!

325 Broadway, Saugus, MA

Redemption Rock, Princeton

While we’re going over inscriptions on boulders, how about this unusual destination out in Princeton? This one, located north of the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, memorializes the site where a Colonial-era hostage situation came to its conclusion in 1676, when settlers and native leaders negotiated the release of a group of captives. After your hike, consider dropping by Worcester’s Redemption Rock Brewing, which is named after this historic site.

Redemption Rock Trail, Princeton, MA

Benson Park, Hudson, New Hampshire

Surely by this point you’re well aware of the remains of a bear cage in Franklin Park (one of many pieces of bear-related Boston lore you should familiarize yourself with). But did you also know there are even more former animal cages you can peruse, just a short drive away? If you head to Benson Park in Hudson, New Hampshire, you’ll find the remnants of an old zoo, including elephant and gorilla cages, as well as a giant shoe—a tribute to “The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe” and other fascinating artifacts.

19 Kimball Hill Rd, Hudson, NH

Sweetheart Memorial, Devens

If you’re thinking about popping the question, or simply want to update your followers on the several years (or months, or days) of monogamous bliss you’ve spent with your significant other, consider the Sweetheart Memorial. It’s a tribute to couples separated during wars that you can find at the old Fort Devens, and it features a windy stone walkway with bricks that form a large heart at its center.

59 Buena Vista St, Devens, MA


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Wiggly Bridge, York, Maine

On your next trip to the Maine Coast, take a pit stop on Route 103, at the end of which you’ll find a beloved footbridge across York River to the nearby Steedman Woods. It’s been designed to look like a suspension bridge, and has been noted for the way it wobbles as you cross—hence the name. Whatever you do, don’t jump off the sides, as locals apparently used to do, as the practice contributed to mudflat erosion underneath.

57 Barrell Ln, York, ME