The state of Massachusetts, small as it is, is one with adventure waiting at every corner and for every individual. It was back in 1620 when the first pilgrims, who sought religious freedom, settled in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, though evidence of inhabitants goes as far back as 3000 years. Not only that, but it is also the site of the first-ever thanksgiving dinner. Speaking of history, if you’ve ever read the story of the witches of Salem, then visiting the town of Salem in October is an experience that will make any adventurer’s hair stand on end. Who knows, you might just encounter a witch yourself.
Also nicknamed “The Bay State” Massachusetts is home to incredible coastal towns and villages, of which Cape Cod offers you beaches, seafood, kayaking, the right number of lighthouses, and Martha’s Vineyard just south of it. Oh, and who could forget paying respects to the monument of education and the dream of every scholar, the 385-year-old Harvard University in Cambridge!
While there is lots to see in Massachusetts, some visitors tend to crave some peace and time to reconnect with nature. If that’s what you need then here’s our take on the 10 best parks you can visit in Massachusetts.
Halibut Point State Park
Located on the rocky coast of Cape Ann in Rockport, Massachusetts, the Halibut state park offers its visitors a blend of great views, trekking, and wildlife. On a clear day, visitors can peer at Mount Agamenticus, 40 miles away in Maine, and the isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire.
Scramble across its ledges carved by the granite industry and get to know the history of not only the industry but the significance of the park in World War 2. If you’re the easy-going type, get your goggles for some bird watching or grab that fishing road from your storage room to get lucky at its lakes teeming with marine life.
Hopkinton State Park
A park that has pretty much everything you want ranging from non-motorized boating, swimming, kayaking, and fishing in its huge reservoir to horse-back riding, snowmobiling, and mountain biking on land. If you get a good catch with your fishing rod, you can rent a grill from one of the facilities and enjoy some freshly grilled fish. The park occupies an area of 1500 acres in the town of Hopkinton and Ashland that remains open from 8 am – 8 pm with an entrance fee of $8.
Massasoit State Park
The Massasoit state park offers great trails for its visitors especially in fall where a contrast of green and scarlet red is painted by the pine trees and cranberry bogs. You can bring your trailer to this location and enjoy camping surrounded by nature.
Furthermore, the park offers fishing, kayaking, hunting, a playground, and a bathhouse. Lake Rico resides at the center of the park and the Taunton Municipal Airports to the West so visitors will often see airplanes passing above their heads. The park is in Taunton on Middleboro Avenue open from sunrise to sunset.
Wompatuck State Park
With 3500 acres of land, this park offers a lot to its visitors in the form of 250 camping spots, multiple ponds and lakes for fishing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling in the winters, and more. Back in World War 2, the park used to be an ammunition depot and the bunkers and trails are still present to this day.
Oh, and if you feel thirsty on your hike, you can take a sip of the park’s famous spring water that flows down from Mount Blue. The park is located on Union Street in Hingham, Massachusetts, and is open from sunrise to sunset.
Dunn State Park
The Dunn State Park is a smaller 132 acre park located on Pearl Street in the town of Gardner with plenty of trout and bass to be caught from its fishing peers, and of course, grilled at campsites later on. The site is wooded with a lovely mountainside pond that makes it ideal for good rest. The park also offers kayaking, biking trails, pavilions, a playground, and in the winters cross country skiing and bonfires. The entrance fee for Massachusetts residents is $8 whereas $30 for non-residents.
Skinner State Park
The Skinner State Park offers great views from the summit house located on mount Holyoke and hiking up there is sure to test one’s strength and endurance. However, once you reach the summit you can gaze at the Connecticut River, Berkshire, and the Mountains of Vermont.
While hiking up there you’ll find a monument dedicated to a World War 2 bomber plane that crashed in the park. The park also offers activities like hand gliding, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and more. It is located on Skinner State Park Road, Hadley.
Clarksburg State Park
The park has 368 acres of northern hardwood forest encasing the Mauserts Pond in the middle, providing great camping spots around the pond and its branching streams. The pond is skirted by a scenic trail along which visitors can observe a variety of wild plants and animals.
Furthermore, the forestland provides a view of the Hoosac Range, Mount Greylock, and the green mountains. The parks offer activities like kayaking, boating, fishing, swimming, and cross-country skiing. You can get to the park through Middle Road, Clarksburg.
Myles Standish State Forest
This park is one of the largest state-owned parks in the state of Massachusetts. It offers a large range of activities including sailing, kayaking, skiing, educational programs, hunting, camping, and more. Facilities for parkgoers include a venue for smaller weddings, pavilions, boat ramps, and much more.
There are 16 ponds and 5 campsites at the park, while several ecologically sufficient kettle ponds are commonly found across the site. The park also houses the Massachusetts Correctional Facility though we are sure visitors would want to stay away from it. The forest is located on Cranberry Road, Carver.
Nickerson State Park
If you wish to escape from the sand dunes and salt marshes of Cape Cod, travel up the road to Nickerson State Park for some greenery with kettle ponds at every turn. The biggest ponds are Cliff Pond and Flax Pond both of which are great spots for camping and fishing trout.
It offers the same large number of activities as Myles Standish with the addition of a basketball court and an amphitheater. The park charges $8 for MA residents and $30 for non-residents. You can head to the park by taking Main Street in Brewster.
Minute Man National Historical Park
If you love American history then this park should be on your bucket list. The park captures the events of the Battles of the Revolution, including sites like Concord and Lexington. At Concord's North Bridge, visitors can see the place where, on April 19, 1775, the Colonial militia fired the famous "shot heard 'round the world."
Fallen men in uniforms called out to the visitors, through whatever was left after, so that they can keep living in memory. You can reach the park through Great Road in Lincoln.