The Trustees Provide Tips on Where to Swim, Camp, Hike and Embrace the Last Gasp of Summer
Massachusetts – Though Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, at least three more weeks of summer weather still remain, and with them come plenty of opportunities to enjoy fun outdoor, family-friendly activities in Massachusetts, many of which are provided by the Trustees. With the arrival of crisper morning and evening air but warm days, September is the optimal time to enjoy farms, beaches, campgrounds, trails and more with fewer crowds, less bugs, less harsh sun, and – best of all – no summer weekend traffic!
The Trustees have released a list of their top 10 recommendations for enjoying the last gasps of summer:
- Beach bound: Zip up a hoodie and take a walk oceanside on Ipswich’s Crane Beach, or hop a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard to visit Long Point, Cape Poge or Norton Point – some of the state’s most stunning beaches. Consider heading on over to Nantucket to the pristine Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge, a ruggedly beautiful coastal environment offering miles of shoreline for sunning and fishing where deer, raptors, and shorebirds also play.
- Camp out: Enjoy a peaceful weekend camping in the great outdoors at Dunes Edge right on route 6 in Provincetown where there is so much to do, or head inland to Tully Lake Campground in Royalston, which offers paddling and hiking adventures, including several nearby waterfalls.
- Experience the Berkshires: Take a leisurely stroll through the newly-restored and transformed gardens at Naumkeag, a Guilded Age, 44-room “cottage” in Stockbridge. Take a house and/or garden tour without as many tourists, and grab a bite from the onsite Oak Cafe. A hike through Bartholomew’s Cobble in nearby Sheffield will give you an up close look at the many plants, trees, and wildlife that call this National Natural Landmark home and are complemented by breathtaking views of the surrounding natural landscape.
- Hit the farm: The weather is ripe for a visit to the picture perfect Appleton Farms in Hamilton and Ipswich, Powisset Farm in Dover and Weir River Farm in Hingham for fun programs like “Mini Moos” Dairy Tours (Appleton), “Powisset Cooks!,” classes, and outdoor “Story Hours” (Weir River). Appleton’s Dairy & Farm store offers Jersey milk, beef, cheese, eggs and more, fresh from the farm.
- Dig the gardens: Long Hill in Beverly, Haskell Public Gardens in New Bedford , Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, and the Stevens Coolidge Place in North Andover are lush with beautiful late summer plantings and blooms that inspire. The gardens offer the perfect setting for an afternoon stroll and picnic or place to pose for that perfect family photo you’ve been after.
- Culture Vulture: Get a dose of culture at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, perfect for a half or full day outing, with or without the kids, or stop by Old Manse in Concord overlooking Old North Bridge, where the revolution began and years later Massachusetts’ most famous literati drew inspiration. Both offer a selection of behind-the-scenes tours and programs for different ages and interests and are located near other cultural sites of note.
- Spend time in the Kitchen: Visit the recently-opened Boston Public Market, where you can pick up provisions from local New England farms and vendors, including the Trustees’ Appleton Farms. Shop local, get inspired, and hone your cooking skills with a culinary program in The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market run by the Trustees. For a comparable farm to fork experience, check out Appleton Cooks! and Powisset Cooks!, two other Trustees teaching kitchens.
- Take a Walk along the Water: Take a drive to the other Boston Harbor Island and let your feet take you to the sea and back. Amble through World’s End with its rolling hills, carriage trails, and iconic views of the Boston skyline and feel grateful this special place was never developed into a suburb like originally planned. Other great destinations for walking along a body of water include the 55-acre former farm Cedariver in Millis where you can stroll or rent a canoe or kayak across the street, and Norris Reservation in Norwell where your hike will take you to a boathouse on the banks of the tidal North River offering shade and beautiful views.
- Climb the Mountain (or Big Hill): Not for the unfit or the weak of heart but these mountain hikes will definitely lift your spirits once you conquer the peak. Monument Mountain in Great Barrington was inspiration to Melville and Hawthorne and will leave you breathless, maybe after the climb but definitely because of the panoramic views. At Peaked Mountain in Monson you can make your way through a forest to arrive on the summit with views stretching to Vermont. The pay-off of a hike at Royalston Falls down the steep gorge is, of course, the falls itself.
- Tired Dog = Happy Dog: Don’t even remind Fido of the yellow snow or the icy sidewalks and we’re going to pretend that the little dog booties never happened. Get the dog out of the house for a long and sanctioned walk through the woods at dog-friendly Trustees properties across the state. Check online under dog walking, but some of our favorites are Copicut Woods in Fall River, a peaceful woodland that includes marked trails and loads of wildlife, and Fork Factory Brook in Medfield which offers a convenient parking lot and quiet trails away from the hordes. Moose Hill Farm in Sharon offers quiet paths that lead to a view of the Blue Hills and Boston.
Visit www.thetrustees.org to find out about these and many other destinations, as well as hundreds of events and activities for all ages happening around Massachusetts!