family hikes near Boston

Living in New England means you don’t have to go far for fantastic hiking trails for you and your little ones! Perfect for a family day trip, these great kid-friendly hiking spots are all within a two-hour drive of Boston!

1. Borderland State Park

259 Massapoag Ave., North Easton

Borderland State Park hikes for families near Boston

This beautiful park features 20 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Plus, the historic mansion at Borderland State Park is often open for tours. Fishing and boating are allowed in the pond. You can also find a disc golf course throughout the park! Dogs and horses are allowed, and many trails are stroller accessible. Parking is $5 for Massachusetts residents or free with an annual ParksPass.

2. Purgatory Chasm

198 Purgatory Rd., Sutton

Purgatory Chasm, hikes for kids in Boston

Purgatory Chasm is one of the gems of hiking in Massachusetts. Trails lead to amazing natural rock formations such as the Corn Crib, the Coffin, and Lovers’ Leap. Picnicking is encouraged, and there are plenty of areas available to grill. This state park also boasts a playground for children. Restrooms are handicap accessible. Parking is $5 for Massachusetts residents or free with an annual ParksPass (though no parking fees at all November 1 through Memorial Day weekend).

3. Rocky Narrows

South Main St., Sherborn

Enjoy beautiful views of the Charles River at its most serene as it winds between the granite walls. Even better, take in these views by canoe! Hiking at Rocky Narrows is rated as moderate, and dogs are welcome. King Phillips Overlook provides the best views of the river — and a railroad bridge. Parking is free.

4. Noanet Woodlands

Powissett St., Dover

If it’s spectacular views of the Boston skyline you seek, look no further! Noanet Woodlands offers 17 miles of trails, and children will especially enjoy the Caryl Trail, an easy half-mile walk to an old mill site. Dogs are welcome and allowed to be off leash. There are only 30 spots in the parking lot though ($5, or free for Trustees members), so it is a good idea to get an early start!

5. Harold Parker State Forest

305 Middleton Rd., North Andover

Harold Parker State Forest, hikes for kids in Boston

Harold Parker State Forest has something for everyone! Camp at one of the dozens of campsites; hike, bike, or snowshoe on the 35 miles of trails; or visit one of the 11 ponds within this gem of a park! The park boasts a playground and a picnic pavilion, as well as restrooms, showers, beaches, trails, swimming, and fishing that are all handicap accessible. Parking is $5 for Massachusetts residents or free with an annual ParksPass (though no parking fees at all November 1 through Memorial Day weekend).

6. Wachusett Mountain

345 Mountain Rd., Princeton

Wachusett Mountain, hikes in Boston for kids

Wachusett Mountain isn’t just for fantastic downhill skiing! Enjoy walking, hiking, mountain biking, or cross-country skiing along the 17 miles of trails that wind around Mount Wachusett! For a breathtaking 360-degree view, take the hike to the summit of Wachusett Mountain. Grilling is allowed at the picnic areas, which are handicap accessible. The 1.5-mile hike to Echo Lake is stroller friendly. Parking is $5 for Massachusetts residents or free with an annual ParksPass (though no parking fees at all November 1 through Memorial Day weekend). The lot at the visitor center is small (only 28 spaces!), so be prepared to be redirected to another lot during busier times. 

7. Breakheart Reservation

177 Forest St., Saugus

Breakheart Reservation, hikes for kids in Boston

Boasting a playground and supervised swimming in one of its two beautiful lakes, Breakheart Reservation is the epitome of family-friendly hiking! Educational programs are available throughout the year, and many trails are stroller friendly. Bring a picnic and enjoy lunch at one of the pavilions. Grilling is also allowed! Beach wheelchairs are available upon request, and all the facilities are accessible. Parking is free.

8. Garden in the Woods

180 Hemenway Rd., Framingham

If you love flowers, this stunning 45-acre property is not to be missed. The trails take you through glacier-carved ridges and steep-sided valleys, all lined with rare and common native plants. Along your hike, you will pass by a beautiful pond, a bog, and a meandering stream. Bicycles and dogs are not permitted (except for service dogs). Though stroller friendly, these paths may be too steep for wheelchairs to navigate. Those with mobility problems are invited to call ahead to arrange for a cart tour of the property. Admission is $16 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for youths (children under 5 are admitted free). Some local libraries offer discounted tickets through their museum pass programs. 

9. Blue Hills Reservation

695 Hillside St., Milton

When it comes to family hikes near Boston, the Blue Hills are a class spot! Follow a trail map to navigate through some of the 125 miles of trails! There are a great number of family-friendly hikes throughout the reservation. Houghton’s Pond is a great place to cool off with a swim in the summer time, and the trail loop around the pond provides amazing views of foliage in the fall!

While you are at Blue Hills, don’t miss the Braintree Pass Path, a three-mile hike beginning at the Chickatawbut Road entrance in Quincy. On this trail, you will see it all! Magestic hemlocks, laurel-covered slopes, and a cedar swamp await! An old cellar hole marks the Glover Homestead, where farmers settled hundreds of years ago.

And be sure to visit the science center for some fantastic educational programs! 

Dogs are allowed, as are mountain bikes, non-motorized boats, kayaks and canoes, and cross-country skis. Restrooms and picnic pavilions are accessible, and some trails are paved for easier mobility. Parking is free.

10. World’s End 

Martin’s Lane, Hingham

World's End, hikes in Boston for kids

Enjoy spectacular views of the city from along the 4.5 miles of carriage paths and footpaths at World’s End. This reservation is an ideal spot for family hikes! Public restrooms are available, as are many areas to picnic and grill. Cross-country skiing is welcomed, as are dogs and horseback riding. Nonmember adults pay $8 on weekends and holidays and $6 on weekdays. Children are free. Parking can be limited, so purchasing an advanced parking pass is recommended ($10 for nonmembers, free for members).

Bonus Entry!

Bash Bish Falls State Park

Falls Rd., Mt. Washington, MA

Bish Bash Falls, hikes for kids in New England

This one is located about 3.5 hours from Boston, but it’s well worth the trip! Bash Bish Falls is the highest single-drop waterfall in Massachusetts. Located on the Massachusetts/New York border, you can enter the park from both states to view the waterfall. Start at the Upper Falls parking lot in Massachusetts and hike down the steep climb for spectacular views from the top of the waterfall, or park in the New York parking lot and hike the 2/3-mile uphill hike to see the falls from the base. Either view is amazing!

Restrooms are handicap accessible, and scenic view areas are available. Parking is free in the designated lot, but no on-street parking is permitted.

Looking for even more family hikes in the Boston area? Check out this list of kid-friendly hiking trails in Boston’s MetroWest!



Deanna Greenstein
Deanna is a mom of five (yes, five) children, who lives in Brockton with her small circus of kids, her husband, their dog Penny, and a few cats. Her life is loud, energetic, mostly fun, often gross (did she mention four of those kids are boys?), and she wouldn't have it any other way. In between carting kids to school, baseball, gymnastics, guitar, dance, track and field and every other kid activity known to mankind, she works as a school bus driver for the city of Brockton, and is the Director of Religious Education at the Unity Church of North Easton, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Deanna also holds degrees in Elementary Physical Education and Dance Education, which she plans to put back into use one day. At parties, Deanna can often be found hanging out with family pets. She follows her children around with a camera like the paparazzi, is pretty sure that 97% of her blood stream is made of coffee, and her laundry is never done. You can also find her blogging at