It's no secret that my favorite place to exercise is outdoors, and NOT in a gym. I love a good gym sesh, don't get me wrong, but nothing beats sunshine and fresh air in my book.
Check out my top 5 places in Eastern Massachusetts for outdoor exercise that aren't Blue Hills Reservation.
Part Jamaica Plain, part Roslindale, this Harvard University-owned outdoor museum of trees, shrubs, and many other flora from around the world provides more of a cardio-enducing hike than most would imagine. With 281 acres of land to explore and significant elevation gain throughout its many trails, if you make this your regular outdoor hang, you'll never be bored. You'll also very quickly become a horticultural expert - most, if not all, plantings are labeled with their scientific and common names.
If you love to run, track your steps, and pretend like Venice Beach is on the East Coast (ok, maybe not so similar), Castle Island and the Pleasure Bay loop is a good bet! Located in South Boston, this loop trail is 2.2 miles of mostly flat boardwalk. Run, walk, blade or bike while watching the planes arrive and depart overhead.
Charles River Esplanade
Super local for anyone living in Back Bay, Beacon Hill or Cambridge, this part of the Emerald Necklace is relatively flat and full of quaint spots to stop and sit on a bench if a stroll and people watching picnic is more your speed. Try some riverside yoga or meditation practice as well! Access from several different bridges on the Boston side of the river.
Wilson Mountain Reservation
Hidden about 30 minutes southwest of Boston, this state-managed terrain has multiple trails ranging from .7 to 1.8 miles. Full of inclines, declines, creeks, boulders and more (lots of surprises around every corner including views of the Blue Hills), this is the highest point of elevation in Dedham, MA.
The Trustees' flagship property located in Hingham, MA. Hike around any which way you wish, it's beautiful in any season with views of Boston and the harbor islands. Enough woods and coastline to go around and around again - always something new to see and wildlife to spot. Popular on weekends, get there early to secure a parking spot!
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