Beautiful walking trails and paths in New England that are full of history and charm.
Easy to moderate walking trails in New England
My husband and I love to walk and explore areas of New England, and we do it as much as possible to help clear the work-week cobwebs out of our brains.
What kind of trails do I like? That’s easy. I enjoy walking in areas that also have gardens, old foundations, and a bit of history. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good hike that gets the heart pumping, and a few of the trails listed will do just that, but the New England walking trails I’m sharing with you here, lack the need for hiking gear or grabbing hold of trees limbs as you ascend to your destination.
PS: For most of these walking and hiking trails, your hiking boots can be left at home. Sneakers or shoes with a good grip on the sole is sufficient. Just keep in mind the weather or the season. Nobody wants muddy or wet sneakers due to mud or stepping through over-flowing streams.
The walking trail links below, will take you directly to the host’s website unless otherwise noted.
Monson Center in Hollis, NH
Monson Center is considered by leading archeologists to be one of the most significant archeological sites in New England. Many of the original foundations of the homes that were built in this late 1700s village are preserved.
Visiting Monson Center, a historic gem, is literally a breath of fresh air, and a step back in time. This small portion of history is off the beaten path, but once you find it, you will never forget.
After parking in the small lot, you walk a few hundred yards down a forest lined dirt road. Each step carries you away from the busyness of every day life. There is no electricity or running water, but there is an energy to the place. A carved sign announces Monson Center, and after another few steps, the forest opens up. There are fields on either side as well as stone walls, wild flowers, and bird houses. Up ahead is the only habitable house on the property. Via the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
Beaver Brook in Hollis, NH
Beaver Brook Association was established by cousins Hollis Nichols and Jeff Smith in 1964 as a nonprofit land conservation and environmental education organization. Today it is one of the largest land trusts and nature based learning centers in southern New Hampshire and neighboring Massachusetts. With 35 miles of hiking trails, 2.187 acres of protected land, and programming for 15,000+ visitors annually, Beaver Brook provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and learn more about the natural world. BBA trails and gardens are open to the public from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Via Beaver Brook Association
Coolidge Reservation - Manchester-by-the-Sea
Perched on the peninsula known as Coolidge Point in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Coolidge Reservation showcases an unusual variety of natural settings in a relatively small area. Within its 66 acres, breathtaking vistas await as you explore rocky outcrops, woodlands, wetlands, a sandy beach, and the open expanse of the Ocean Lawn. This notable collection of diverse habitats harbors an assortment of plant and wildlife species.
Part of historic Coolidge Point, Coolidge Reservation is named for the family who came to own the peninsula. At the tip of the Point is the magnificent Ocean Lawn. At one time the site of the family's “Marble Palace,” a Georgian-style mansion, it is now an open, grassy expanse edged by rocky headlands, with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Manchester-by-the Sea, the North Shore coastline, and, on a clear day, the distant Boston skyline and Cape Cod. Via the Trustees of Reservations
Greenwood Farm - Ipswich, MA
The pasture that greets you at Greenwood Farm reveals little of the property’s splendor. At first, you only see fields cleared by generations of farmers, a stand of trees, and brambles entwined around a rock wall. After a short walk, the estate begins to reveal itself: several small structures and a root cellar appear, then a rambling clapboard farmhouse and the late First Period Paine House. It is the view of the marsh, however, that dominates the landscape.
The reservation takes its name from Thomas S. Greenwood who built the 19th-century white farmhouse. To its rear, the Paine House (1694), a yellow clapboard saltbox, is a remarkable example of First Period (1620–1725) architecture. Three generations of the Paine family made their home here, including Robert Paine, foreman of the Salem witch trial jury in 1692. From 1916, Greenwood Farm was a summer retreat for the Robert G. Dodge family, who used the Paine House as a guesthouse. Furnished with a fine collection of American furniture and decorative arts, it radiates with Colonial Revival ambiance. Recent archaeological investigations revealed a rare survival of an 18th-century milk room or dairy inside the house. via The Trustees of Reservations
Halibut Point, Rockport, MA
On a clear day, visitors to Halibut Point State Park will be able to see Mount Agamenticus, located 81 miles away in Maine, and the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire. You can explore the parks trails and tide pools, picnic on the rocky ledges, and learn about the history of Cape Ann's granite industry. Via Mass.gov
Old Town Hill - Newbury, MA - Moderate
A spectacular mix of tidal river, salt marsh, open fields, and woodlands that define the hill and lands to the west. From the 168-foot hilltop, you can see as far as Mount Agamenticus in southern Maine.
A three-mile network of trails and pathways leads you through thriving wetlands and up to landscape-level views of this corridor of protected open space along the Parker River. The Ridge Trail climbs moderately to vistas to the south, east, and north. The River Trail, a short and especially scenic family friendly trail, passes an old pasture along the marsh's edge and then loops into an oak forest along the banks of the Little River. Old Town Hill is a link in the Bay Circuit Trail. Via The Trustees of Reservations
Maudslay State Park, Newbury, MA
Maudslay State Park features 19th century gardens and plantings, rolling meadows, towering pines, and one of the largest naturally-occurring stands of mountain laurel in Massachusetts. It's the perfect place for a walk, bike ride or picnic. Educational programs are offered during the summer. Via Mass.gov