This is my first post since coming to the US and I’m pleased to dedicate it to the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Here are four reasons to visit Middlesex Fells Reservation during your trip to Boston Massachusetts. Note: The pictures were taken during early October 2020, in fall.
I used to think that it was impossible to get around the States without a car, and there is some truth in that. As I don’t drive, it’s a bit of a bummer. But thankfully, there are a number of parks and reservations near where I lived along Cambridge, which is a short 10 minute walk from Boston.
If you’re wondering what is a reservation, Wikipedia defines an Indian reservation as “a legal designation for an area of land managed by a federally recognized Indian tribe.. rather than the state governments of the United States in which they are physically located”.
Indeed, Middlesex Fells used to be occupied by Native Americans, before the Europeans arrived.
According to website North Shore Nature, there were Native American tool workshops found in the reservation. It is said that the Native Americans used volcanic outcrops at the reservation as material for their tools. If you’re keen to learn more on Middlesex Fells Reservation, North Shore Nature is a great resource.
1. There’s a varied landscape with several large water bodies including the Spot Pond
Of the forests I have visited near Cambridge, Middlesex Fells has got to be one of the most beautiful. It could be a function of me visiting the reservation in fall, but I really liked it. The brown leaves that cover the forest floor, the trees that provided shade against the sun and the serene water bodies – it was nice just sitting by the bank of the Spot Pond, while taking in the sights and sounds of nature.
I’d like to highlight here that Spot Pond is not a water pond in which you can see the perimeter across the horizon. It’s literally in my mind, a lake! I’m not sure of the definitions of a pond in New England, but coming from Singapore, one tends to see a pond as a small, enclosed body of water, where you could see from end to end. The Spot Pond as seen above, is 289 acres, the size of about 222 football fields. Really reminded me of the lakes (or lochs) I’d seen in Scotland.
Friend A raised a good point – that when hiking, it’s always nice to have a goal to reach, and making your way to a pond or a reservoir is always nice as it’s a change in landscape.
2. A great escape from crowds especially during COVID times
It is true that the number of COVID cases in Massachusetts have been rising. While I’ve tried to avoid crowds, it is almost impossible to do so at times in the city. Visiting Middlesex Fells Reservation was a great way to get away from city life and pop into a place so steeped in nature. It wasn’t even that far away too. I’ve got to say that the air was super fresh (when I took off my mask to eat a pear).
3. Middlesex Fells Reservation is a ~15 minute car ride from Boston
Unlike other reservations which are located further away, Middlesex Fells is a short car ride away. You can always take an Uber or Lyft and it wouldn’t cost a bomb. While Boston has many great parks, nothing beats having a picnic in a place surrounded by nature.
4. The terrain is mostly flat, it is easy to get around
If you’re planning a trip with young children or with the elderly, there are easy paths for you to take to get from one place to another. The Spot Pond is a good place to walk around as the path is relatively flat.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
Middlesex Fells Reservation was the first New England forest that I visited and it was a memorable hike. Of the forests and reservations I have visited, I would say that this has got to be my favourite. Do check it out if you can.
Four reasons to visit Middlesex Fells Reservation during your trip to Boston Massachusetts
- Gates open at 9am (though when I was there, I did not detect any gates :))
- For more information on trails available, visit https://www.mass.gov/locations/middlesex-fells-reservation