The area south of Boston has lots of great places to enjoy a huge variety of activities. There’s a lot of history here, wonderful outdoor spaces and tons of great things to do year round. Here’s a list of my recommended places for a bunch of great activities:
Mountain and Road Biking:
- Borderland State Park in Easton: This park has a combination of nice graded roads that traverse the park and a New England Mountain Biking Association approved course off in the woods separated from most of the other traffic in the park for a more off road experience.
- Corporal Robert Francis Hardy Conservation Area in Mansfield: This area has a couple miles of paths that are ideal for a quick bike ride. Don’t expect it to keep you busy all day however if you’re looking for a place to ride for an hour or two then this is a nice place to visit.
- DW Field Park in Brockton: This park has a nice 4 mile loop road that is great for a gentle bike ride.
- F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxborough: This less-used park in Foxboro has a nice network of graded paths that are great for biking.
- Wrentham State Forest: This less-used property allows dirt bikes with certain restrictions and has a lot less other traffic to interfere with.
- Borderland State Park in Easton: This park has a pretty popular 18 hole course that covers several parts of this park.
- DW Field Park in Brockton: This park boasts a 18 hole, par 70 public golf course built in 1927.
- Borderland State Park in Easton: Borderland State Park has several ponds that you can fish out of.
- Corporal Robert Francis Hardy Conservation Area in Mansfield: There is a decent sized pond that you can hike into with fishing gear.
- DW Field Park in Brockon: Fishing is permitted in Waldo Pond in the northern section of this surprisingly nice urban park.
- Endean Path in Walpole: The Endean Path runs along Plimpton Pond in Walpole where fishing is permitted.
Hiking: Depending on your ambition and fitness level there are several different places you should go check out:
- Borderland State Park in Easton: Borderland State Park has a extensive network of trails that criss-crosses the park. They range from nice short gentle walks passing the main scenic viewing spots in the park to winding paths in the woods. Most of the trails here don’t have much of an elevation change and should be great for people who are looking for a great place to get out and walk without too much challenge.
- Charles River Peninsula (Trustees of Reservations Property) in Needham: This peninsula, which is bordered by the Charles River on 3 sides, has a wonderful loop trail about a mile long that circles the meadow that comprises most of this park.
- Corporal Robert Francis Hardy Conservation Area in Mansfield: This area has a couple mile of hiking trails and has very light traffic so you’re likely to have the trails to yourself. Just bring lots of bug spray in warmer weather!
- Endean Path: This is a nice short walk along a pond in Walpole. I’d avoid it if it has rained recently.
Hunting: Hunting isn’t permitted in many places in this part of Massachusetts so any place that allows it is worth mentioning. With that in mind the list below is a list of those places I’ve found where you’re permitted to hunt with the appropriate state licenses and permits:
- Wrentham State Forest: Limited hunting in season is permitted here. For more information visit the state park website or link to information through this parks page.
- F. Gilbert Hills State Forest: Limited hunting is permitted here in season.
Playground & Little kid friendly features:
- Francis WIlliam Bird Park in Walpole: This is a very popular destination for local families with a nice playground and lots of field space for kids of all ages to enjoy.
- Memorial Park in Mansfield: There is a nice playground and kids play area here.
- Ellis Park & Playground in Norwood: The playground here is a nice family friendly facility.
- Watson Pond State Park in Taunton: This small park off of I-495 in Taunton offer a small (300 ft.) beach swimming area only a few minutes off the highway and from Taunton Center.
- Lake Massapoag in Sharon: This lake is a real hidden gem among the suburbs of Boston- there are two beaches. One is for residents of Sharon only on the north side of the lake (Veterans Memorial Park) and the other is open to everyone on the southern end of the lake (Community Center Beach – Admission fee charged).
Tennis Courts (Open to the public):
- Borderland State Park in Easton: The court are located just behind the Ames Estate.
- Francis WIlliam Bird Park in Walpole: This park has several fenced in tennis courts open to the general public.
- Memorial Park in Mansfield: This park also has several tennis courts available to the public that are fenced in.
- Memorial Park in Mansfield: Memorial Park has a fenced in skating area.