When Julia Kaminski (ENG’21) needs a break from the pressures of studying and city life, she likes to head out across the city to discover new places to hike. Being in the outdoors amidst nature is a way for her to unwind and refocus.
“Without green spaces, I’d just disintegrate into a ball of stress,” Kaminski says.
Although she frequently takes larger hiking and camping trips with friends in the BU Outing Club, sometimes she feels the need for an unplanned, spontaneous adventure. After just a year of living in Boston, Kaminski says she’s already discovered a number of places to walk, hike, and explore—and they’re all accessible by public transportation.
“Having the summer has been great for more local hikes,” she says. “Especially places that are accessible by T.”
Kaminski shares three of her favorite escapes, below:
125 Arborway, Boston
Designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (best known for creating New York City’s Central Park), the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a self-described “living collection” of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants (there are over 15,000 spread across 281 acres). In addition to walking paths, you’ll find a stunning rose garden, a meadow planted with wildflowers, and an impressive bonsai collection. And that only begins to scratch the surface. The arboretum is also a leading educational and scientific institution and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Take an MBTA Orange Line train outbound to Forest Hills.
Kaminski recommends: “You can experience a great sunrise on Peter’s Hill. You can see the Boston skyline, and it faces pretty much east.”
Middlesex Fells Reservation
4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, Mass.
Spanning more than 2,200 acres spread out across Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester, the Middlesex Fells Reservation (often referred to by locals as “The Fells”) offers visitors over 100 miles of mixed-used trails, mountain bike trails, fishing, kayak and canoe rentals, and on- and off-leash areas for those with canine companions.
Take an MBTA Orange Line train to Wellington, then a #100 bus to the Roosevelt Circle rotary. Walk south to the rotary, turn right on South Border Road, and the Bellevue Pond reservation entrance is 0.2 mile on the right.
Kaminski recommends: “There are these three phenomenal reservoirs in the center of the Fells with fantastic teal-colored water. They’re really, really pretty.”
Take in a little bit of history alongside a scenic walk or hike at the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Here you can see the first lighthouse established in America, as well as a Civil War–era fort. The 34 islands and peninsulas offer lush hiking trails, tidal pools, places for camping and fishing, and much more. And it’s all just a short ferry ride from downtown Boston.
Take the MBTA Blue Line to Aquarium or the Orange or Green Line to Haymarket and head to the ferry ticket office, 66 Long Wharf, next to Christopher Columbus Park.
Find a ferry schedule and ticket prices here.
Kaminski recommends: “Each of the islands has a different characteristic: one of them has a fort on it, and one of them has fantastic trails and trees. You can take your pick, and you can even camp out there.”
Aaron Hwang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.