Want to take your dog for a walk in the park or on a trail but don’t know where to go? Below, I have listed the most popular parks/trails in the Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington area for walking your dog. Now, you will have a plethora of options to choose from when you want to enjoy a day among nature!
1. Reformatory Branch Trail (Concord)
This trail connects the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford to the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge in Concord. This is a 4 mile path that includes a very cool side trip around the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge area so while you’re walking with your best friend, you can see some birds and other wildlife. (You can Park at the Bedford Station in Bedford, MA without a fee).
2. East Middlesex Fells Reservation Loop Trail (Malden)
This is a 3.8 mile trail, which follows along the rock circuit route on the east side of I-93. You’ll follow this trail over a series of rocky outcrops with beautiful views of Boston in the distance. If you’re feeling ambitious, try the eight-mile-long Skyline Trail which boasts an elevation gain of 1,600 feet. Following the outer perimeter of the park, this path crosses a number of rocky hills, including two with lookout towers. If that sounds a bit too intense, try one of the shorter hikes. The Cross Fells Trail, Dark Hollow Pond Trail, and Bear Hill trail will not disappoint. And don’t be surprised if you run into some wildlife along the way!
Parking tips: Take Exit 33 off of I-93 and head east on Elm Street to a roundabout where you will continue North on Woodland Road. A short distance from the roundabout look for a small parking area on the left. You may need to drive a bit farther north to find a place to turn around and head back south on Woodland to park. There are no fees to park here.
3. Bellevue Pond (Medford)
Middlesex Fells is as close to wilderness as it can get for a reservation less than 30 minutes away from one of the country’s largest cities. Touring the Fells on the Skyline Trail, you may sometimes believe you are deep in the woods of New Hampshire. Indeed, do not mistake the Skyline Trail for a quick afternoon walk. At about 7 miles in length, it is a real hike that can take most of a day if you like to stop frequently.
4. Fresh Pond (Cambridge)
Fresh Pond has some great locations for walking your dog. You can enjoy a nice walk or run and if your dog is the friendly type, that is perfect because this place is usually bustling with people and activity. The best part, though, is Little Fresh Pond, the dog-friendly pond and play area almost 180 degrees from where you enter the loop. There is a little pond where your pup can play off leash complete with places for doggie moms and dads to sit.
(Note: The Fresh Pond parking lot is secluded to Cambridge residents only. Non-residents will have to find parking elsewhere).
5. North Point Park (East Cambridge)
This park is sort of a hidden gem. Located in the uncharted territory across from the Museum of Science, in what used to be an utter wasteland, it comes with a surplus of good features– parking spaces (which are metered so don’t forget your coins!), picnic tables for you and your dog to relax with a bite to eat, flowers, trees, birds, boats, and a gorgeous view of the Zakim Bridge. A cool spot definitely worth checking out.
6. Menotomy Rocks Park (Arlington)
This park is out of sight and hidden away, so when you’re there you feel like you’re no longer in a city-ish place like Arlington. This park is a relaxing, peaceful environment, complete with a pretty pond, picnic tables and benches, a playground area, trails, and big open fields for your dog to run around like crazy in. Menotomy Rocks Park is an especially popular dog area, so bring down your pooch for some fun!!
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