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Hiking Middlesex Fells

Middlesex Fells, just north of Boston, is a 2,200 acre reservation that includes multiple ponds, water reservoirs, trails, and dog-park areas. The trails are all primarily multi-use, which means you’ll see other hikers, people walking their dogs, mountain bikers, and maybe even people horseback riding (it is allowed, according to the signs). Overall, the trails are only moderately trafficked, even on Memorial Day weekend, which means you can expect a reasonable amount of privacy and calm while you enjoy the nature.

We did the Reservoir Trail, which is a 5.2 mile loop around the North, Middle and South Reservoirs on the west side of the reservation. All in all, it took a little over three hours. The weather was gorgeous: hot and sunny, and not too humid. However, despite the lack of humidity, the one thing I can say about this trail is: BRING. BUGSPRAY. Lots of it. #wegoteatenalive.

Starting from the Sheepfold parking lot, we headed north first through the off-leash dog park area. We didn’t have a dog with us ourselves, but were perfectly content to be that creepy, dog-less couple watching all the dogs play. There must have been twenty of them there. We walked to the back of the park, where we found our way to the Reservoir Trail trailhead, and also had a garden snake slither past us. There was so much wildlife to be seen on this trip.

The Reservoir Trail is generally well marked most of the way by orange blocks nailed onto trees at regular intervals, and the blocks are even angled to indicate direction even more clearly. The trail is a loop, so you can do it in either direction, and the signposts are bidirectional. At certain points the trail gets very narrow, so be aware of your surroundings and listen for on-coming mountain bike traffic. This trail could be done in sneakers, but if you have weak ankles, it might be best to wear hiking boots for the extra support, as some parts of the trail can get rocky and there are a lot of exposed roots to trip over.

While most of the trail is a bit removed from the water, and several parts of the reservoir are blocked off by fence, there are still a few patches, especially on the east side, where you can get some fantastic views if you’re willing to wander a few yards off trail. It’s worth it, I promise.

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