Some people prefer the city, relishing in the ever-present excitement and crowded surroundings. Some prefer nature, enjoying the pervasive peace and quiet seclusion. And some people fall into the category in between, like me.
I live in the city of Boston, and I love it -- everything from the ivy-covered brownstone buildings to the intimate corner coffee shops. But I become frustrated breathing in exhaust-filled air day after day, and, after a while, I long for something different and refreshing.
Boston Common is a pleasant place to picnic but definitely not any kind of escape from the city. With my bike and the T as my only means of transportation, my options appear limited. But who would have guessed, just at the end of the Orange Line
lies a park of over 2,000 acres?
The Middlesex Fells Reservation
, commonly referred to as the Fells, is a diverse landscape of rocky hills, meadows, wetlands, oak and hickory forests, quiet ponds, vernal pools, panoramic vistas and intriguing geological features, bursting with a variety of wildlife.
People who have resided in Boston even for a short while know that making plans around the weather is somewhat futile. Luckily, last Saturday proved to be pleasant enough for a lovely, crisp fall day at The Fells.
Upon your arrival, prepare to be stunned by an amazing view of the city, about eight miles away.
Trailblazing can lead you to extraordinary heights. At the same time, I recommend that you remain conscious of whichever path you choose to take so that you don't get lost.
The vibrant autumn foliage is a sight to see. A colorful palette of reds, yellows, oranges, and greens paints this woodland.
If you forget to bring snacks, wild mushrooms do grow throughout the forest. (A joke! Unless you are a professional mushroom connoisseur and know the ins and outs of gathering, do not uproot these fine-looking fungi.) I passed some interesting varieties during my hike.
By far my favorite retreat from fast-paced city life, The Fells is quite the organic beauty. There's nothing like the smell of fallen leaves and pine trees to clear your head.
Photos: Ali Carter