18 of the Best Hiking Trails in New England
After spending months stuck in the house, there’s never been a better time to get out and hit the trails of New England. Fresh air and falling leaves, grab the family and maybe a furry friend and get some steps in. Here are some of the best spots around, according to Alltrails, Mass DCR, USDA, and N.H. State Parks,
Blue Hill Reservation, Milton, MA – Blue Hills Reservation has a lot to offer both lifelong hikers and those who want to stroll through stunning scenery. There are 125 miles of trails that will take you over hills, through marshes, across meadows, and more. Check out Ranger Tom’s favorite hikes.
Mount Greylock State Reservation, Lanesborough, MA – At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. From its peak on a clear day, you can see as far as 90 miles away. No matter when you visit, there’s plenty to do and see. They also offer camping onsite.
Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MA – At Middlesex Fells, you can hike, bike, fish, or let your dog run free in the off-leash area. Rent a canoe or kayak to explore Spot Pond.
Mount Washington State Forest, Mount Washington, MA – The re-grown red oak northern hardwood forest of Mt. Washington State Forest offers more than 30 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. Hike the South Taconic Trail to the 2,250 ft. elev. summit of Alander Mountain for a breathtaking view.
Lynn Woods Reservation, Lynn, MA – The Woods offers over 30 miles of scenic trails for hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking (not allowed during the winter), cross-country skiing, and nature walks. Three active reservoirs provide pretty pond-like scenery among natural forestland, as well as clean water for the City of Lynn. Dungeon Rock is a well-loved underground tunnel with a history of pirate lore and treasure seekers. The Rose Garden, Houghton Horticultural Garden, and Amphitheater areas provide more formal settings to explore.
White Mountain National Forest, Eastern NH (also Western Maine) – Hiking opportunities abound on the Forest from easy strolls into the wooded environment to challenging climbs above treeline. With over 1200 miles of non-motorized trails, you have an opportunity for challenge and adventure.
Crawford Notch State Park, Harts Location, NH – Crawford Notch State Park has 5,775 acres providing access to numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, fishing, wildlife viewing, and spectacular mountain views. Crawford Notch State Park is rich in history with the famous Willey House. The campground in the park is Dry River Campground and offers 36 wooded sites.
Monadnock State Park, Jeffrey, NH – Monadnock State Park is located in and around the 3,165-ft. Mount Monadnock. The park is surrounded by thousands of acres of protected highlands. In 1987, Mount Monadnock was designated a National Natural Landmark. The park offers year-round recreational opportunities. Get a preview of the hiking map here.
Major Mountain State Forest, Alton Bay, NH – A short hike up Mt. Major (1,785 feet) provides spectacular panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee. This hike leads up to Mt. Major State Forest which is in the Belknap Range. Perfect half-day hike whether you are 5 years old or 65 years old; a first time hiker or an experienced peak bagger during any season.
Franconia Notch State Park, Lincoln, NH – Take your time, stop for a swim at Echo Lake, net a trout while fly fishing at Profile Lake, ride your bike on the Recreational Trail, watch for rock climbers, hawks, and falcons on Cannon Cliffs, or hike on the Appalachian Trail. Bring the family, stay awhile, and enjoy Franconia Notch State Park. Check out these 10 top hiking trails within the park.
The Cliff Walk, Newport, RI – The Cliff Walk along the eastern shore of Newport, is world famous as a public access walk that combines the natural beauty of the Newport
shoreline. Wildflowers, birds, geology … all add to this delightful walk.What makes Cliff Walk unique is that it is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District.
Big River Management Area, West Greenwich, RI – Big River covers a total area of 8319 acres. The area is composed of mainly forest land (evergreens 4374 acres, deciduous 1781 acres), wetlands (1288 acres), agricultural lands (233 acres), and other areas (gravel, residential, etc. 407 acres). Major rivers or streams in the area are Big River, Nooseneck River, Congdon River and Carr River.
Arcadia Management Area, Hope Valley, RI – At over 14,000 mostly forested acres, the Arcadia Management Area is Rhode Island’s largest recreational area, offering users a variety of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Co-managed by DEM’s Divisions of Forest Environment and Fish & Wildlife, it is promoted as, and actively managed for hunting, as well as fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, to name a few activities. “Multiple use” management principles apply, assuring a safe and satisfying experience for hunters and non-hunters alike.
Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln, RI – Visitors can enjoy swimming at the fresh water beach, trout fishing, playing ball, hiking, jogging, horseback riding, or just relaxing under a shade tree. A new covered bridge at the Breakneck Hill entrance has been dedicated in the spring of 2005.
Cumberland Monastery Trail, Cumberland, RI – Cumberland Monastery Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Cumberland, Rhode Island that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Bluff Point State Park, Groton, CT – Bluff Point Coastal Reserve offers the visitor a delightful mixture of wooded hiking and biking trails coupled with spectacular wildlife viewing on Long Island Sound.
Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret, CT – Rich with history, legend and lore, Mashamoquet Brook with its Wolf’s Den, offers hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming for the whole family.
Northwest Park, Windsor, CT – Northwest Park is a 473-acre municipal park owned and operated by the historic town of Windsor, Connecticut. Much of this former tobacco farmland situated on the Farmington River has reverted to biologically diverse forests, fields, and wetlands – natural areas that can be explored via 12 miles of hiking trails. Educational and passive recreational experiences are offered every day for persons of all ages and abilities.