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SPORTS & RECREATION / PARKS & NATURE

From scenic beaches, picturesque marinas, and lush parks to exceptional urban recreational facilities, newcomers will discover a world of natural and quality amenities for an active lifestyle. For every imaginable outdoor activity, Massachusetts provides a scenic backdrop and outstanding facilities. Panoramic bike trails, horseback riding paths, miles of hiking trails, camping sites, delightful nature centers, exquisite gardens, and environmental education centers are never far from home. Hikers, walkers, and nature lovers will discover the perfect places to enjoy New England’s natural beauty. During the summer months, many residents look forward to visiting Cape Cod getaways.

Massachusetts State Parks & Forests
617-626-1250
www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks

Regional State Parks

Ames Nowell State Park
Abington
781-857-1336

Ashland State Park
Ashland
508-435-4303

Borderland State Park
North Easton
508-238-6566

Boston Harbor Islands State Park
Boston
781-740-1605

Bradley Palmer State Park
Topsfield
978-887-5931

Callahan State Park
Framingham
508-653-9641

C.M. Gardner State Park
Huntington
413-354-6347

Cochituate State Park
Natick
508-653-9641

Great Brook Farm State Park
Carlisle
978-369-6312

Halibut Point State Park
Rockport
978-546-2997

Harold Parker State Forest
Andover
978-686-3391

Hopkinton State Park
Hopkinton
508-435-4303

Maudslay State Park
Newburyport
978-465-7223

Moore State Park
Paxton
508-792-3969

Pearl Hill State Park
West Townsend
978-597-8802

Salisbury Beach State Reservation
Salisbury
978-462-4481

Sandy Point State Reservation
Ipswich
978-462-4481

Walden Pond State Reservation
Concord
978-369-3254

Webb Memorial State Park
North Weymouth
781-925-1777

Whitehall State Park
Hopkinton
508-435-4303

Wompatuck State Park
Hingham
781-749-7160

Massachusetts State Forests

Beartown State Forest
Monterey
413-528-0904

Boxford State Forest
Boxford
617-626-1250

Chester-Blandford State Forest
Chester
413-354-6347

DAR State Forest
Goshen
413-268-7098

Douglas State Forest
Douglas
508-476-7872

F. Gilbert Hills State Forest
Foxboro
508-543-9084

Freetown-Fall River State Forest
Assonet
508-644-5522

Georgetown-Rowley State Forest
Georgetown
978-887-5931

Granville State Forest
Granville
413-357-6611

Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest
Hawley
413-339-5504

Leominster State Forest
Westminster
978-874-2303

Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest
Lowell
978-369-6312

Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
Martha’s Vineyard
508-693-2540

Mohawk Trail State Forest
Charlemont
413-339-5504

Monroe State Forest
Monroe
413-339-5504

Mt. Washington State Forest
Mt. Washington
413-528-0330

Myles Standish State Forest
Carver
508-866-2526

October Mountain State Forest
Lee
413-243-1778

Pittsfield State Forest
Pittsfield
413-442-8992

Sandisfield State Forest
Monterey
413-229-8212

Savoy Mountain State Forest
Florida
413-663-8469

Shawme-Crowell State Forest
Sandwich
508-888-0351

Spencer State Forest
Spencer
508-886-6333

Tolland State Forest
East Otis
413-269-6002

Upton State Forest
Upton
508-278-6486

Willard Brook State Forest
Townsend
978-597-8802

Willowdale State Forest
Ipswich
978-887-5931

Windsor State Forest
Windsor
413-339-5504

Nature Preserves

Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary
East Falmouth 508-362-7475
www.massaudubon.org

Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary
Mattapan 617-983-8500
www.massaudubon.org

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary
Natick 508-655-2296
www.massaudubon.org

Cape Cod National Seashore
Wellfleet 508-255-3421
www.nps.gov/caco

Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
Lincoln 781-259-2200
www.massaudubon.org

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Edgartown 508-627-4850
www.massaudubon.org

Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary
Belmont 617-489-5050
www.massaudubon.org

Ipswitch River Wildlife Sanctuary
Topsfield 978-887-9264
www.massaudubon.org

Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharon 781-784-5691
www.massaudubon.org

Museum of American Bird Art
Canton 781-821-8853
www.massaudubon.org

North Hill Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary
Duxbury 781-837-9400
www.massaudubon.org

North River Wildlife Sanctuary
Marshfield 781-837-9400
www.massaudubon.org

Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary
Attleboro 508-223-3060
www.massaudubon.org

Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
Norfolk 508-528-3140
www.massaudubon.org

Whitney and Thayer Woods
Cohasset 781-740-7233
www.thetrustees.org

World’s End
Hingham 781-740-6665
www.thetrustees.org

Boston Highlights

Arnold Arboretum
Jamaica Plain 617-524-1718
www.arboretum.harvard.edu
Administered by Harvard University, this exceptional 265-acre arboretum features thousands of varieties of blooms, shrubs, and trees. Established in the late 1800s, the arboretum provides a tranquil and beautiful retreat in the middle of a bustling urban environment. Some of the most spectacular scenes are full bloom seasons for rhododendrons, lilacs, magnolias, and fruit trees or the fiery display of autumn.

Boston Common
Boston 617-635-4505
www.cityofboston.gov/parks
Celebrated as the oldest public park in the nation, the Boston Common is considered to be one of the largest and certainly the most famous of New England’s many town commons. Dating as far back as the 1600s, the park shares its rich historic heritage with the surrounding city and once served as ground for cattle. Although modern residents still exercise their right of freedom of speech at this site, most visitors just enjoy relaxing, picnicking, walking, and enjoying the natural beauty of the public gardens and green space.

Boston Public Gardens
Boston 617-635-4505
www.cityofboston.gov/parks
Located at Charles, Beacon, Boylston, and Arlington streets, these lovely gardens are distinguished as the nation’s oldest botanical garden. Dating from the early 1800s, they showcase some of the finest formal plantings in central Boston. Occupying former salt marshes on the edge of the common, the walkways are lined with large beds that are replanted for spring and summer to ensure maximum color and beauty. May displays showcase a wide variety of stunningly colorful tulips.

Cape Cod’s Natural Splendor
Stretching nearly 44,000 acres of upland landscape features and shimmering shoreline, the Cape Cod National Seashore claims a 40-mile stretch of pristine sandy beach. Dozens of clear, deep, freshwater kettle ponds add to the water-rich landscape, punctuating a terrain with upland scenes that reflect the way people have utilized the land. A wide variety of colorful and charming historic structures lie within the boundaries of the national seashore, including wonderful lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod homes. The seashore offers six swimming beaches, nearly a dozen self-guiding nature trails, serene picnic areas, and breathtaking scenic overlooks. For more information as you plan a getaway or vacation to the Cape Cod area, contact:

Cape Cod National Seashore
Wellfleet 508-255-3421
www.nps.gov/caco

The Emerald Necklace
Frederick Law Olmsted, the nation’s first landscape architect, designed a chain of semi-rustic parks called the Emerald Necklace that stretch from the Back Bay to Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park. These lush parks ring Boston with green space from downtown to Forest Hills. The Boston Park Rangers offer tours that focus on urban ecology, architecture, history, botany, wildlife and sailing.

*           Franklin Park: Golf course with rural setting and zoo in a 500-acre park
*           Arnold Arboretum: World-renowned, international collection of plants and shrubs
*           Jamaica Park: 60-acre pond with fishing, rowing
*           Olmsted Park: Green space for bicycling, walking, jogging, and nature study
*           Riverway Park: Narrowest of the parks, easily accessible via public transportation
*           Back Bay Fens: Nearest park to downtown Boston showcases brilliant blooms

For more information on each park in the Emerald Necklace system and available activities, contact:

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy
Boston 617-522-2700
www.emeraldnecklace.org

Beaches & Water Sports

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation maintains a separate division for urban parks and recreation. More than 18 miles of beaches are located within the Greater Boston area alone—all accessible by public transportation. Local parks and recreation commissions maintain the suburban beaches. For complete details, contact:

Division of Urban Parks & Recreation
617-727-9547
www.state.ma.us/mdc

Metropolitan Beaches

Constitution Beach
East Boston (Orient Heights)

Lovells Island
Boston Harbor

Malibu Beach, Savin Hill Beach, Tenean Beach
Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester

Carson Beach, Castle Island Beach, City Point Beach, Pleasure Bay Beach, “M” Street Beach
Day Boulevard, South Boston

Suburban Beaches

Smith Beach, Sunset Lake
Braintree

Wingaersheek Beach
Gloucester

Nahant Beach, Revere Beach, Winthrop Beach, Nantasket Beach
Hull

Crane’s Beach
Ipswich

King’s Beach, Lynn Beach
Lynn

Avalon Beach, Baker Beach, Manet Beach, Mound Street Beach, Nickerson Beach, Perry Beach, Wollaston Beach
Quincy

Egypt Beach, Humarock Beach, Minot Beach, North Scituate Beach, Peggotty Beach, Sand Hills Beach
Scituate

Lane Beach, Lake Street Beach, Wessagusset Beach
Weymouth