Travel doesn’t always mean booking a flight somewhere far. It can be taking a few hundred steps from your backyard or driving several miles to a nearby attraction that you’ve been putting off from exploring. Now is the perfect time to get to know the place where you grew up and quench that thirst for adventure.
If you live near Massachusetts, here are some secret places that can jumpstart your next adventure!
Road Less Traveled: 7 Spots in Massachusetts That You Should Explore
7. Keystone Arches Trail
The Keystone Arches Trail is where history and hiking meet. If you love both (and even if you don’t), this five-mile trek along the Westfield River is a great place to explore (and take photos of). The sound of the river provides a soothing background with every step that you take.
The moderate hike provides a majestic view of historic railroad arch bridges that were built in the 1840s. The bridges display expert craftsmanship and give a scenic look back to the rich history of train travel. Keep an eye out for signs along the way because they provide a lot of information, which makes the hike a more enriching experience.
As a bonus, you can marvel at a small waterfall when you hike on the Keystone Arches Trail. Overall, this trail provides an interesting combination of history and scenery.
6. Gay Head Lighthouse
Located in an area with a picturesque backdrop, the Gay Head Lighthouse is perfect for photo and video shoots with nature. The lighthouse is on the westernmost part of Martha’s Vineyard. On a good summer day, it stands tall with a breathtaking view of the blue sky surrounding it, and flowers and lush greenery on its foot.
At present, the lighthouse park is open to the public but the interior is temporarily closed for tours.
5. Hammond Castle Museum
The Hammond Castle is the former home of the eccentric inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr, the pioneering genius behind the study of remote control. The medieval castle is known for having rare architectural elements that originate from different centuries—hand-carved, wooden facades of French storefronts from the 13th and 14th centuries, and the Italian archway from the 15th century. Now, it serves as a museum that features Hammond’s inventions and collections.
The charming Hammond Castle Museum sprawls out of the Atlantic shoreline overlooking the Gloucester Harbor, making it a perfect getaway whether it’s a sunny or rainy day. It is a treasure that has become a part of many weddings and other private events.
4. Mount Greylock
Visit Mount Greylock to get closer to nature and obtain a spectacular view at 360°. Whether you hike or drive, this destination is not to be missed. The summit has a 1932 war memorial tower that looks like an upside-down Art Deco golf tee. On a clear day, you can see as far as 90 miles away.
Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. The area is surrounded by a hardwood forest so travel in autumn to witness an explosion of colors.
3. Cape Cod Rail Trail
The Cape is an old railway line that was paved to provide a ton of exhilarating biking trails. It is home to many bike paths including the 11-mile Shining Sea Bikeway. However, the main attraction is the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which begins mid-Cape to LeCount Hollow Road. The mostly flat bike trail provides a scenic view of the Cape as it allows you to cross several towns and serves as an access point to Cape Cod National Seashore beaches.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail has something for everyone. It gives a beautiful coastal panorama and a nice inland landscape perspective of the Cape. It has many relaxing stops where you can rest or eat. It gives fitness enthusiasts an avenue for light workouts or strenuous bike races. It can also cater to families who simply want a breath of fresh air.
Walk, run, or cycle on the Cape Cod Rail Trail to get some fresh air for a few hours without straining yourself so much. The tame trail is perfect for an easy jog or ride.
2. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary
For a little zen in nature, the Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary offers a lush greenery that will give you a serene experience. The former farmstead is home to sheeps and other wildlife. It provides a plethora of trails that go through different landscapes such as the Brown Hill Summit, Glacial Boulder, ancient trees, beaver dams, and goldfish ponds.
The Brown Hill Summit will win you over with its magnificent view be it during sunrise or sunset.
1. Halibut Point State Park
The Halibut Point State Park is a small area that permits an easy hike on stunning granite ledges overlooking the ocean. The view will definitely leave you speechless. Go down the rocks to hear the roaring of the waves as they crash on the rocks. This destination offers an amazing wildlife experience with tons of birds, seals, and other marine animals.
On a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with an outstanding glimpse of Mount Agamenticus, which is located 81 miles away in Maine.
We’d love to learn about your favorite Massachusetts destinations!
Photo credits: @chazfremont @nipeninge @hammondcastlemuseum @colin_mcgahan @blissfully_nomadic @moniquef123 @bridgetkurdziel
What hidden gems in Massachusetts have you set foot on?
Disclaimer: Please check state health guidelines and attractions/events schedules when planning a trip. Please travel responsibly.