Appleton Farms and Grass Rides
Phone - (978) 356-5728
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/250_appleton_farms_grass_rides.cfm
Admission Fee - Yes, $3 for non-members
Directions – Hamilton; From Route 128, take Exit 20A and follow Route 1A north for 4.5 miles. Turn left onto Cutler Road and follow for 2.2 miles. At the intersection with Highland Street, turn right. The parking area is on the right.
Established in 1638 as a land grant to Thomas Appleton, Appleton Farms lays claim to being the oldest continuously operating farm in the United States. Nine generations later, operations include community-supported agriculture, a retail feed and mulch haying operation, and livestock and dairy programs that include White Park and Jersey cows.
The grass rides are generous carriage paths designed by the Appletons for the pleasure of family and friends who enjoyed horseback riding. Like a wagon wheel, five “rides,” as they are called in England, converge on a central clearing called the “Roundpoint.” Today the rides are mostly wooded (the real grass covers the Appleton Farms trails next door that are reserved for horses) and under paw is mostly dirt, not grass. It won’t dampen your dog’s enjoyment here one whit, however. All told there are some five miles of tightly connected “rides” in the park awaiting your dog after a country lane ramble from the parking lot. The land moves gradually uphill, rising above surrounding wetlands, but never so seriously to keep these trails from providing excellent cross-country skiing in the winter.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Soft dirt trails and waves of grass
Workout For Your Dog – More than an hour available
Swimming - Nope; terra firma only
Restrictions On Dogs - This is a popular destination for dog-walkers, so much so that specific guidelines have been created; in brief, no dogs are allowed in the neighboring Appleton Farms
Gore Hall, the college library from 1838-1913, was for years the symbol of Harvard University, and remains on the seal of the city of Cambridge. It was modeled on the fifteenth century King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England and was the first building at Harvard to be used solely as a library. The collections outgrew Gore Hall by 1913 and it was unceremoniously demolished. Four nine-foot tall pinnacles made of Quincy granite were salvaged and given to Francis R Appleton, Sr, the library chairman at that time. They are intersperesed around the property, including at Roundpoint and on Pigeon Hill overlooking the Great Pasture, said to be the largest open field remaining in northeast Massachusetts.
Phone - (617) 524-1718
Website - www.arboretum.harvard.edu
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Boston; Take Route 93 south or Route 1 south to Storrow Drive west to the Kenmore Square/ Fenway Route 1 south exit. Bear left. Follow signs for Fenway/Route 1 south. Bear right onto Boylston Street, following signs for Boylston Street Outbound/Riverway Route 1. Continue on Boylston for .4 miles as it turns into Brookline Avenue. After 1/2 mile turn left onto the Riverway/Jamaicaway to a rotary at Jamaica Pond. Follow signs for South Dedham/Providence. Enter the next rotary and take the second exit onto Route 203 east. The main entrance is about 50 yards past the rotary, on the right.
When the Father of Landscape Architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted created Boston’s fabled Emerald Necklace of six parks in 1880 he wrote of the Arboretum site, “On (these) acres much the best arboretum in the world can be formed.” The Arboretum was founded in 1872 when the President and Fellows of Harvard College became trustees of a portion of the estate of James Arnold, a New Bedford whaler in the early 1800s. Botany professor Charles Sprague Sargent collected thousands of plant specimens and carefully sited them by their genus, or common family. Olmsted laid out the road system and overall planting scheme to make it blend naturally with the other parks in the Necklace. Today Boston’s tree museum spreads across 265 acres where more than 15,000 trees, shrubs and vines grow under the careful eye of the Arboretum’s plant stewards.
There is no prettier hike you can take with your dog in Massachusetts than at Arnold Arboretum. The paths curve gently across the property and before you know it your dog has reached the top of Peters Hill with one of the city’s best vistas playing out before him among the gingkos and honey locust trees. Or peering through the lilac collection at the city skyline on Bussey Hill. You can easily spend your dog’s hiking day just strolling the historic roadways but tree enthusiasts will want to test the natural surface paths. And don’t restrict your explorations to just the marked paths - walk your dog into the collections to get a thorough arboreal education.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: The arboretum is a delight any time of year; your dog will love it just as much when the leaves are down and so are the crowds
Workout For Your Dog – More than an hour, especially if you study the plants
Swimming - The ponds and streams are for decoration, not canine aquatics
Restrictions On Dogs - Leashed dogs are welcome in Arnold Arboretum
One of the first questions you have when you visit an arboretum is, “OK, where’s the biggest tree?” The folks at Arnold Arboretum are one step ahead of you and have designed a self-guided tour to the giants on the property. And the oldest? Probably a big white oak visible along the Oak Path that could pre-date the arboretum by 100 years.
Blue Hills Reservation
Phone – (617) 698-1802
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/blue.htm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Milton; Take I-93 to Exit 3, Houghton’s Pond. Turn right at the stop sign onto Hillside Street. Houghton’s Pond is located approximately 1/4 miles on the right; continue 1/4 miles to the reservation headquarters on the left.
The first settlers came to this area 10,000 years ago and called themselves “Massachusett,” meaning “people of the hills.” When European explorers set sight on the forested slopes while sailing along the coastline they named the region the Blue Hills. They logged the hillsides to build houses and barns and cleared the lowlands for crops and livestock. In 1893, the Metropolitan Parks Commission made the Blue Hills one of their first purchases for land set aside for recreation. Today, Blue Hills Reservation maintains 7,000 acres of land in the shadow of Boston for outdoor activities.
Some 125 miles of trails visit a variety of terrains from hills and meadows to forests and wetlands, including a unique Atlantic white cedar bog. Some of the canine hiking can be quite challenging and many of the trails are strewn with rocks. Great Blue Hill, rising 635 feet above the Neponsett Valley, is the highest of the 22 hills in the Blue Hills chain. Keep your head up for sweeping views of the metropolitan area. Also keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife in the Blue Hills Reservation that is not often associated with Boston - timber rattlesnakes, coyote and otters. The marquee hike is the 4.5-mile loop from headquarters to Great Blue Hill. Narrow and twisting, the rocky route is well-marked as it crosses three hills before the steep ascent to your final destination. The northern leg of the loop will set your dog to panting more than the southern leg so plan accordingly. Ambitious canine hikers will want to tackle the Skyline Trail that travels across the spine of the reservation for nine miles. It is the longest of the park’s routes.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Equestrians, mountain bikers and skiers can all use parts of the park but if it is solitude you seek, you will find it on some trail.
Workout For Your Dog – No stiffer workout for your dog in the Boston area
Swimming - Doggie aquatics are not a big part of the hiking trails but you can seek out ponds in the park. The Houghton Pond Yellow Loop is an easy one-mile go around the recreation pond.
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome in Blue Hills - a water bowl is kept for canine hikers outside the headquarters
The National Register of Historic Places lists 16 structures from Blue Hills Reservation. The most celebrated sits at the summit of Great Blue Hill - the Blue Hill Weather Observatory. Founded in 1885 by Abbott Lawrence Rotch as a private scientific center for the study and measurement of the atmosphere, it was the site of many pioneering weather experiments and discoveries. Record-breaking kite flights soared three miles high to record the earliest soundings of the atmosphere ever made in the 1890s. Still used as a weather station, the observatory is home to the oldest continuous weather record in America.
Bradley Palmer State Park
Phone - (978) 887-5931
Website – www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/brad.htm
Admission Fee – None
Directions - Topsfield; From Route 1 exit onto Ipswich Road and turn right on Asbury Street to the park entrance. For access to Willowdale State Forest, park on Ipswich Road.
Ten thousand years ago the Wisconsin Glacier formed these low hills, eskers and outwash plains. As the glacier moved, the stones and debris it dragged along wore away much of the land surface. It is a common New England tale. By 1834 D. Thomas Manning had an industrial complex operating here on the Ipswich River that included a woolen mill, boarding house and factory. Fifty years later it burned to the ground and industry never took hold again. In the early 1900s Bradley Palmer, a wealthy lawyer and industrialist most known as the attorney for Sinclair Oil during the Warren Harding administration’s Teapot Dome scandal, bought this land. He bought a lot of land on the North Shore - at one point he owned over 10,000 acres. In 1923, Bradley Palmer gave the Hood Pond section of Willowdale State Forest to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He donated the remainder of his lands to the state in 1944, then leased back 107 acres around his mansion where he lived until his death in 1948 at the age of 84.
When teamed with the wilder Willowdale Forest next door there is just about any type of hike your dog desires at Bradley Palmer State Park. How about a pleasant streamside stroll? Check. Long rambles through uninterrupted woodlands? Check. A short hike around the landscaped grounds of a former estate? Check. Open fields and pasturelands not always found in Massachusetts parks? Check once more. Your dog’s hiking day will shuffle between unpaved roads, traditionally cut trails and bridle trails, especially if you cross Ipswich Road and test the going in the Willowdale State Forest.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Other trail users are much rarer in the less developed Willowdale State Forest. Don’t be surprised to see an equestrian - Bradley Palmer’s great passion - and hunting is allowed in November and December..
Workout For Your Dog – Up to a full day of canine hiking is possible here
Swimming - The Ipswich River is a suberb canine swimming hole; follow a fisherman’s trail to get to an access spot.
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome in the state park and state forest
appetite in Colonial America for Atlantic white cedar trees was voracious. It was used for ship masts and house shingles and if you ever ran out of rocks for fences - impossible! - nothing made a better fence post than white cedar. So the swamps where white cedar grew are exceedingly rare in eastern Massachusetts today. But you can take your dog to one in the Hood Pond section of Willowdale State Forest. A rare species of butterfly nests in the tops of the white cedars, and bog lemmings can sometimes be spotted in the swamps.
Elm Bank Reservation
Phone - (617) 333-7404
Website - http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/elmbank.htm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Wellesley; Route 9 to Route 16. Follow Route 16 (Washington Street) through Wellesley. Adjacent to railroad tracks and near the intersection of Washington Street and Forest Street, the entrance to Elm Bank is 1 mile past Wellesley College.
This was the 198-acre estate of Benjamin Pierce Cheney, a former stagecoach driver whose express line between Boston and Montreal became the foundation for American Express. In 1874 he used some his $10,000,000 fortune to buy the manor house on the Charles River. He spent his final 20 years installing gardens and conservatories on the grounds. He also helped found the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. When he died, the property passed to his daughter, who replaced his wood Victorian house with a 43-room Georgian-style brick mansion designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, the architect behind the New York Public Library. After Alice Cheney-Baltzell’s death the property passed to the Stigmatine order of monks, who used the manor as a boys’ school; when they closed its doors the house stood vacant for two decades until the Horticultural Society took it over from the state on a $1-a-year-for-99-years lease.
Your dog will have plenty of canine company on an outing at the old Cheney place. The hiking takes place on a finger of land surrounded on three sides by the Charles River as it folds back on itself. The woodland (pines on the western edge, hardwoods in the eastern bottomlands) is covered by a wide, paw-friendly natural loop. It is so agreeable your dog just may demand a second go-round - and you may do so involuntarily as the paths are not marked. Not to worry; you can never go too far astray.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Natural surface trails of unusual width in places
Workout For Your Dog – An hour of easy going canine hiking here
Swimming - There are two excellent spots for your dog to jump into the Charles, one on the west side and one near the point to the north.
Restrictions On Dogs - None
F. Gilbert HillsState Forest
Phone - (508) 543-5850
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/fgil.htm
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Foxboro; From I-495 take Exit 14 onto Route 1 north. Turn right on Thurston Street that becomes West Street. Turn left on Mill Street to the forest headquarters and parking on the right.
This is another recreation mecca the citizenry of Massachuestts has the Great Depression and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to thank for. But unlike its many brethren, the men of the 397-Veteran Corps Company, mostly military veterans from World War I, didn’t spend much time building picnic areas and campgrounds. Instead they improved fire suppression, battled gypsy moth infestations and planted thousands of red pines. The camp in Foxboro State Forest, as it was known in the 1930s, lasted scarcely two years, not long compared to fellow CCC camps. The forest name today honors a Department of Conservation employee who produced a series of outstanding illustrative maps of many state owned properties.
This state forest is the playground of serious canine hikers only. There are no swimming lakes here, no grassy fields for a game of fetch, no easy-strolling nature trails. The 23 miles of long looping trails are popular mostly with mountain bikers and in the drier months even host off-road vehicles. There are a few hiking-only trails but you won’t be able to complete a loop without sharing the trail with the wheeled set. For dogs who want to keep their adventures in F. Gilbert Hills to around an hour, set out on the Blue Triangle Trail behind park headquarters. The route trips through an agreeable mixed pine and oak woodland that is less rocky than most Massachusetts state parklands. For longer explorations the Acorn Trail thrusts across the forest to the park landmark, High Rock. In the process it links up with the Warner Trail, marked by aluminum disks, that runs for 30 miles from Canton to Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland, Rhode Island. On May 19, 1951, Charlie Warner walked 25 miles on his trail when he was nearly 83 years of age. No word whether he had his dog with him.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: The trails will not be filled with casual hikers but if your dog doesn’t enjoy mountain bikes and motorcycles this may not be fun
Workout For Your Dog – Many hours of not-too-strenuous hiking here
Swimming - An outing in the state forest will not include water time
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed on the trails across the park
Many parks feature rustic reminders of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the form of stone lodges, picnic areas, overlooks, shelters and the like. The structures at F. Gilbert Hills are underground. Corps workers dug 40 stone-lined water holes in the area for fire protection and 17 of them remain in the forest today. The 18” deep pits are marked on the park map and readily located along the trails.
Great Brook Farm State Park
Phone - (978) 369-6312
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/gbfm.htm
Admission Fee - $2 parking fee
Directions – Carlisle; From Route 128 take exit 31B. Follow Route 225 west for 8 miles to the Carlisle center rotary, then turn right on Lowell Street (following the sign to Chelmsford.) The Park entrance is two miles ahead on the right. The Park Office (984 Lowell Street) is just beyond the entrance, also on the right. Make a right hand turn onto North Road. Parking area is 1/2 mile down on the left.
Great Brook Farm is studded with local flavor. American Indians were known to use sections of this land as sacred sites. In 1691 John Barett built one of the first cloth-pulling mills in America here. It was later joined by a sawmill and a gristmill and an iron mill. Cellar holes from the dwellings of millworkers can still be readily observed from the trails. One, a garrison where pioneers erected a stone house for protection from Indian attacks, is 15 feet deep. In 1938 Farnham Smith bought a modest 8-acre farm here to raise Holstein cows. He slowly acquired adjoining land until he owned nearly 1,000 acres. In 1974, the land became part of the Massachusetts park system. In 1987 Mark and Tamma Duffy leased part of the park and moved their 120-head herd of cows to Great Brook with the proviso that it operate as an interpretive farm park for the public.
Just about anything your dog’s hiking heart desires is on the menu at Great Brook Farm. Is he looking to reconnect with his old farm dog ancestors? Try the Lantern Loopand interpretive trail around the corn and hayfields. Panting for an all-day-wear-me-out adventure? There are over 20 miles of wooded trails beyond the farm fields. Remember to toss in the Heartbreak Ridgeabove Tophet Swamp for that outing. Just after one of the most pleasant woodland strolls in eastern Massachusetts? Head down the Pine Point Looparound Meadow Pond. Does your dog desire a little cardio work? The twists and turns around Indian Hill are the answer. However you craft your canine hiking day at great Brook expect roomy, well-maintained footpaths. The occasional glacial erratic helps decorate the historic, ecologically rich farmland as well.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: The trails, for the most part, are marked but there are many little trails and many intersections so a park map is mandatory and your best plan is to print one off the website ahead of time, if possible
Workout For Your Dog – Trips on the shorter trails can last less than an hour or you take up your dog’s entire day here
Swimming - Depending on the time of year, Meadow Pond can see vegetation along its banks but it is a reliable doggie swimming hole
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome in Great Brook Farm State Park
There is no sweeter bonus for your dog in Massachusetts than a stop at the Great Brook Farm Ice Cream Stand after a hike. The stand dishes out 60 flavors of ice cream produced from the farm’s dairy herd. Great Brook Farm was once the home of Prospera, a Holstein heifer who produced 30,000 gallons of milk in her lifetime and in 1969 was the second-highest producing cow in North America. Her gravesite is on the farm, just past the parking area on North Road. The tasty offerings from the Ice Cream Stand are available from mid-April through Halloween.
Halibut Point State Park
Phone - (978) 546-2997
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/halb.htm
Admission Fee - $2 parking fee
Directions – Rockport; Exit I-95 onto Route 128 north toward Gloucester and Rockport. After crossing the Annisquam River bridge, go three quarters around the first rotary, following signs for Route 127 north (Annisquam and Pigeon Cove). After approximately six miles, turn left at the park sign and the Old Farm Inn onto Gott Avenue.
The name Hailbut Point comes not from the fish but from early mariners who had to tack around the mass of granite on the Cape Ann shoreline, a procedure known as “haul about.” Those sheets of granite are 440 million years old and in the 1800s blocks of Cape Ann rock were prized around the country as street pavers and building stone. Quarrying commenced on a small scale in 1824 when a Mr. Bates arrived from Quincy and leased a ledge for that purpose. At its height the Rockport Granite Company employed 800 quarry workers. The Cape Ann granite industry collapsed in the 1920s as streets began to be paved in asphalt and buildings were made from steel. The company went out of business and its Babson Farm quarry here closed in 1929. Today, a single granite quarry remains in operation on Cape Ann.
There are actually three parks here shoulder-by-shoulder to bring your dog. Halibut Point State Park is the best for hiking with a compact trail system that features a self-guided walking tour around the Babson Farm Quarry that is now filled with 60 feet of water. The dirt trail is wide and easy to navigate with your dog but keep her leashed as the edges are not fenced and the drop-offs are long and sheer. A short detour leads to a scenic overview atop a mountain of waste granite pieces that were dumped on the edge of the sea for many decades. Adjoining the state park to the east is Halibut Point Reservation and next to that is the Sea Rocks owned by the Town of Rockport. The hik- ing here is mostly functional, a way to get your dog down to the tidepools in the Atlantic Ocean. Eye-high vegetation may obscure your destination much of the way but the free-form rock hopping and salt spray will set your curious dog’s tail to wagging here.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Things can get confusing once you venture off the self-guided quarry trail but the parks cover a small enough area that your dog won’t need to dial 9-1-1
Workout For Your Dog – Less than an hour of hiking but plenty of playtime in the tidepools or lounging on the sunny Cape Ann rocks
Swimming - Water play, absolutely. But the shallow, wave-battered tidepools don’t lend themselves to dog paddling. That tempting blue water in the quarry is off-limits, however.
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome in all three parks
During World War II battlements with massive guns were installed along the New England coast to protect against marauding German U-boats in the Atlantic. A 60-foot high fire-tower was installed at Halibut Point to provide aiming information for the gun crews. The tower today is the park visitor
center serving up panoramic views as far as Maine. It is the only one of its kind open to the public.
Maudslay State Park
Phone – (978) 465-7223
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/maud.htm
Admission Fee - $2 parking fee
Directions - Newburyport; Take Exit 57 from I-95 onto Route 113 east for half a mile and turn left on Noble Street. At the stop sign turn left onto Ferry Road and bear left at fork and follow signs (pay attention) to park.
Frederick Strong Moseley was the eighth in descent from John Maudesley - or Moseley - who came to this country as early as 1630 from Lancashire to settle in Dorchester. The son of a ship-builder and banker, Moseley hired Martha Brookes Hutcheson, one of America’s earliest female landscape architects to design an estate on ancient agricultrual grounds along the bluffs of the Merrimack River in 1904. William G. Rantoul was retained to design a lavish 72-room mansion house. He called his 450-acre estate Maudesleigh and its fame was spread in magazine articles and books. The mansion was demolished in 1955 and a second large house burned to the ground in 1978. In 1985 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acquired the property and today only a few of some 30 structures remain from the glory days of Maudesleigh.
There is truly a feel of walking your dog on a country estate in Maudslay State Park. Most of the explorations take place on easy-going farm paths and carriage roads under woodlands that retain their sense of orderliness derived from the landscaped origins. Rhodedendrons, azaleas, and lilacs are peppered throughout the understory. The mountain laurel is one of the largest naturally occurring stands in Massachusetts and the tall pines may never have been harvested. The scenery moves swiftly from riverside views to deep pine woods to open meadows – with lots of hidden spots once reserved for the rich and famous. Around any corner you might find an obscured garden or a shingled barn or remnant of a great iron gate. The terrain is gently rolling but Castle Hill aways off in the northeast part of the park can set doggie tongues to panting. But not too much.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: There is a map available but a better way to bring your dog to Maudslay is with the intention to poke around an old estate. Walk down a path that isn’t on the map. Try that little walkway that seems overgrown. And so on.
Workout For Your Dog – Pick your outing; you can keep it short or stretch it out with your dog in one of Massachusetts’ most beguiling parks
Swimming - This is not a water-loving dog’s paradise
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome in the state park - the dog-loving Moseleys would have had it no other way
Not far from the foundations of the main house is a shaded clearing where the graves of Moseley family dogs have been tended since the 1920s. This is the final resting place for Sampo, Tinker, Barney, Lancha, Akela and Gypsy.
Middlesex Fells Reservation
Phone - (617) 727-5380
Website – http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/fells.htm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Stoneham and other towns; on Route 28 off either Exit 33 or 35 of I-93.
In 1890 landscape architect Charles Eliot got an open letter published in a New England periodical called Garden and Forest. Eliot proposed the immediate preservation of “special bits of scenery” still remaining “within ten miles (16 km) of the State House which possess uncommon beauty and more than usual refreshing power.” Eliot went on to urge that legislation be enacted to create a nonprofit corporation to hold land for the public. The next year the Massachusetts Legislature did exactly that, establishing The Trustees of Public Reservations “for the purposes of acquiring, holding, maintaining and opening to the public beautiful and historic places within the Commonwealth.” Wood, donated by the Tudor family in the name of their daughter who was killed in a riding accident, was the first tract of Massachusetts land acquired by the Trustees. Development would become a hallmark of the park over the years, a process that would challenge the ideal of “uncommon beauty.” By 1897 the park was over 3,000 acres including 1,200 acres of water bodies, 13 miles of wood roads, eight miles of town roads, farms, private estates and the Langwood Hotel. There was a zoo in the early 1900s and an electric trolley arrived in 1910. In the 1920s a half million trees were planted. A swimming pool followed and a skating rink. And a soap box derby track. The most lasting impact would occur in the 1960s when the interstate highway system cleaved the park in two.
If you are looking for your dog to run in a pack, Middlesex Falls is your place. The Sheepfold, an open pasture where flocks of sheep grazed into the 1900s, is always a whirl of wagging tails where city folk bring their dogs. There are plenty of trails to head down with your dog but if you are out for a serious hike, parting with a few bucks for a trail map is a wise investment. The orange-blazed Reservoir Trailvisits three ponds in an easy five miles; more experienced canine hikers will favor the Skyline Trail. “Fells” is the Saxon word for rocky, hilly tracts of land and your dog’s paws will undoubtedly agree. Parking can be problematic around Middlesex Fells and the Sheepfold lot doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: There is no mapboard on site and the maze of pathways is indecipherable without local knowledge
Workout For Your Dog – You bet – many hours of hiking lie ahead here
Swimming – Try and keep your water-loving dog away from the water
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to enjoy these wooded trails
Spot Pond is a picturesque body of water, centrally located in the Middlesex Fells, just east of Routes 28 and 93. With a surface area of 340 acres, and a capacity of 1.8 billion gallons of water, it serves as a backup reservoir to the Quabbin, located in central Massachusetts. The area was first explored by Governor Winthrop who wrote in his journal in the winter of 1632: “...they came to a very great pond, having in the midst an island of about one acre and very thick with trees of pine and beech and the pond had divers small rocks standing up here and there in it, which therefore called Spot Pond."
Minute ManNational Historic Park
Phone – (978) 369-6993
Website - www.nps.gov/mima/
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Concord; From I-95 take Exit 30B onto Route 2A west. The park is 1-mile from the off-ramp.
Early on April 19, 1775, British soldiers marched from Lexington to Concord to tangle with 400 hastily assembled American militia. Afterwards the column of disciplined British regulars marched down the Battle Road back to Boston as Colinial militia sniped at them from behind barns and stone walls. By nightfall the British had suffered 73 deaths. Another 174 were wounded and many more missing. Forty-nine Americans were killed. Many of the sites in Concord, Lincoln and Lexington with the opening battle of the American Revolution, a battle that led to the creation of this country, were melded into the Historical Park in 1959.
The heart of the park is the five-mile Battle Road Trail that is one of the most historic hikes you can take with your dog in America. Parking lots are spaced along the route so you can sample the Battle Road in chunks if your dog is not up to the entire trail. The ten-foot wide dirt-and gravel path is more paw-friendly than you would expect as it winds through wetlands and far more woodlands than the British would have seen when they marched through in 1775. Try to ignore the traffic noise from nearby Route 2A as you transport yourself back 235 years in history. The two most famous sites on the trail are the Hartwell Tavern, an authentic period home, and the capture sit of Paul Revere. At the western terminus of the trail the house at Merriams Corner witnessed some of the toughest skirmishing on the first day of fighting in the American Revolution. The North Bridge is in a separate section of the park where your dog can stroll along a wide, shady path and up into open fields reminiscent of the terrain the day British and Americans faced off.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Groomed paths and wooden bridges
Workout For Your Dog – Several hours ofeasy-going trail time and more to study the wayside exhibits
Swimming - There is easy access to a doggie dip in the Concord River
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome outside the buildings in the Historical Park
The historic North Bridge was a tourist attraction as early as the 1780s but it floated down the Concord River in 1793. The current arched wooden bridge is the fourth span at this site and it dates from 1956. A short interpretive trail explains the positions of each side on April 19, 1775. On the eastern side, where the redcoats made their stand, is an obelisk where the first men fell and the graves of the British soldiers lay - “They came three thousand miles and died to keep the past upon its throne.” On the western bank is a Minuteman Statue created by Daniel Chester French for the centennial of the skirmish in 1875. It bears the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Concord Hymn: “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, their flag to April’s breeze unfurled. Here once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world.”
Mount Pisgah Conservation Area
Phone – (978) 443-5588
Website - www.sudburyvalleytrustees.org/maps?q=node/164
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Berlin; From I-495 take Exit 26 to Route 62 west, towards Berlin/Clinton. Pass through the center of Berlin and bear left onto Linden Street at the flashing yellow light. Follow Linden Street for 1.6 miles and turn left onto Ball Hill Road. Follow the road, which becomes Smith Road, for 1.3 miles. A small parking lot will be on the left.
The Mt. Pisgah complex of lands comprises some 5,000 acres in parts of Boylson, Berlin, Bolton, and Northborough. Still wild and rural, much is still managed woodland and farmland. Since the roads carry little traffic and hence lessen their barrier effect for wildlife, animals have been observed here that are not usually seen in this part of the state, including bobcat, black bear, and moose. Mount Pisgah, at 715 feet, is the highest point in Northborough. The Conservation Area is cobbled together from four adjacent tracts of land.
This is one of the best places in Massachusetts for beginning canine hikers. The trails are well-blazed and well-maintained and sweeping views can be achieved with very little purchase. The Mentzer Trail that leads from the trailhead to the North Overlook with little elevation gain is the prettiest, paw-friendliest trail at Mount Pisgah. It also features some of the largest trees and crosses the pleasing Howard Brook. You can warm your dog up with a short jaunt around the moist, richly vegetated Loop Trail. Once your dog gets her legs under her you can set out for more challenging fare on the more than five miles of trail that course through the four adjacent tracts. A wide, old cart road, the Berlin Road Trail, connects the trail systems in the southern and northern regions of the park. The trails get a bit steeper and rootier under paw. The summit offers no views and, unless your dog needs to check it off her life-list of tagging Massachusetts mountains, you can bypass it altogether on the Tyler Trail.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: You are unlikely to have to shoehorn your dog into any crowds at the overlooks here; mountain bikes are allowed
Workout For Your Dog – You can keep it under an hour or spend several hours in the Mount Pisgah woods
Swimming – Howard Brook can provide a lively splash but no more
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome to go off-leash but must be tethered when approaching other trail users. There is a three-dog maximum at Mount Pisgah.
Mt. Pisgah supports a high diversity of trees. Over 30 different species have been identified, including White pine, Red oak, American beech, Sugar maple, Red maple, Black birch, White pine White oak, and hophornbeam, named for its fruit’s similar appearance to hops. The wood is very hard and heavy; its botanical name comes from the Greek word for “bone-like.”
Phone - (978) 597-8802
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/rmp/rmp-mtWatatic.htm
Admission Fee – None
Directions – Ashby; Go 4.9 miles west of Ashby Center on Route 119 to parking area on the right.
Mt. Watatic is thought to have been the home of Wituomanit, the deity who guarded the Algonquin Indian households from misfortune. The Algonquins frequently made pilgrimages to the summit of the dome-shaped mountain that in profile resembles a traditional wigwam. The mountain’s name comes from the Algonquin word “witeoauk” meaning “wigwam place.” European settlers did not attribute similar sacred properties to Mt. Watatic. The mountain was logged and turned into pastureland so the only pilgrims for 100 years were cattle. In 1964 the mountain was developed as a convenient ski resort for Bostonians. Competition from higher mountains and a lack of snow melted the ski business by 1984 and Mt. Watatic rested for a bit until new developers planned a large cell phone tower on the summit and a housing subdivision at the base. This proposed abomination spurred local preservation groups to raise an astounding $900,000 to save 700 acres of once sacred land in 2002.
The expansive summit of 1,832-foot Mt. Watatic is not wooded, unusual for such a low elevation. It actually resembles a mountain top three times as high. The classic 270-degree sweep of the Mt. Watatic views and its proximity to Boston make this one of the most popular hikes in Massachusetts. The mountain lies at the junction of two long-distance trails: the Wapack Trail to the north and the Mid-State Trail to the south. Most canine hikers will want to skip these multi-day hikes and settle for the two-hour round trip to tag the summit. The journey begins along an abandoned country lane, the old Nutting Hill Road that was built in 1752. Turn right on the yellow-blazed Wapack Trail and begin the honest climb up the mountain; suitable for any dog with only a few steep pulls on the otherwise moderate trek. After soaking in the sights on the summit, a side path leads 400 feet southeast over the ledge to the lower southeast peak, affording more fine views. You can return down the same foot trail or extend your dog’s time on the mountain by looping on the trail that bows out to the north.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Count on company goin gup the slopes besides your dog just about any time of the year
Workout For Your Dog – Two hours minimum to several days possible
Swimming - Nope, not here, although a small stream can be refreshing
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome to join the fun on Mount Watatic
The higher elevations on Mt. Watatic are populated by a red spruce forest, a habitat crucial to the breeding of the Sharp-shinned hawk. Due to the loss of this habitat in Massachusetts, the hawk nests only in the Watatic area and the northwestern part of the state. A small hawk with a barred tail that ends in a square tip, the male and female show a greater disparity in size than any other American hawk; the female is nearly twice the weight of the male. The Sharp-shinned hawk, once seen by the hundreds on winter migrations, are becoming a rarer sight as fewer individuals may be flying south preferring instead to stay farther north near a dependable food source: smaller birds at man-made feeders.
Phone - (508) 785-0339
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/341_noanet_woodlands.cfm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Dover; from Dover Center, take Dedham Street east .6 mile to Caryl Park entrance and parking on right.
This land was cleared for settlement and industry early in the 19th century. Samuel Fisher, Jr. used Noanet Brook to operate a sawmill, producing lumber to raise the blossoming town of Dedham. Later, the Dover Union Iron Company installed a large rolling and slitting mill that made barrel hoops, wheel rims, nail plates, and nail rods from forged iron. In 1923, Amelia Peabody purchased Mill Farm on Dedham Street and for the next six decades she shaped the Noanet Woodlands of today. She bequeathed the original land for the 695-acre park in 1984.
You can’t get there from here. Noanet Woodlands is a paradise for trail dogs; Caryl Park doesn’t allow dogs. There is no parking for Noanet Woodlands, you have to park in Caryl Park. You can’t get there from here. It can be confusing to newcomers but dogs are allowed on the trail/road from the parking lot that leads into the woodlands. Alternately you can park be hind the ballfields and enter the woodlands back there. Just don’t let your dog stray off that golden path. This is flat-out one of the best places in Massachusetts to hike with your dog. The trails are wide and paw-friendly dirt and, especially in the early going, woodchips. There may be more dogs than people in the Noanet Woodlands at any given time and leashes are as seldom seen as unhappy canine hikers. There are 17 miles of trails packed into the park, with the most common destination being the modest 387-foot Noanet Peak. Many routes lead to the open, rocky summit with its one-way view straight into downtown Boston. Most involve only modest exertion save for a short, steep final surge to the top.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Even those with a heart for exploring will want to have a map in hand in the Noanet Woodlands the first time - and you are best advised to print one ahead of time. The three main trails are blazed (red, yellow and blue) and about 40 of the main trail junctions are numbered. That much is good; but without a map it won’t mean much under the expanse of trees. Also there are many, many more trail junctions that aren’t marked.
Workout For Your Dog – Budget a minimum of an hour in the Noanet Woodlands since it takes a fair walk just to get into the trail system from the parking lot. Once here, your dog will want many more hours.
Swimming – Not really; dogs are forbidden in the mill ponds where there are dangerous drop-offs
Restrictions On Dogs – Caryl Park (the part with the tennis courts and ball fields) does not allow dogs; part of the woodlands are also Caryl Park but signs indicate when you have reached the tail-friendly confines of the Noanet Woodlands.
Today the mill pond is postcard worthy, nestled into a peaceful sylvan setting. But this was a serious industrial site 150 years ago. The dam stood 24 feet high and the mill was powered by a mammoth 36-foot overshot waterwheel. A flood destroyed the dam in 1876 but Amelia Peabody rebuilt it in 1954 to restore the pond, without the hustle and bustle of the mill.
Noon Hill/Shattuck Reservation
Phone - (781) 784-0567
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/342_noon_hill.cfm
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Medfield; From the intersection of Routes 27 and 109 in Medfield, take Route 109 west for .1 mile and turn left immediately onto Causeway Street. Follow for 1.3 miles and turn left onto Noon Hill Road. A small parking area is .2 miles on the right.
Noon Hill got its name because early settlers in Medfield knew it was mid-day when the sun cleared its 370-foot top. Or so the legend goes. Later it came to be known as the place to quarantine towns folk suffering from smallpox during epidemics. Like everywhere else in Massachusetts Noon Hill was once cleared and farmed extensively. Holt Pond at the base of Noon Hill is man-made; it dates to 1764 and powered a saw mill. The land was donated in 1959 by W.K. Gilmore & Sons Inc., purveyors in Wrentham of coal, grain, hay and cement since 1870. The adjoining Shattuck Reservation, 245 acres of Charles River floodplain, came from Henry Lee Shattuck, attorney and onetime member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in 1970.
Your dog gets the choice of a trio of distinctly different trail experiences at these two connected reservations. The trek to the Noon Hill summit is not a problem for any level of canine hiker - the wide, woodsy path is generally flat save for the direct assault on the summit. Your dog’s reward for this modest purchase is a southeast-facing overlook across the treetops. The terrain flattens out completely in Shattuck Reservation, to its detriment when the Charles River spills over its banks. The connecting trail is narrow and twisting before reaching Causeway Street where several trail options reach to the meanders of the Charles River. The Reservation is a take-out spot for float trips down the Charles and a great spot for your dog to slip in for a deep water swim. The third option, more of a leg-stretcher than an adventure really, is a trip around Holt Pond. The trail is strewn with paw-friendly pine needles in many places and flat the whole way around.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: There is only room for a dozen or so cars in the lot; mountain bikes are restricted to certain trails that are not exciting to attract wheeled use
Workout For Your Dog – About two hours to fully explore both reservations
Swimming - Your dog can get a swim in Holt Pond but he will need to work a bit to get into the water. The dog paddling is splendid in the Charles River
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs can hike off-leash in the reservations; there is a two-dog limit on the trails, however. Dogs are not permitted in neighboring Medfield Rhodedendrons Reservation
The exposed rocky area on Noon Hill is an ideal viewing spot to admire the annual hawk migration when the glorious raptors pass by on their way south for the winter.
Phone - (978) 526-8687
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/357_ravenswood_park.cfm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Gloucester; From Route 128, take Exit 14 (Route 133) and follow east towards Gloucester for 3 miles until it dead ends into Route 127. Turn right onto Route 127 and follow for two miles to entrance and parking area on the right.
At the age of 12 Samuel Elwell Sawyer went into trade in Gloucester, eventually parlaying a local start with a dry goods dealer into a successful career as a Boston-based international merchant. His prominence, however did not match his success. Irascible and difficult to approach, few appreciated that he had funded the town library and clock tower. He bought up many parcels of land south of town - many that were his family’s ancestral lands dating to the early 1700s - and dreamed of creating a woodland park to rival anything in Boston. A fire delayed his plans but after he died in 1889 his will stipulated that a park “be laid out handsomely with drive-ways and pleasant rural walks,” to be named Ravenswood, thought to be for the castle in Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor.
There are no more becoming trails to hike with your dog in Massachusetts than those in Ravenswood Park. Wide and well-maintained, the former carriage paths will delight any level of canine hiker. Wooded throughout, the 10-mile trail system is decorated with Chevy-sized glacial erratics and rolls up and down past stands of large hemlocks. The backbone of that trail system is the historic Old Salem Roadthat was once the main conduit between Salem and Gloucester but was largely abandoned after the early 1800s. The Ledge Hill Trailscrambles to an abandoned quarry and along the way your dog will catch a splendid view of Gloucester Harbor. The dominant natural feature at Ravenswood is the Great Magnolia Swamp, the northernmost stand of this showy tree in the country. Discovered in1806, many specimens of the native Sweetbay magnolia were plundered from these woods before they were protected. When in bloom the mountain laurel and pink Lady Slippers and deep green ferns transform the property into a garden painting.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Bikes can use some trails outside of March and April
Workout For Your Dog – Hours of rambling on tap for your dog
Swimming - Dogs should be kept out of the park’s water but down the street a dog itching for a swim can enjoy the Atlantic Ocean from a small sandy/rocky beach in Stage Fort Park from September 16 to April 30
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome to ramble off-leash past the parking lot.
It wasn’t long after relocating to Boston with his pharmaceutical company that Maine accountant Mason Walton saw his health deteriorate. Fearing tuberculosis, he sought a salt water cure but he was too frail to crew for any ship. Instead he pitched a tent in these woods and began to live among nature. Soon he had built a cabin close to Old Salem Road and acquired the nickname the “Hermit of Gloucester.” Walton was hardly a recluse, however. He would eventually entertain dozens of visitors daily to listen to him espouse the simple life. He wrote articles for 19th century magazines and even published a book. The Walton cabin is now gone but a plaque marks the spot where the “hermit” lived for 33 years.
Phone - (978) 682-3580
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/39631_ward_reservation.cfm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Andover/North Andover; From I-93, take Route 125 north 5 miles. Turn right onto Prospect Road and follow for .3 mile to entrance and parking area on right.
Ward Reservation is the result of far-sighted preservationists who knitted together more than 40 separate parcels of farm and pasture land stretching for 17 miles. The properties cover 695 acres across all or portions of three hills - Shrub Hill, Boston Hill and Holt Hill. The first gift of 153 acres came from Mrs. Charles Ward in 1940. The Ward property included Holt Hill, named for Nicholas Holt who first cleared land here in 1600s. At 420 feet, Holt Hill is the highest point in Essex County and Mrs . Ward assembled “Solstice Stones” on its summit where rocks are arranged in the shape of a compass. The largest stones were placed at the cardinal points and the north stone was marked.
There are 13 miles of trails for your dog to test out in this sprawling park and long-distance canine hikers can summit all three hills. The closest to the car lot is the park star - Holt Hill, with clear views for your dog south to Boston. On June 17, 1775 townspeople climbed this hill to watch the burning of Charlestown by the British. Your dog will meet a varied landscape of open fields and pastureland mixed with swamps and woodlands, especially if the Ward Trail is on your hiking itinerary. Moving beyond Holt Hill, this trail system is one of your best bets to disappear with your dog in the shadow of Boston.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: An accurate map can be printed from the website and may be available in the trailhead kiosk. The trails are somewhat marked and include at least one very useful sign: if you are making your way up the hill from the bog to the Solstice Stones there is a sign posted on a tree to the right of the trail just before crossing the road that tells you exactly how to do it.
Workout For Your Dog – Allow more than one hour to fully explore the three hills
Swimming – Hiking dogs only
Restrictions On Dogs - None
Tucked away from the main part of the Reservation is Pine Hole Pond where a boardwalk penetrates a rare quaking bog comprised of concentric rings of vegetation. In this nutrient-challenged environment you can chance to see a carnivorous pitcher plant. The bog soil doesn’t provide enough sustenance for these ewer-shaped plants so they must lure insects into a deadly trap for consumption by a cocktail of digestive fluids in the pitcher. Tiny hairs pointing downward prevent the trapped insects from crawling out to freedom. Sticky sundews can also be seen close to the bog floor waiting to devour a small insect. The boardwalk is narrow and the vegetation thick, including poision sumac, so keep control of your dog here. Like poision ivy, dogs won’t suffer from poison sumac, but can transfer it to you.
Phone – (978) 682-3580
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/373_weir_hill.cfm
Admission Fee - None
Directions - North Andover; From I-93, take Route 125 north 7.3 miles. At traffic lights, merge left onto Route 114 west. Turn right onto Andover Street (remains Route 125) and follow for .2 miles. Turn right at traffic lights (remains Andover Street) and follow for .6 miles. (past The Stevens-Coolidge Place). Bear right at fork and continue .2 miles to intersection at Old North Andover Center. Go straight over for .1 mile and then left onto Stevens Street. Continue for .8 mile. to entrance on right. Park along the road.
In 1850 the “son” in the textile manufacturer Nathaniel Stevens & Son was Moses T. Stevens. The Stevens were one of the founding families in North Andover and Moses’ business acumen and astute mill purchases drove the family to ever more dizzying heights. Along the way Stevens served in Massachusetts politics and spent a couple of terms in the United States Congress in the 1890s. He also built one of the state’s grandest Victorian estates, dripping in oak and mahogany paneling, leaded stained glass windows and imported marble fireplaces. Included in his 500-acre estate was Weir (pronounced “Wire”) Hill, a protruberance overlooking Lake Cochichewick that had been grazed by livestock for generations. There were no Weirs in the Stevens family, incidentally. The name comes from the submerged wooden lairs that American Indians used to trap fish spawning in the lake waters.
This is the Boston-area hike your water-loving dog was looking for. There is almost a mile of lakeside trail at Weir Hill so it’s walk awhile, swim awhile, walk awhile, swim awhile... The cattle grazing days here are a distant memory; everything is tree-covered save for an open vista atop the 305-foot drumlin that serves up some nice west-facing vistas of the Merrimack Valley a scant ten minutes from the trailhead by one route. And there are many hike variations available at Weir Hill. You can bounce up and down the hill in the reservation’s interior or set your dog rolling on the dirt path that hugs the perimeter along the lakes.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: A map can be printed from the website and may be available in the trailhead kiosk. You will need it. Nothing is marked on the trails and likely as not a promising route may dead-end at private property.
Workout For Your Dog – More than an hour of rambling here for your dog
Swimming - Canine aquatics are the main attraction for your dog at Weir Hill
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed at Weir Hill and chances are most park users will have at least one four-legged trail companion
Moses Stevens helped found the North Andover Country Club back in 1897. The clubhouse was built at the base of Weir Hill on the shore of Lake Cochichewick. Members would paddle across the lake for their game of golf before returning to the clubhouse for dining and dancing. The club moved across the lake in 1909 and all that remains today is a foundation that can be seen along the Edgewood Farm Trail.
Whitney and Thayer Woods
Phone - (781) 740-7233
Website - www.thetrustees.org/pages/392_whitney_and_thayer_woods.cfm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Cohasset/Hingham; From Route 3, take Exit 14 and follow Route 228 north for 6.5 miles through Hingham. Turn right onto Route 3A east and follow for 2 miles to entrance and parking area on right opposite Sohier Street.
Henry Melville Whitney was a man of vision. He used over a million of his dollars built in the shipping business to buy large tracts of land along Beacon Street in Brookline. Here he developed one of the poshest suburbs in the United States to which he lured Bostonians with his newly built rail line, the West End Street Railway. His little single-line track soon had 2,000 horse-drawn streetcars and soon he was head of Boston’s entire trolley system. Henry Whitney loved horses; he even owned a horseshoe company. And it is quite likely this man of vision had no taste for what he saw coming after 1900 - the horseless carriage. In 1904 the 65-year old Whitney began assembling parcels of land to create a private estate in Cohasset for his equestrian pursuits. He built a magnificent mansion and carved carriage roads for horse-drawn buggies and bridle trails for riders on 600 acres of land known as Whitney Woods. The land was donated to the Trustees of Reservations in 1943 and an adjoining parcel to the west was eventually added from Mrs. Ezra Ripley Thayer, wife of a one-time dean of the Harvard Law School, to form today’s park.
As you might expect from a park created for horseback riding, there are very long trails here and this is a super spot to bring your dog for that multi-hour adventure. The paths are also wide, well-maintained, a pleasure for your dog to trot on. If you put in the full tour you will eventually reach Turkey Hill, from whose 187-foot summit there are spectacular views of Cohasset Harbor and the South Shore. But you needn’t spend a whole day here either; there are short-hike options. If you come in the spring or early summer one stretch of trail you will want to take extra time to reach is the Milliken Memorial Path that was planted with showy azaleas and rhodedendrons in the 1920s by a loving husband.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: There are far fewer side trails off the main chutes in Whitney and Thayer Woods than are found in some reservation lands. The junctions are well-marked and the map easy to follow
Workout For Your Dog – Many hours of trail time
Swimming - Canine hikers only on this trip
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are permitted to ramble under voice control here and in the neighboring Turkey Hill. The fun ends for your canine hiker - no dogs in adjacent Weir River Farm.
In an ironic twist it will probably not be Henry Whitney you remember after visiting his former estate but someone else who lived here - a fellow as far down the economic spectrum from the rich magnate as it is possible to get. Theodore “Ode” Pritchard lived under a mass of boulders for a time after losing his house in 1830. While your dog scampers about the jumble of rocks and explores the narrow crevasses you can picture what it would be like to make this a home.
World’s End Reservation
Phone - None
Website - http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/worlds-end.html
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Hingham; end of Martin’s Lane. From Route 3, take Route 228 North (Exit 14) for 6.5 miles. Turn left on Route 3A and follow for .4 mile. Turn right onto Summer Street and at the traffic light with Rockland Street and on to Martins Lane.
Over the years this peninsula has been considered for one of America’s pioneering residential subdivisions, as the site for the United Nations headquarters and a nuclear power plant. But despite the threats from this intimidating trio and others nothing was ever built at World’s End. Boston businessman John Brewer was the wealthy owner who created a waterside estate here in the 1800s. In 1890 he hired Frederick Law Olmsted to design that housing development and Olmsted built serpentine carriage paths and planted trees. But the project stalled so all that remains are the paths, the trees and swaying grasses.
World’s End is comprised of four drumlins, glacial hills, that top out at 120 feet. The trail system piles loops around and across the hilltops with about four miles of carriageways. There are some detours to explore as well, through a salt marsh and out to rocky shorelines.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: The carriageways can be a bit rocky under paw but your dog will likely forgive you as she trots around this delightful park
Workout For Your Dog – A good hour-plus to wander up and down the knobs
Swimming - Absolutely – the trailstouch the shoreline
Restrictions On Dogs - The stone water fountain features run-off into a dog-high drinking bowl
On top of the open hilltops you will see downtown Boston about 15 miles away across the harbor.