When it comes to state parks Massachusetts is blessed with some of the best in the US, none more so than my personal favorite, Mystic River State Reservation. One of my favorite things to do on a fresh spring day is to put on my hiking boots and head to the Mystic River loop.
Situated in Eastern Massachusetts, Mystic River State Reservation is surrounded by the towns of Winchester, Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Everett, and Chelsea. With so many idyllic spots around the reservation, there is something to do for all of the family.
The most popular actives along the mystic river are walking or hiking around the paths and hills that loop the river or water sports on the river itself. Swimming, fishing, hunting, and boating are other ways that you can spend your time in this beautiful part of the world. If you do want to go swimming our favorite spot is Wedge Pond.
If you want to stick to land activities there are lots of playing fields and picnic spots to while away your time. The whole of the Mystic River Watershed (a network of streams, rivers, and lakes) is a hive of animal activity and is popular among birdwatchers. Expect to see mammals such as raccoons and muskrats and birds that include bald eagles and red-tailed hawks.
During the summer there are lots of organized activities for all ages, with plenty of family events to keep the kiddos entertained. There are various paths to be taken on trails around the park but some are not as accessible as others. The area between Paddle Boston to Mystic Parkway bridge can become quite boggy so it is best to avoid it if you have a pushchair or need wheelchair access. You can visit the banks of the Mystic River all year round and the majority of the river is publicly owned and maintained. During bad weather, there may be areas of the pathways or hiking trails that will be unsafe so care is needed.
A uniquely attractive part of Massachusetts a trip to Mystic River is not be to missed if you are visiting the area. If I close my eyes I can imagine myself kayaking down the river to the sounds of swans, cormorants, ducks, herons that frequent the park. A little bit of heaven in the middle of Medford.