dogs on leash

nature trips

trail running





kid friendly


mountain biking

wild flowers

Open year-round, dawn to dusk. The Middlesex Fells Reservation's 2,575 acres offer a welcome retreat for city dwellers and a suitable terrain for hikers, horseback riders, rock climbers, cross-country skiers and picnickers as well as natural and cultural history buffs. "Fells" is the Saxon word for rocky, hilly tracts of land - an apt name for this scenic area which is rich in local history. This picturesque area was once favored for timber, granite quarrying, ice industry, and water power for the many mills including one that manufactured some of the first vulcanized rubber products. The Botume House at 4 Woodland Road is the Middlesex Fells Headquarters and will soon house the Middlesex Fells Visitor Center. Special features for visitors include the Sheepfold picnic area, Bellevue Pond, Virginia Wood, and Spot Pond. The Sheepfold is 10 acres of open field, ideal for picnics, frisbee playing and informal games. Bellevue Pond is a seasonal pond surrounded by trails and wide fire roads, some leading up to Wrights Tower which looks out over the Boston Basin. Virginia Wood, the site of a vanished mill village called "Haywardville" is now a dense hemlock enclave.

A great day hike! parked at Upper Sheepfold. prepare for a good 3 to 3.5 hour hike.

5 days ago

Not too far from the city, great views of the skyline. Not too crowded, even on a gorgeous not-too-hot July Saturday. Ended up getting lost near Bear Hill but was able to find the trail again (it was a little annoying having to pull out the map/phone).

4 or 5 great spots with views of Melrose and Malden and even as far as Boston and Revere beach. Definitely a tough loop, very rocky and a lot of up and down. We took our time to a degree and total time was around 4 and a half hours. Managed to spot a deer and two owls also! Great trail overall and not too crowded mid afternoon

great trail!

trail running
10 days ago

great trail! there is everything I like. you have rocks, roots, singletrack, wider paths, great view from Wrights Tower. marked well. I didn't miss any mark during my first run there.

13 days ago

Enjoyed the diversity in elevation gain and descends. Agree that it is isolated however there are parts of the trail that intersect with others where we found ourselves yielding to cyclists. It was not too rocky. With a few tiny detours the hike ended up over 8 miles. Signage is sparse about two thirds of you hike counter clockwise. Hiked with a 21 lb backpack to train and hiked the trail in a little over 4 hours. Started on the trail at 5:40am to avoid the heat on the 4th of July and found myself faced with lots of relentless mosquitos despite repeated big spray application on my neck and hat. Long sleeves suggested. Despite bugs and some small lost moments, I really enjoyed the trail and feeling surrounded by forest. No real views but quiet and totally zen. Would hike it again!

17 days ago

So here’s the deal on the skyline loop trail (as of 6/2018): It’s a fun trail, nice that it’s so close to the city and the suburbs, but is mostly isolated. That being said, there are significant portions on the trail where the signage is either unclear or non-existent, which makes for an unpleasant experience, we had to pull out my phone to check the map and ensure we were still on course multiple times - I’d rather not be on my smartphone all the time on a hike. The trail markings are also inconsistent, with markings on trees and the ground regardless of whether you’re above the tree line or not. As a rule I think markings should be on trees below the tree line and on the ground above the tree line. Now only about 20-30% of the trail is like this, so for the most part it was fine. Overall, a nice trail but nothing memorable.

Some trails could be better marked, but overall very good.

trail running
1 month ago

I run at the Fells frequently and Skyline is a good trail. Not marked that well in some spots as you get to the southern end of it. Definitely keep your pace expectations in check. Very technical in some spots so it leans on the more difficult side of "moderate" if you are running it for time. Probably the best trail in the Fells for a challenging hike.

Sound autumn view

A good easy hike when you don't have much time. The view over Spot Pond is simply breathtaking.

One of the best hiking trail in the Boston area. The views is absolutely incredible and the sunset is wonderful too. This trail is relatively short so I usually combine it with other trail.

I also seldom complete this trail without a detour up Bear Hill as well. I enjoy the climb and the view from Bear Hill tower. And other times, I combine it with the trail that goes through the Middle and South Reservoir as well.

well marked, great for running & mountain biking.

I really enjoyed this trail. It’s difficult enough to be a challenge with some light rock climbing (nothing crazy) and steep hikes, but still moderate enough to be a nice leisure hike as well. Plenty of nice look out spots by the tower and the lake was a nice treat. There’s tons of trails connecting as well so it’s super easy to customize your hike if you don’t want to do the full course of one specific trail. Would totally hike it again.

1 month ago

The west side is nicer

1 month ago

The two towers are the highlights but it's still worth getting lost trying to go around the lake (skyline)

1 month ago

The classic here, nothing amazing but still worth doing if you can't get out of the city. The tower overlooking the city south, or up north, are the highlights

A nice stroll in a little wood. Nothing amazing but easy to reach from boston. Which trail you take doesn't matter much, and it's easy to "get lost" here

good little walk through the woods, but nothing too exciting. for mountain folk like us it was a bit mundane. No real hills or anything fun to climb. very easy

2 months ago

Came here for a quick hike and some Yoga. Not the best slice of nature because you're so close to the road. You can here all the cars, but great wildlife. Saw a snake and some beautiful birds!

Nice trail near the city, great views of Boston at Wright’s Tower, good rock scrambling. You’ll see lots of people on a nice day.

Many different trails. Followed skyline trail. Plenty of climbs. Good workout. Definitely recommend to bring good trail shoes or hiking boots, water. Trails are well marked.

Did this by accident because the rock circuit is poorly marked. Decent run.

pretty nice hike, paths aren't fully marked and lots of unleashed dogs.

By far my favorite place to go on my days off. I actually really enjoy how busy it can get - I do a full loop each time and cross over between several trails. On a weekend, I'd run into someone else maybe every 20 minutes... But by far my favorite trail to do from start to finish is the skyline trail. I would rate the skyline trail as moderate, but everything else is easy. It's very dog friendly. We always start at Sheepfold and go from there. Once you know the trails, it's easy to cut through - they're decently marked. I'm a relatively fit person but I like to take slow hikes with my dogs - the full loop and a little more takes us about 1.5 hours. I love it!!

I’m new to backpacking and I am in training for bigger ,longer hikes. This trail is serving me well. It has many ascents and descents as well as ledge. Well marked . It is taking me between 4-41/2 hours depending on size of my pack.

3 months ago

Fairly easy trail, conveniently located. Long Pond is nice, but there aren’t many other interesting features.

3 months ago

Not too hard, good views of Boston from ledges, there is a stone tower that is occasionally open, which provides views of the Fells and other nearby landmarks.

This trail was a fun walk. The difficulty was easy to moderate at most. We found the trail markings to be insufficient, especially at some intersections. Surprisingly long given the location. Will likely hike it again in a different season.

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