For all its conveniences, the Boston suburbs can sometimes seem out of whack. Traffic and taxes gets worse every year, chain stores displace mom and pop stores, and commercial, industrial and residential development take over our increasingly rare open spaces.
Not all hope is lost, however, thanks to spots like Borderland State Park in Easton, Mass. A true budget travel destination, two dollars gets you into this idyllic 1,782 acre state park that will make you say, “Wow, I really don’t need to travel far to feel like I’m on vacation.”
Visiting Borderland State Park indeed acts as a revelation to those that feel that one has to leave the Boston suburbs to gain peace of mind. Discovering this south of Boston state park surely brings about new discoveries with each visit, given its vast diversity of open lands, forest and bodies of water. Walking the extensive trails often brings about a refreshing, renewed sense of being in rural New Hampshire or Vermont — hard to believe that Boston is just 35 minutes away and population-dense Brockton only 10 minutes.
I recently walked the three-mile “Pond Loop,” and quite, frankly, don’t have much to report to you, except that it’s a wonderful place to walk, hike, bike, fish and canoe. The fact that there’s not much to report, however, is a great thing: when you’re at a place like Borderland, as the beautiful ponds, scenic farm land, wooded trails and the chirping of birds is all you need to feel good. This is, after all, one of Mother Nature’s few suburban Boston wellness center branches. The only side-effect to this prescription for healthy living is losing $2 for access to the park, but that’s OK, given you’ll feel like a million dollars.
Bordlerland also offers several other trails, but I like the Pond Loop the best because of the scenic water views. You’ll also find near the front entrance, a well-developed welcoming center, picnic tables, and open fields. Also near the entrance is the Ames Mansion where Oakes Ames, a Harvard botanist (son of Massachusetts governor Oliver Ames and grandson of U.S. Representative Oakes Ames), and his wife Blanche lived. Tours are available of this beautiful mansion (pictured below).
Enjoy this “escape”, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more natural, green area than Borderland State Park around these otherwise hectic neck of the woods known as the Boston suburbs.
Borderland State Park
259 Massapoag Ave.
North Easton, MA 02356
Walpole Town Forest, Walpole, Mass.
Monarch Trail, Walpole
Freedom Trail, Boston
Walden Pond, Concord, Mass.
Picnicking in New England