Boston Area

If you love the outdoors and spend any time in eastern Massachusetts, AMC’s new Bay Circuit Trail Map & Guide is an essential addition to your bookshelf of awaiting adventures. This waterproof, three-map set ($19.95; members $15.96) details the entirety of the 230-mile Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) network, which arcs around the greater Boston area…

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For budding young marine biologists, or even just animal or ocean lovers, tidal pools offer oodles of opportunity for exploration. Found along the shore, these pools form in depressions in the sand or in pockets between rocks when the tide recedes, leaving small temporary habitats for all sorts of marine life. As with Leave No…

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The ambitious effort to create the East Coast Greenway (ECG)—an uninterrupted network of bike paths, some preexisting and some newly constructed, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Fla.—began in 1991. Today, the off-road portion is nearly one-third complete, with designated roads connecting the dots. These eight segments highlight the best of the ECG in AMC’s…

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It’s easy to skip the local playground during the summer, when so many beaches beckon—especially on Cape Cod, which can seem like one giant sandbox. Certainly there’s no lack of choices, but for those who might like to avoid major crowds of vacationers, Sandy Neck Beach Park, a 6-mile-long barrier beach in Barnstable County, is…

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There’s no right age to introduce your kids to paddling. If they’re interested, it’s the perfect time. Experienced parents who know the ins and outs of water safety will be well prepared to start kids off with good practices. But if you need a refresher, you might prefer some help from the pros. More on…

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The Boston Harbor Islands are one of Boston’s hidden gems, despite being just a short ferry ride away from downtown. Activities include everything from exploring old forts to swimming to hiking. You can camp overnight on four of the islands, visit the nation’s oldest continually used light station, and enjoy clambakes, live musical performances and…

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Long trails ranging from hundreds to thousands of miles connect some of the Northeast’s and Mid-Atlantic’s most treasured public lands. While some hikers cover a long trail’s full distance in one extended effort, others carve out day hikes or multiday backpacking trips. The segments below provide excellent introductions to eight long trails. 1. Cohos Trail …

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When work is called a party, it appears, people are happy to show up to work. That was the story on the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway in 2014, when volunteers participated in seven AMC-led Saturday work parties, helping to maintain this 230-mile multi-use recreation path that’s known as Greater Boston’s “Outer Emerald Necklace.” The…

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Three large black walnut trees stand in a perfect line, parallel to the side of a home in Wenham, Mass. An old rope swing dangles from a lofty branch. The owner says her kids sometimes bounce on the swing to dislodge walnuts from high above. Hundreds of the nuts litter the lawn. Russ Cohen kicks…

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GearCommons is the latest manifestation of the so-called “sharing economy,” where individuals can rent goods or services directly to other individuals with the help of a dedicated online platform—think of Airbnb (for lodging) or Lyft (cars). Now GearCommons is applying the same concept to outdoor equipment. Here’s how it works. Are you a gear owner…

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