Top 10 Nature Spots In Boston

When you’re situated in downtown Boston it can be difficult to find a little outside time, especially when food can be delivered to you at the click of a button, shopping is right around the corner, and classes keep you cooped up in your room or the library. Luckily, being in the heart of the city means most things are easily accessible—including green space! Here is a list of some of the best places to get outdoors when you find yourself needing some fresh air.

1. Minuteman Bikeway

This bike trail serves as a commuter trail between Alewife station at the end of the red line and Bedford, MA. This 10-mile trail is tree-lined, and leads to many different nature spots, including Spy Pond, Tower Park, Arlington’s Great Meadow, and other parks along the way. Go for a walk, bring your bike, or rent one from the Hubway station at Alewife!

2. Charles River Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade is filled with biking and jogging paths, monuments, and scenic views. Watch the sunset from one of the docks, rent a kayak and get out on the water, or tie a hammock between two trees--it’s a great retreat from the city without having to go too far out of the way.

3. Arnold Arboretum

Run by Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is a park curated with a large collection of plants and trees, as well as lilacs for those visiting in the spring. Paths wind throughout the park, and the Arboretum also puts on different tours, exhibits, and classes—they even have an app! Right off of the Forest Hills stop on the Orange Line, it’s a beautiful place to get in touch with plant life.

4. Revere Beach

    Right out of the Wonderland stop on the blue line, Revere Beach is one of the easiest beaches to get to off of the T, for those more inclined towards the ocean than a park. The beach boasts a long walk along the sand and an icy swim for those brave enough to jump in the water, but it’s a quick and easy way to see the beach in Boston.

5. Boston Common/Boston Gardens

The Common and the Gardens are a Boston classic and pretty much a part of Emerson Campus, but their proximity doesn’t mean they should be ruled out. These parks are the fastest way for an Emerson student to get outside, find some hidden monuments, do homework, or sit in the grass and watch the sky change colors around sunset.

6. The Fens

Full of statues, memorials, playgrounds, sports fields, and crisscrossed with walkways and running paths, the Fens is a park along the Muddy River. It’s easy to get to from Northeastern or Kenmore stops on the Green Line, and serves as a simply beautiful way to go for a walk and explore while within the city limits.

7. Boston Harbor Islands

The Boston Harbor Islands are a unique way to hike and explore historic ruins right off the coast of the city. Though many more are accessible during the summer months by ferry, Deer Island, Nut Island, Webb Memorial State Park, and Worlds End are open all year and feature beautiful views and trails around the islands. These islands are all fairly easy to access by car, so call an Uber! Deer Island can also be reached on MBTA bus 712.

8. Franklin Park

Right off the Forest Hills stop on the Orange Line, Franklin Park boasts a golf course, sports facilities, and even a zoo! This, the city’s largest park, is a classic place for Boston residents to escape the traffic and high-rises and spend some time surrounded by greenery as well as exotic animals—you can even explore the ruins of the old bear cages.

9. Jamaica Pond

This quaint pond is a quick walk from the Green St. station on the Orange line, and with a 1.5 mile trail around the pond, it can be appreciated from all angles. Watch the water reflect the sunset, go sailing, or if you have a permit, go fishing! It’s a beautiful spot to sit and watch the water, or passing joggers.

10. East Boston Greenway/Greenway Connector

The Greenway and the Greenway connector are two bike/walking paths that run next to the Blue Line. Leading from the Maverick stop to Constitution Beach, this path goes through several parks, behind the airport, and ends at an open beach right next to the Orient Heights station. Though this trail does stay close to the Blue Line tracks, the view across the water and the marshes help make the trail feel secluded and quiet away from the city.