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Outdoor Adventure in Massachusetts

Get Set For Adventure

The Bay State packs a lot of adventure into its borders, and with four seasons of great weather and a diverse range of attractions, you’ll find there is something to do for everyone.

Massachusetts is one of the best places in the world to see whales, and there are dozens of guides and charters excited to get you on the water. In Gloucester, 7 Seas Whale Watch has been putting guests close to whales since 1983 – trips are designed to educate, inspire, and impart a better understanding of fragile marine environments. In Plymouth, Plymouth Whale Watching says humpbacks are seen on nearly every trip, and other common sightings include finback whales, minke whales, and right whales. Provincetown’s Dolphin Whale Watch gets you close to humpbacks and minkes but also lets you hear whale sounds and collect and view microscopic species of marine plankton.

Ready for a catch of your own? The state has dozens of first-rate fishing charter companies, some operating right out of Boston Harbor! Mass Bay Guides helps you fish for tuna, shark and cod, while Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Gloucester also chases redfish and mackerel. Boston Sportfishing has charters designed specifically for bluefin tuna, flounder, and striped bass.

Prefer your fish to be fresh water? The state’s gorgeous rivers provide a memorable backdrop for fly fishing. Anglers can cast for trout in the Swift River or the Deerfield River, while northern pike are found in the Housatonic River and the Merrimack River is home to giant carp. Lake anglers can hunt for salmon in Wachusett Reservoir and bullheads in Mystic Lake.

Massachusetts’ rolling hills and lush forests provide a great setting for hikes. Hike to Great Barrington’s Monument Mountain and explore the cave where a conversation between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne gave inspiration to what became Moby Dick. Explore beaches, dunes, and cranberry bogs at Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Near Lanesborough, you can hike to the highest peak in Massachusetts – Mount Greylock, which stands at 3,491 feet. About 90 miles of the nation’s most famous trail – the Appalachian Trail – traipses through Massachusetts.

The state is an up and coming destination for mountain bikers who love the region’s tight singletrack and tacky dirt. Bikers will find 10 miles of trails suitable for advanced riders at Charlemont and 35 miles of great routes in Harold Parker State Forest. The trails at Village Park and Abrams Rock have plenty of manmade features like gap jumps and seesaws. Prefer your biking on pavement? Popular routes are found on Cape Cod, Wompatuck State Park, Marblehead, and along the Ipswich River.

Massachusetts is home to the beautiful Berkshires, and those hills and more offers great opportunities for downhill skiing. Jiminy Peak is a mid-sized mountain with nine lifts offering access to 45 trails and 1,150 vertical feet. Berkshire East, in Charlemont, is the region’s biggest and most diverse ski area – it has 52 trails accessed by six lifts serving 1,180 vertical feet. In Haverhill, just a few miles from Boston, Ski Bradford is a small ski area offering night skiing, a terrain park, and lessons. Nashoba Valley is the biggest area close to the coast – it has 17 trails served by 11 lifts. One of the state’s biggest ski areas is Wachusett Mountain, which is in the heart of New England yet just one hour from Boston – it has 45 trails served by nine lifts covering 1,000 vertical feet.

Like to enjoy your snow at a slower pace? You’ll find a number of formal cross country ski areas plus oodles of informal places where you can ski when the snow flies. Kick and glide at Canterbury Farm, which has 22 km of trails and a historic lodge, or Cramwell Resort, which doubles as a spa and golf club. Hilltop Orchards has 20-mile views of the Berkshires as well as a winery, and Maple Corner Farm has 20 km of marked trails. State parks with cross-country skiing include Ames Nowell, Dighton Rock, and Clarksburg. In the Boston area you can ski at Leo J. Martin Ski Track, which has lighted paths open until bedtime.

Ziplines and canopy tours have become popular in Massachusetts, and you’ll find adrenaline-fueled play areas from one end of the state to the other. In Charlemont, Zoar Outdoor Adventure Resort has 11 zip lines, two sky bridges, and three rappels, and also offers rafting, kayaking, and vacation packages. In Lanesborough, Ramblewild has park activities for groups, families, adventurers, and fitness nuts. Get limber on eight aerial obstacle courses meandering from tree to tree – you’ll find high wires, zip lines, balancing logs, rope ladders, suspension bridges, and cargo nets, and some of the zip lines take you more than 100 feet above the ground!

Boston’s big city environment is tamed by its greenways – these paths are made for walking or biking and link different parts of the city. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is the city’s most famous – it has landscaped gardens, plazas, and promenades and is 1.5 miles long. Use it to get from Chinatown to the Waterfront and beyond. The Charles River Bike Path is busy year-round with walkers, bikers, and runners – it runs for 23 miles west from Boston to Newton, passing through Watertown and Waltham along the way. You’ll find the Bay State has plenty of great spots for trail running, too – lace up your shoes and head for Fresh Pond, the Ware River Trail, the Western Greenway, and the trails at Franklin Park.

The state’s beautiful rivers provide a great landscape for rafting. The Deerfield River is one of the most popular places for those in search of whitewater – Crabapple, Berkshire, and Moxie all offer guided trips. Kayakers and canoers can find great flatwater boating on the Charles River, Spot Pond and in C.M. Gardner State Park, Nickerson State Park, and Leominster State Forest.

So grab your skis, your bike, or your hiking shoes and head for Massachusetts – there’s an adventure here waiting for you.

Popular Adventures

Green Harbor Marina

With more than 180 slips and the ability to accommodate vessels from 20 to 60 feet long, Green Harbor Marina is one of the largest in the Marshfield area. Just north of Plymouth and just inland from the Cape Cod Bay, Green Harbor Marina serves many locals with boats and can do the same for you when you visit, boat in tow.

Green Harbor Marina is in an advantageous location, yielding quick and easy access to top area fishing holes – check out Race Point or Stellwaggon Bank where you can land your share of flounder, bluefin tuna, haddock, or cod. Green Harbor Marina rents out a number of different fishing and pleasure vessels. You can make the short trip to Duxbury Harbor, Provincetown, or explore Plymouth Harbor. Enjoy an aquatic adventure on your next visit to eastern Massachusetts.

Mount Greylock

At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest natural point in the state of Massachusetts. North of Pittsfield and neatly tucked away in the NW corner of the state, Mount Greylock is 1,200 acres of pristine land. With a mix of densely forested ranges and open expanses, Mount Greylock is part of a 4.5 mile wide range, running 11 miles long – Green Mountains are to the north, with the Berkshires set to the southeast.

During the winter months, enjoy snowshoeing or tooling around on your snowmobile. Spring and summer visits to Mount Greylock yield excellent hiking and backpacking opportunities, along with mountain biking along designated trails. Nature lovers enjoy a wide range of bird watching chances. Hike to the summit of Mount Greylock and enjoy scenice views of the surrounding areas stretching as far as 90 miles in any direction.