Need a spring vacation activity? Explore the great outdoors with these 10 MetroWest trails
The birds are chirping, the leaves are turning green and the trails are calling your name — adventure awaits!
As MetroWest and Greater Milford welcome the arrival of spring (and school vacation week, for those with school-aged children), there’s no better time to check out some of the nearby trails, paths and parks.
So lace up your sneakers or boots, grab the sunscreen and bug spray, and get outdoors for some fresh air. Here are 10 trails you’ve got to visit.
Where to find it: 5 Chestnut Hill Road, Southborough
What to expect: A working farm, Chestnut Hill boasts two miles of trails that allow visitors to voyage through fields of hay, alfalfa and vegetables. The farm is home to a herd of goats, and Chestnut Hill even offers the occasional opportunity to hike with the goats.
Where to find it: 280 Eliot St., Natick
What to expect: For the littlest animal lovers, Broadmoor is an exciting option. The Mass Audubon sanctuary is bursting with wildlife, including turtles, dragonflies, otters and more than 175 species of birds. There are nine miles of trails to explore, and the All Persons Trail is accessible for wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.
Where to find it: 164 Cedar St., Hopkinton
What to expect: If your family’s ideal hike ends with a picnic, Hopkinton State Park is a great choice, boasting 300 picnic spots and more than 100 grills. Hiking trails weave through the park’s 1,500 acres of forest, some of which will take you beachside at the Hopkinton Reservoir and swimming pond.
For dog lovers
Where to find it: 1048 Edmands Road, Framingham
What to expect: Furry friends will love playing in the dog park and going for a dip in Eagle Pond at Callahan State Park, which offers 800 acres of park land and 7 miles of marked trails. The park is a popular option for local dog owners and offers off-leash areas, but make sure to learn the etiquette before heading over — the Callahan Dog Owners Group offers a guide.
More hikes to try: In honor of National Take A Hike Day, try these trails in MetroWest and Greater Milford
Where to find it: There are trailheads on Cherry Street, West Street, Church Street and Oak Avenue in Northborough, according to a map on the town Trails Committee website.
What to expect: Visitors might see beavers and wildflowers while out on the trail at Cold Harbor, which offers about 4.4 miles of winding pathway. The trail is prime for dog walking, but the Trails Committee reminds visitors to use a leash.
Where to find it: 13 Pine Hill Road, Ashland
What to expect: Ashland unveiled enhancements to Mill Pond Park and the Riverwalk Trail in the fall of 2020, making this trail a beautiful one to explore. In this segment of the Bay Circuit Trail, visitors can find a large pedestrian bridge spanning the Mill Pond inlet and offering access to the park. Dogs are welcome — just remember to keep them leashed and dispose of waste properly.
Where to find it: Parking available at Mayflower Landing; Adams Middle School complex (during non-school hours or events); Blair Square; the municipal parking lot off of Exchange Street; Cross Street; and Hopping Brook Road.
From train tracks to walking path: A history of the Holliston Rail Trail
What to expect: Part of the Upper Charles Rail Trail — a proposed 25-mile trail built on a former rail bed spanning Ashland, Holliston, Sherborn, Milford and Hopkinton — this 6.7-mile multi-use path offers a peaceful experience. The trail is open to cyclists, and its stone dust surface is bike-friendly. Holliston’s trail etiquette requires cyclists to yield to pedestrians and encourages the use of helmets.
Where to find it: The Saxonville trailhead is at the intersection of Concord and School streets in Framingham. Parking is also available in Natick at 11 Mechanic St. and on Chrysler Road.
Get on yer bikes and ride: Cochituate Rail Trail inaugurated on Tuesday
What to expect: The Framingham section of the Cochituate Rail Trail opened in 2015, with the Natick section following in 2021. This bike-friendly trail offers 4 miles of paved and marked pathway, stretching from Saxonville to downtown Natick. When it comes to scenic views, the CRT offers a tempting alternative to driving.
Where to find it: Trailhead parking for the Marlborough-Hudson stretch is available at Kelleher Field and 40 Hudson St. (Marlborough), and 14 Wilkins St. (Hudson).
What to expect: Also constructed on a former rail bed, the Assabet River Rail Trail offers more than 9 miles of paved trail available for public recreation. Cyclists can find stunning views of the river and woods, and there’s a convenient stretch of the trail that runs from downtown Marlborough through Hudson.
For hikers seeking a challenge
Where to find it: For maps and trailheads, visit baycircuit.org/maps-guides/.
More: How 230 miles of hiking trails connect the suburbs of Boston
What to expect: If you’re looking for an epic hiking journey through Massachusetts, look no further. The C-shaped Bay Circuit Trail offers a scenic 230-mile trek through 37 communities, stretching from the mouth of the Merrimack River down to Kingston Bay. The route skirts around MetroWest, and you can thru-hike the entire thing or split it up into day hikes.
Abby Patkin is a multimedia journalist for the Daily News. Follow Abby on Twitter @AMPatkin. She can be reached at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on MetroWest Daily News: MetroWest trails: Hike, bike or walk at one of these local parks