Five hikes, five parks, all in southeastern Massachusetts. Join for just one hike, or hike them all.
Hikers who do all five will receive a special certificate of completion from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The hikes will be led by DCR guides.
Here are the hikes: Saturday, February 9th Nickerson State Park, Brewster Saturday, March 16th Massasoit State Park, Taunton Saturday, April 13th F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, Foxboro Saturday, May 18th Wompatuck State Park, Hingham Saturday, June 1st Borderland State Park, Easton
All hikes start at 10:00am, are of moderate difficulty, are about 5 miles long, and will take about 3.5 hours. For adults who can walk 5 miles at a moderate pace. Bring water and a lunch. Well-behaved dogs are welcome on an 8–foot or shorter leash (no expandable leashes, please).
Hike leaders are Amy and Bill. Amy is a DCR interpreter who will share some interesting information and discuss unique features of each park along the way. Bill is a volunteer hike leader who has hiked the entire Long Trail in Vermont and has climbed 66 of New England’s 100 highest peaks.
Pre-registration is required to keep a safe group size. Pre-register at (508) 866-2580 x161. Hikes will take place rain or shine; if weather conditions are severe call for weather cancellation information.
For more information, visit mass.gov/dcr/events.htm
Where can I go sledding in Massachusetts, South of Boston?
We’ve prodded our friends and scoured the Web, and here is our list of the best places to go sledding on the South Shore. (Or “coasting,” as they once called it.)
Always make safety your top priority when sledding. Some of these locations may have certain slopes that are too dangerous for young children, and some may have changed from years past. Make sure you are prepared and that you check before you go, and know that it is still trespassing if you are on private property, even if there is snow on the ground.
Sledding Hills, South of Boston
listed from north to south:
George Wright Municipal Golf Course, Hyde Park
-In 2011, Mayor Menino invited everyone to sled here and even put up signs for that weekend. Locals use it all the time, and sledding is allowed on most public golf courses, as they are considered public parks. We hear the 12th hole is a serious ride, and one of the best hills around.
William Devine Golf Course in Franklin Park, Dorchester
-Another municipal course within the city limits of Boston. 18th hole is the biggest hill.
Milton Academy, Milton Andrews Field, Milton
-These are two great spots for youngsters, as the hills aren’t too big and they don’t get over-crowded, though some jumps can often be found.
President’s Golf Course, Quincy/Milton line Furnace Brook Golf Course, Quincy
-These municipal golf courses (Furnace Brook is semi-private) are two spots that lots of folks have used for years, and of which many have fond memories. The steepest parts of these spots are too dangerous for younger children, and don’t have a whole lot of run-off area. The big hill at Presidents is “downright scary in an inflatable tube,” as one veteran sledder put it.
Bernazzani School, Quincy
East Middle School, Braintree
Lincoln Park, East Braintree
Braintree Municipal Golf Course, Braintree
South Shore Country Club, Hingham
-Nice and open, a good spot for a snow tube. From one patron: “Saw some guy try to take a radio flyer (wood and steel) off a jump there and it won him a free ride to South Shore Hospital.” Yeesh. I’ll stick to the plastic. And that’s probably a loose use of the word “free.”
Park behind Tufts Library, Weymouth
Scituate Country Club, Scituate
Higashi School, Randolph
Norfolk Country Club, Westwood
Coakley Middle School, Norwood
Ponkapoag Golf Course, Canton
Bottom of Blue Hills Ski Area, Canton
-Good for small children, especially if older folks want to ski or snowboard, or grab a warm snack in the lodge.
Gaffield Park, Norwell
First Parish, Norwell
Pete’s Hill, Sharon
-Near Sharon center, this is a popular spot. Can sometimes get crowded, but a very nice hill.
Strawberry Valley Golf Course, Abington
Froilo Junior High, Abington
Strawberry Valley, Abington
Coast Guard Hill, Marshfield
D.W.Fields Park (off Oak St.), Brockton
Whitman Town Hall, Whitman
North Hill Golf Course, Duxbury
Ames Mansion at Borderland State Park, Easton
Borden Colony Hill, Raynham
Sledding was banned in 2011 at Raynham Middle School, but Borden Colony Hill is fair game. Parking can be an issue, as it is only allowed on certain sections of Thrasher Street.
Locust Valley Golf Course, Attleboro
Lars Anderson Park, Brookline
OK, it’s not on the South Shore, but there has been such an outpouring of love for Lars Anderson Park in Brookline that we had to include it. Lars Anderson is the consensus King of Sledding Spots around here, and it was also my favorite as a kid. Long, steep, lots of jumps, often a bit dangerous, but what a ride! If you have older kids looking for something more challenging, it’s definitely worth the trip. They also have a skating rink.
Be safe during the storm and on the hill. For some sledding safety tips, check out the video below from Children’s Hospital Boston.
This article contains information from “40 Great Places to Sled around Boston” by Paul Makishima, published in the Boston Globe, Feb. 3, 2009.