Fun and Easy (and Wallet-Friendly!) Spring Things to Do

Get out and Explore Great Places and Wide Open Spaces Perfect for First Hikes, Picnics, Questing, and More!

Contact Information

Kristi Perry
Public Relations Director
617.359.3633
kperry@ttor.org

Boston, MAApril 24, 2014 – This spring The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) offer a slew of fun (and affordable) ideas for people of all ages to get out and enjoy their 112 properties – from Stockbridge to Boston. Their reservations offer something for everyone, encompassing thousands of acres of wide open spaces that include woodlands trails, historic homes, community farms, gorges and waterfalls, miles of coastline, and formal gardens.

Picnic at Ward Reservation

Whether you’re looking to take a breather from a hectic day or itching to spend the afternoon enjoying your favorite outdoor activity, you can easily find a Trustees property near you to unplug with family or friends. Check out these properties below for a few ideas, as well as The Trustees website for fun programs and events for all ages this spring.

PACK A PICNIC…No reservations required!
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich
The rolling half-mile-long Grand Allée with sweeping ocean views makes a wonderful spot for spreading a blanket. Pack your favorite lunch or, beginning in May, grab a delicious sandwich or salad from our Castle Hill Café. Take a historic house or landscape tour or throw a Frisbee or fly a kite. While you’re there, check out our “preservation in action” project on the rolling front “lawn” of this National Historic Landmark.

Coolidge Reservation, Manchester-by-the-Sea
For the perfect mix of views and picnic-friendly terrain, this ocean side property on the North Shore is hard to beat. Follow the pathway that leads to the Ocean Lawn and stop. This broad expanse of green is matched only by the blue waters of Massachusetts Bay spreading before you.

World's End, Hingham
Boston Magazine elevated this spectacular South Shore reservation to “Best Of” status under the picnic category. After touting the property’s natural beauty, judges wrote: “Just add paper plates and homemade sandwiches for a dining experience to rival that of any swanky sidewalk café.”

Rocky Woods, Medfield
A quintessential destination for families. Set down your picnic basket at one of numerous tables (some of which are accessible to people with disabilities). Walk around Chickering Pond or enjoy a longer foray on carriage roads and cart paths to work up an appetite before returning. Then just add food!

Slocum's River Reserve, South Dartmouth
Enjoy panoramas of this lovely tidal river from several points on the Reserve; the best place to spread your repast may be at Angelica’s Overlook, situated at the southern end of the property. Here you’ll experience spectacular views of the river mouth and Buzzards Bay and the taste of salt air that floats in on an ocean breeze.

Dexter Drumlin, Lancaster
Here, atop this open hillside overlooking the north-of-Worcester countryside, you’ll find another destination ideal for family picnickers. Set down your picnic basket at a perfect spot under the sky then follow the loop trail along a tributary of the Nashua River before returning to share the bounty.

Bryant Homestead, Cummington
Families and friends have been enjoying picnics on this country estate above the Westfield River Valley since poet William Cullen Bryant and his kin were in residence more than a century ago. Keep the tradition alive at the picnic tables alongside the house or spread a blanket. And if you need to stretch your legs, the Rivulet Trail will quickly have you falling in love with its twists, turns, and lovely woods along the brook—just as it entranced its famous, former owner.

Tyringham Cobble, Tyringham
Your visit to this magical place in the foothills of the Berkshires would not be complete without an outdoor repast overlooking the bucolic Tyringham Valley. Find your picnic place near the open pastures of the Cattle Field or climb to the open spaces and overlooks atop the Cobble.

FIRST HIKES…It’s a walk in the park, literally!
Appleton Farms and Grass Rides, Hamilton and Ipswich
Explore the farmstead and surrounding fields and woodlands of a 350-year-old working farm. With more than 12 miles of flat or gently rolling trails that are either grass and gravel, the farm is the a perfect spot for a first hiker or stroller. If you have more time, stop by and say hi to the animals on the farm, pick up some fresh farm milk or cheese in the Dairy Store and learn about the many programs offered throughout the spring and summer at this special place.

Ravenswood Park, Gloucester
With 10 miles of carriage paths and trails that meander through the park, there are plenty of options for exploring. Children love the Ledge Hill Trail – a two-mile round-trip walk among magical-looking, fern-covered boulders. Use the Cape Ann Discovery Center as your jumping-off point – check out the Investigation Station and borrow a Discovery Detective Backpack for your outdoor exploration.

Francis William Bird Park, Walpole
Follow three miles of flat pathways, past grassy meadows and tranquil duck ponds, and over stone arch bridges spanning quiet streams. This park includes a recreational area and children’s playground, ideal for walking families!

Cedariver, Millis
Enjoy a 1.5 mile loop trail that winds through meadows and woodlands and meanders along the beautiful Charles River. Paddlers are invited to land their canoe or kayak at the boat landing and enjoy the trails or take a rest!

Copicut Woods, Fall River
Enjoy three miles of easy walking trails that take you through forests laced with old stone walls to a 19th-century farm settlement. Stroll past vernal pools, larger wetlands, and Miller Brook.

Field Farm, Williamstown
Nestled on a Berkshires hillside and boasting a memorable vista of Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak, the property features a lovely mid-century modern inn and four miles of flat trails that lead through fields, marshland, and past  a serene pond.

North Common Meadow, Petersham
You and your young hikers will enjoy the charm of Petersham Center with a visit to this family-friendly reservation. Take in picturesque views of Mount Wachusett along a half-mile path that leads through the meadow and around a pretty pond.

Doyle community Park & Center, Leominster
You’ll pass through woodlands, open fields, meadows, formal gardens, and parklands as you walk the 3.5 miles of easy trails—with a new universally accessible trail opening in June—on this former family estate. The park also includes Pierce Meadow, part of the former Pierce estate, a 10-acre gem with huge specimen trees and open space for strolling, picnicking, and play.

Bullitt Reservation, Ashfield & Conway
The three quarter mile Pebble Trail loop has a perfect pitch and length to get back in shape this spring, without overtaxing yourself. Can you find the “pebble” at the top? It won’t be difficult to spot! If you’re looking for a bigger adventure, the Three Bridges Trail meanders across the Highlands to pools and cascades of Chapel Brook Reservation.

GARDENS IN BLOOM…Stop and smell the roses!
The Stevens-Coolidge Place, North Andover
Soak up history and horticulture as you explore the gardens behind this renowned country house. Highlights include a perennial garden, a rose garden, the greenhouse complex, and a potager garden (or French vegetable garden) with a brick serpentine wall. Intermingling with the formal gardens are rustic elements, including hay fields, an orchard, and woodlands.

Long Hill, Beverly MA
Explore cultivated gardens, an extraordinary woody plant collection, an apple orchard and meadow, a network of woodland trails – even a children’s garden and organic farm!

Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton MA
A colonial farmstead-turned-country–estate, this well-designed mix of formal gardens, fields, and woodlands can be explored along three miles of trails. Stop and say hello to the llamas and chickens while you meander this beautiful place located right off exit 2A on Route 128.

Powisset Farm, Dover
Use all your senses to experience the beautiful palette of colors and fragrances on this cultivated landscape. Wander the 1.5 mile trail past flower beds, herb gardens, and veggie fields and meander through grassland meadows. In season, bring home your own bouquet of flowers from the cut-your-own flower fields.

Mytoi, Chappaquiddick Island off Martha’s Vineyard
Experience the beauty and tranquility of a Japanese-style garden tucked away in a pine grove.  You’ll discover a small pond with an island that is reached by a footbridge.  Allow yourself time to mediate as you follow paths that include a birch walk, stone garden and hillside garden.

Ashintully Gardens, Tyringham MA
Surrounded by forested hills, the gardens were designed by composer John S. McLennan, Jr. A stream traversed by two bridges, rambling lawns, a cathedral of deciduous trees, and a central fountain create a soothing harmony. A short trail ascends to the ruins of Ashintully’s original mansion, where walkers enjoy fine views of the valley.

Farandnear Reservation, Shirley
There’s more than meets the eye at Farandnear. Its park-like grounds are perfect for playing, picnicking, relaxing, and more. Along its 2.7 miles of easy wooded trails, you’ll find fields of wildflowers; an arboretum full of more than 80 cool conifer trees; and the remnants of an old cranberry bog. And don’t miss “Paradise,” where huge hemlocks grow.

QUESTING...Learn and discover as you go!
Exploring a Trustees property is easy and fun with a Quest, or outdoor scavenger hunt. Follow the series of clues that lead to you a hidden box. Local Quests include: Hermit’s Haven at Ravenswood Park and Pinnacle Quest at Appleton Farms Grass Rides, Over the River & Through the Years at Bird Park, Oversand Quest and Lighthouse Discovery at Cape Pogue, and Eleanor’s Quest for a Special Place at Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate. For a complete list of participating properties visit: thetrustees.org/quest. You can find the Quest maps at the parking lot bulletin board of participating properties. Kids can also download a special Quest Detective booklet online and stamp their “passport” when they complete a Quest. 

HISTORY BUFFS…Find your Home Sweet Home!
In celebration of Massachusetts heritage and preservation month, tour one of the many Trustees historic homes across the state during their FREE Home Sweet Home Open House Day on May 31st. Participating Northeast & Greater Boston homes include: The Great House at Castle Hill, The Old House at Appleton Farms, The Paine House at Greenwood Farm, The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, and The Old Manse in Concord. For a full listing, please visit: thetrustees.org/homesweethome for all the details.

ATANK (OR FERRY) AWAY…Grab a friend and go!
Why not pick a Trustees property you’ve never seen and go? Check out thetrustees.org for a full list of their reservations. A few great ideas include Dunes Edge Campground in Provincetown and several “hidden gems” and beaches on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of scenic, cultural, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees are the nation’s oldest, statewide land trust, one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation organizations and an established leader in the conservation and preservation movement nationally and internationally. Supported by more than 100,000 members, donors, and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations – including working farms, historic homesteads and gardens, community parks, barrier beaches and mountain vistas – located on more than 26,000 acres. In addition, The Trustees work closely with permanent affiliates including Boston Natural Areas Network and the Hilltown Land Trust as well as hundreds of community partners to preserve and protect special places and provide year-round programs for all ages. Visit www.thetrustees.org.