There are a number of recreational green spaces and state parks in Massachusetts, much of which have an array of facilities and amenities for visitors of all ages to take part in.

You can spend your days swimming, hiking, mountain biking, fishing or snowshoeing.

1. Bash Bish Falls State Park

Bash Bish Falls State Park
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Named after the namesake waterfall, Bash Bish Falls State Park is a fine outdoor space to go exploring while in Massachusetts.

Bash Bish Falls is of course the park’s main feature, attracting crowds from all over the U.S., and is the highest single-drop waterfall in the entire state at 60 feet.

The state park was established in 1924 and comprises several gorges as well as an eastern hemlock ravine forest.

You can spend time hiking to the site of the waterfall, and though swimming is prohibited there, there are a number of streams and rock pools which you can swim in.

Other activities include fishing and wildlife viewing - you may come across black bears, timber rattlesnakes, and porcupines.

Address: Falls Rd, Mt Washington, MA 01258, Phone: 413-528-0330

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2. Beartown State Forest

Beartown State Forest
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Managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Beartown State Forest spans over 10,000 acres and includes nearly 200 acres of recreational parkland.

The public outdoor space was established in 1921 and was mainly developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps who created many of the forest roads which are still used today.

The forest has many trails, including multi-use ones and those designated for all-terrain vehicles, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

The 1.7-mile trail around Benedict Pond is filled with interpretive displays for visitors to get a better idea of the land and its history.

Additional activities available include picnicking, camping, and restricted hunting.

Address: 69 Blue Hill Rd, Monterey, MA 01245, Phone: 877-422-6762

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3. Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park
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Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park is the location of where America’s industrial revolution was born; it is a great place for visitors to better understand the role canals played in transporting manufactured goods as well as raw materials between emerging industrial centers. Begin your visit at the River Bend Farm Visitors Center where you can get an in-depth look at local history. Afterwards, walk the park’s trails - many of them recreate the same trails that were used by Native Americans who thrived on the land. Other activities available at the park are picnicking, wildlife viewing, fishing, canoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. More things to do in Massachusetts

Address: 287 Oak St, Uxbridge, MA 01569, Phone: 508-278-7604

4. Breakheart Reservation

Breakheart Reservation
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Featuring two freshwater lakes, a hardwood forest, and a winding stretch of the Saugus River, Breakheart Reservation is one of the most visited public recreation spaces in the area. When exploring the area and its rocky hilltops, you’ll come across stunning panoramic views of rural New England and Boston. Start your visit by stopping by the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center which has a number of exhibits and displays on the forest’s history and wildlife; they also have several educational programs available throughout the year. Other things you can do is go swimming at Pearce Lake or enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing on the many trails. Breakheart Reservation also has amenities such as a play area, a tot lot, Bark Place for furry friends, and fishing facilities.

Address: 177 Forest St, Saugus, MA 01906, Phone: 781-233-0834

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5. Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore
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Cape Cod National Seashore is an IUCN category V protected landscape and seascape that is great for exploring the outdoors when you’re in Massachusetts. It was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and now encompasses over 43,000 acres of woods, beachfront, and ponds. There are several interesting aspects which you shouldn’t miss such as the Highlands Center for the Arts, which was formerly the North Truro Air Force Station, Marconi Station, which is the site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission, the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District, and Doane Rock. There are also many paved trails which are perfect for hiking and biking.

Address: 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667

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6. Ellisville Harbor State Park

Ellisville Harbor State Park
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Though it is only 97 acres, Ellisville Harbor State Park is one of the area’s most popular nature preserves and public recreation areas. There are several natural areas you’ll come across such as rolling meadows, a salt marsh, red pine forest habitats, a barrier beach, and a sphagnum bog. It’s a great place to see resident and migratory birds, harbor seals, and other marine and land wildlife, making it extremely popular with younger visitors. Some of the activities which are offered there are hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, boating, beach-combing, and cross-country skiing. It’s a wonderful spot for those who are interested in natural and wildlife photography as well.

Address: 1861 State Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, Phone: 508-866-2580

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7. Great Brook Farm State Park

Great Brook Farm State Park
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Situated in Carlisle, Massachusetts, Great Brook Farm State Park is a public, day-use outdoor space that attracts visitors of all ages. One of its main features is an active dairy farm which invites people to take a tour and view their operations. The state park was established in 1967 and spans over 900 acres; within this space you’ll find so many activities and amenities which will make your visit memorable. You can partake in hiking, biking, horseback riding, or dog walking on their 20+ miles of trails. Other activities that are available there are fishing and canoeing on the gorgeous Meadow Pond.

Address: 165 North Rd, Carlisle, MA 01741, Phone: 978-369-6312

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8. Halibut Point State Park

Halibut Point State Park
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One of the best things about Halibut Point State Park is that if you are there on a clear day, you’ll be able see gorgeous views of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire or even Mount Agamenticus, which is 81 miles away in Maine. All you have to do is climb the 60-foot renovated World War II fire tower, and for the stunning panoramic views you’ll see, it’s completely worth it. Other things you can do include taking a guided tour of the quarry which once thrived there - there’s even live demonstrations of granite splitting - or you can spend your time hiking and discovering Halibut Point’s rich history, fishing, or cross-country skiing in the winter.

Address: Gott Avenue, Rockport, MA 01966, Phone: 978-546-2997

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9. Hopkinton State Park

Hopkinton State Park
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Hopkinton State Park is one of those public green spaces that has a little bit of everything, making it perfect for visitors of all ages. The 1,500-acre forest is covered in hiking trails and has designated areas for picnicking, swimming, and fishing. There are seasonal boat, kayak, canoe, and paddle board rentals which let you get out and about on Hopkinton Reservoir. You can swim in of the park’s many natural, spring-fed lakes, all of which have on-duty lifeguards. With additional amenities for mountain biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing, everyone who visits is sure to have an amazing time.

Address: 164 Cedar St, Hopkinton, MA 017484, Phone: 508-435-4303

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10. Maudslay State Park

Maudslay State Park
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Maudslay State Park is the perfect place for a walk, bike ride, or picnic because it extremely calm and peaceful while being incomparably beautiful. The park is filled with towering pine forests and rolling meadows, but its most popular features are its 19th century gardens and one of the largest naturally-occurring stands of mountain laurel in the state. During the summer, you can take part in one of the many educational and exploratory programs which are offered at the park. Other activities include picnicking, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center and take in the displays and exhibits on the park’s rich history and the flora and fauna you may come across there.

Address: 74 Curzon Mill Rd, Newburyport, MA 01950, Phone: 978-465-7223

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11. Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Historical Park
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Minute Man National Historical Park not only has an immense natural significance, but it also contributes an incomparable historical value. The park, which spans 967 acres, was established in 1959 and commemorates the site of the opening battle in the American Revolutionary War. You’ll see so many sites such as The Wayside, which was home to author Amos Bronson Alcott, as well as his literary accomplished daughter Louisa May Alcott. Be sure to stop by the Concord’s North Bridge, which is the significant location where colonial commanders ordered their men to fire back at British troops for the very first time in 1775; you’ll see several statues beside the bridge such as the Obelisk Monument and the Minute Man Statue.

Address: 174 Liberty St, Concord, MA 01742, Phone: 978-369-6993

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12. Mohawk Trail State Forest

Mohawk Trail State Forest
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With recreational opportunities for those who love spending time in the outdoors, Mohawk Trail State Forest has so much to see and do for visitors of all ages. The outdoor space, which was established in 1921, covers more than 7,700 acres of old-growth forests, gorges, and mountain ridges. You can stay overnight by renting one of their cabins or bring along a tent and stay in their more primitive wooded campsites. Activities that are available there are trail walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, picnicking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, and participating in the forest’s many interpretive programs. Seasonal restricted hunting is also available in some areas.

Address: Cold River Rd, Charlemont, MA 01339, Phone: 413-339-5504

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13. Mount Greylock State Reservation

Mount Greylock State Reservation
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Housing the highest point in Massachusetts at 3,491 feet, climbing the peaks of Mount Greylock State Reservation will let you see almost 100 miles away on a clear day. Start your journey there by making a stop at the Visitor Center which is filled with exhibits and displays for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Activities that are available there include educational programs which are scheduled throughout the year, hiking, mountain biking, camping, hunting, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. The reservation is also one of the greatest places for you to go on a scenic drive.

Address: 30 Rockwell Rd, Lanesborough, MA 01237, Phone: 413-499-4262

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14. Myles Standish State Forest

Myles Standish State Forest
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Though it is an extremely popular outdoor destination during warmer months, Myles Standish State Forest has activities for the entire family throughout the year. The state forest was established in 1916, is spread over 12,000 acres, and is currently being managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Some of the recreational activities you can participate in are fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, and hunting. There are 13 miles of hiking trails, 15 miles of cycling trails, and over 35 miles of horseback riding trails for you to enjoy as well. If you prefer camping, you can choose to stay in one of the five camping sites that are there, four which are located beside ponds.

Address: 194 Cranberry Rd, Carver, MA 02330, Phone: 508-866-2526

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15. Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge State Park
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Natural Bridge State Park sits on 44 acres of land in northwestern Massachusetts in the city of North Adams. It was established in 1985 and is filled with so many natural and recreational aspects for visitors of all ages to enjoy. The park is named after one of its most unique sites: a natural white marble bridge which is unique across the entire United States. Definitely go on one of the guided woodland walks which are offered because it will give you an in-depth look into the picturesque old marble quarry which is located on site, as well as a dam made entirely of white marble.

Address: McAuley Rd, North Adams, MA 01247, Phone: 413-663-6392

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16. Nickerson State Park

Nickerson State Park
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Over 1,900 acres, Nickerson State Park is full of scenic views of pine forests and kettle ponds. The ponds are so stunning to see and as you explore the area, you’ll come across Flax Pond, Higgins Pond, Triangle Pond, and the largest of them all, Cliff Pond, among several others. The park itself was established in 1934 and was once a part of the estate of Samuel Mayo Nickerson, a Chicago liquor distiller and an area native. Facilities and amenities of the area include a boat ramp, lakes which allow boating and canoeing, a swimming beach, restrooms and showers, fishing, camping, picnicking, an amphitheater, over 400 campsites, cabins and yurts for rent, trails for cycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, cross-country skiing, and much more.

Address: 3488 Main St, Brewster, MA 02631, Phone: 508-896-3491

17. October Mountain State Forest

October Mountain State Forest
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October Mountain State Forest is one of the largest green spaces in the state, spanning at over 16,500 acres. All of activities which are available there are hiking, hunting, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, non-motorized boating, camping, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and the driving of off-road vehicles. Because of everything that is offered, October Mountain State Forest is an amazing place to visit throughout the year. Facilities that will assist you during your stay are designated picnic areas with grills, a boat ramp, and much more. Camping season varies throughout the year, but tent and RV camping sites are besides restroom and shower facilities; additional yurts are available for rent as well.

Address: 317 Woodland Road, Lee, MA 01238, Phone: 413-243-1778

18. Otter River State Forest

Otter River State Forest
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Otter River State Forest is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Massachusetts, especially during the summer season. You can spend hours hiking or mountain biking through the stunning surroundings and cooling off and swimming in the refreshing Beaman Pond. Camping is also an amazing experience at Otter River State Forest; there are 76 primitive campsites with modern amenities, as well as three group camping sites and four yurts which can be rented. Other activities which are available to visitors are fishing, horseback riding, hunting, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. There are tons of educational programs and activities which are scheduled there throughout the year as well.

Address: 86 Winchendon Road, Baldenville, MA 01436, Phone: 978-939-8962

19. Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge

Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge
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Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge was founded in 1974 and is an IUCN category IV habitat and species management area. A property of the United States National Wildlife Refuge, it is home to an array of flora and fauna in its 1,667 acre space. You’ll be able to explore floodplain forests, upland forests, and several wetland communities during your time there. As you walk through these different habitats, you’ll come across a diverse mix of resident and migratory birds such as shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowls, and passerines. Activities that are available in the day-use area are hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Address: 33-1 Still River Depot Rd, Harvard, MA 01451, Phone: 978-443-4661

20. Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation
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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is a public recreation area and geological preserve which can be found in the town of Sutton, Massachusetts. There are several unique and interesting aspects for you to explore such as the notable quarter mile long, 70 foot deep chasm of granite bedrock that can be seen there. Though it’s unclear on how the chasm was created, theory is that it was formed by a glacial meltwater from a burst ice dam toward the end of the last Ice Age. Some of the amenities which are available at Purgatory Chasm are a visitor center, a picnic area, hiking trails, a playground, and several areas which allow rock climbing.

Address: 198 Purgatory Rd, Sutton, MA 01590, Phone: 508-234-3733

21. Savoy Mountain State Forest

Savoy Mountain State Forest
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Managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Savoy Mountain State Forest has been a crowd favorite with both locals and visitors since it was established in 1918. The remote state forest can be found situated along the Hoosac Mountain Range and includes a number of hill and mountain summits, waterfalls, and ponds. Two of its most notable waterfalls are Tannery Falls and Parker Brook Falls, both of which attract a number of visitors because of its fairly accessible location within the state forest. You can spend your time there swimming, picnicking, boating, canoeing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, bird and wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting, and more.

Address: 260 Central Shaft Road, Florida, MA 01247, Phone: 413-663-8469

22. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park

Joseph Allen Skinner State Park
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Joseph Allen Skinner State Park, more often recognized just as Skinner State Park, is a public recreational area that was established in 1940. The park spans over 840 acres and has several unique and interesting aspects for visitors to enjoy. One such feature is the historic Summit House, which is an old hotel which first opened in 1851 at the very top of the summit and stayed in operation until a natural disaster damaged it beyond repair in 1938. The building was deteriorating for a while before it was fully restored in 2014 and you can now take tours of the stunning structure. Other things you can do while there are going on a picnic, hiking, mountain biking, or attending one of the many summertime concerts which are hosted there.

Address: 10 Skinner State Park Rd, Hadley, MA 01035, Phone: 413-586-0350

23. South Cape Beach State Park

South Cape Beach State Park
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South Cape Beach State Park is located in the town of Mashpee and is a part of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Because of its unique location between Vineyard Sound and Waquoit Bay, there are an extensive number of flora and fauna species which you’ll be able to see. Within its 460 acres, you’ll come across an array of habitats such as dunes, a barrier beach, kettle ponds, salt marshes, and pine and oak woodlands. Some of the activities visitors will be able to partake in include swimming in the 1-mile long white sand beach, hiking through the endless miles of trails, taking in breathtaking views from the many scenic viewing platforms, non-motorized boating, fishing, interpretive programs, and restricted hunting.

Address: 668 Great Oak Rd, Mashpee, MA 02649, Phone: 508-457-0495

24. Wompatuck State Park

Wompatuck State Park
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Spanning over 3,500 acres, Wompatuck State Park is one of the state’s most visited public recreation areas. One of their most prominent features is their large campgrounds and its advanced facilities; there are 262 campsites to choose from, of which over half of them have electrical services and other amenities. Since its establishment in 1969, people from all over have visited the state park to not only enjoy camping, but also partake in other activities such as hiking on the 12+ miles of trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. There is a boat ramp which provides access to Aaron River Reservoir for non-motorized boats. Seasonal game bird hunting is also allowed in designated areas of the park.

Address: 204 Union St, Hingham, MA 02043, Phone: 617-895-8245

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