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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Wonders of the Middlesex Fells Reservation

Water through the trees at the Fells Reservation
Water through the trees at the Fells Reservation

North of Boston, past Cambridge and Medford, there is a place that is beyond the imagination, a place where animals roam and the wind whistles in the trees. Most people do not know the beauty that is right in their own backyard. Some people go all the way to New Hampshire or Maine to see nature’s splendors. Other people go to the Middlesex Fells Reservation.

The Middlesex Fells Reservation encompasses 2,060 acres that spans Malden, Melrose, Medford, Stoneham and Winchester. The Fells is larger in acreage than the city of Somerville. Many trails and ponds and possibilities for adventure await anyone who dares.

Hiking the trails are some of the best ways to spend a beautiful spring or summer day. Many different paths dot the reservation. A flat walk is available for people who are not able footed. For a riskier venture, try the Rock Circuit Trail, which is marked by white dots. The Rock Circuit Trail climbs the rocks and hills, and features fabulous views of Boston on clear days.

On Spot Pond in Stoneham, in the summer, canoes are available for rent. The pond is dotted with little islands. In the middle of Spot Pond, with the breeze stirring, it can make one wish to stay there forever and forget all the troubles of the world.

Another way to escape is to have a picnic. In Stoneham, there are great places to sit down and eat next to Long Pond. People swim sometimes when it’s very hot, but it isn’t allowed. Some of the bodies of water in this area are reservoirs. At one such body of water in Winchester, people are not allowed to even go near the water.

Mountain biking is allowed from April 16 through December 31, and only groups of five or less are allowed. Mountain bikers are not permitted on the hiking trails unless posted otherwise. Mountain biking is only for the true risk-takers and daredevils, because they go crashing down the hills into trees.

For the nature lovers, a plethora of birds and wildlife dwell in the reservation. Squirrels, of course, and chipmunks scurry around. Finches and hawks share the same territory in the trees. The golden crowned kinglet and the black-capped chickadee are visible to those with keen eyesight. Sometimes in the spring, Canadian geese with their little chicks swim in the ponds, and are absolutely adorable.

The elusive fisher cat was considered extinct for over a hundred years, but the fisher is alive and well. Nobody knows how exactly that happened. Once in a great while, a deer will be seen, but they are very skittish and will dart at the sight of a human. Hunting is not allowed in the Fells.

The reservation is very picturesque. It is a fabulous place for photography. In the fall, the leaves on the trees blaze with color, and the scenery is spectacular. Autumn is the best season to photograph the Fells.

Organized hikes take place almost every weekend during the spring and the summer. There are different levels of difficulty. To read about hikes, visit www.fells.org/activities.html The Fells is easy to access by north on Route 93 or Route 38 and many bus lines.