An outdoor lover’s guide to Boston

New places to explore in New England

Biking the Lynn Woods in Boston; photo by David J Laporte/Flickr

Biking Boston’s Lynn Woods; photo by David J Laporte/Flickr

Boston isn't just good place to be a sports fan, it's also a surprisingly great town for outdoor adventures. The Hub, with its access to water, mountains, and trails, gives you options for all kinds of recreation. This is why stop three of GrindTV's urban road trip series, which tells you how to get outside when you're in an urban area, is Beantown. Go Sox.

Paddle: The famously dirty water of the Charles River isn't as bad as it used to be--people are swimming in it for the first time in 50 years. If you start in Kendall Square, on the Cambridge side, you can paddle the wide, flat mouth of the river, past the Esplanade and the Hatch Shell. Or you can start upstream, in Newton and paddle down to Needham through the Cutler and Millennium parks.

Climb: The Quincy Quarries, just south of the city, have been a bit of a contentious zone. They've been closed down and re-opened, heavily graffitied, and the scene of some petty crime. These days, they're somewhat cleaned up, physically and crime-wise, and the steep walls of the Quarries provide a multitude of routes. A lot of the routes are top rope only, but there's some sport, trad, and bouldering too.

Boston's Quincy Quarries from the top. Photo by SSwonk/Wikimedia commons

Boston’s Quincy Quarries from the top; photo by SSwonk/Wikimedia commons

Ski: Wachusett, just west of Boston, is famous for its tagline, "Mountain skiing minutes away." There's also close-in night skiing at Blue Hills and Nashoba Valley. If you want something a little more ambitious, head to southern New Hampshire, and hit Loon for the park, or Cannon for the steeps.

The base of Wachusett near Boston; photo by Wachusett/Wikimedia Commons

The base of Wachusett near Boston; photo by Wachusett/Wikimedia Commons

Mountain bike: New England trails tend to be steep, technical, and littered with roots and rocks. That's a good thing, especially somewhere like the Lynn Wood, where miles and miles of techy singletrack are looped in with fire roads, so you can ride forever.

Trail run: The Blue Hills reservation is 7,000 acres and 125 miles of rolling, windy trails right outside of the city. The classic run is the nine-mile Skyline Trail, which gains 2,500 feet of elevation. As a bonus, you can get there by public transportation. The 716 bus drops you off right in front of the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts.

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