(Boston) T-accessible fall daytrip
October 19, 2010 6:41 PM   Subscribe

(BostonFilter) T-accessible foliage daytrips -- where to go?

My boyfriend & I had planned to celebrate some work accomplishments with an outdoor foliage daytrip outside of Boston... but then the car broke. So now we have to do our adventure by T/commuter rail, and we're not sure where to go. This is probably going to be tomorrow (Wed) or Thurs. and we will have all day.

Our original ideal would have been some kind of apple-picking countryside type thing in the middle of the state, but we don't know what's like that that's T-accessible. The Arboretum is a possibility, but we'd like to get out of the city if there's somewhere good we can get to. We also have bikes, so if there's somewhere cool and bikeable that would be good too.

Have you gone anywhere T/bike accessible from Cambridge/Boston that would be especially awesome this time of year?
posted by anotherthink to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Have you considered getting a zipcar?
posted by mgerstenblatt at 6:49 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Arboretum! You can walk for hours in there, Forest Hills. Go!
posted by mareli at 6:55 PM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: It looks like it's too short notice to sign up for a zipcar membership. :( But good idea!
posted by anotherthink at 6:55 PM on October 19, 2010

If cemeteries don't squick you out, Mount Auburn Cemetery is really beautiful to walk around this time of year.

Maybe the harbor islands? Georges Island is especially fun to explore. Bring flashlights (and lunch) if you have them for extra spooky Halloweeny goodness, but still cool to explore Fort Warren without them. Really nice views of downtown Boston! You can pick up the ferry from Long Wharf near the Aquarium - I think they run every 1-2 hours or so.
posted by raztaj at 7:06 PM on October 19, 2010

Mount Auburn Cemetery is not out of the city, but you'll forget you're in the city. There's a tower to climb and see a lot of sights, a lot of great places to walk around, and places to eat right around there. I've also heard good thigns about the Arnold Arboretum. My Mom took off today to go to Blue Hills Reservation which may be exactly what you're looking for, it's a bit of a schlep but I hear it's sort of amazing. Yelp also suggests taking the commuter rail to Ayer or thereabouts and biking to Harvard. I just got back from that part of Mass. and the trees really are bright orange right now.
posted by jessamyn at 7:08 PM on October 19, 2010

Well, the Ipswich commuter rail station is several miles from Russell Orchards, but if you're down with a medium bike ride, that's doable. 133 is pretty popular with cyclists and isn't terribly hilly. Sucks your car's broken! Rt 128 up here in the Beverly-Cape Ann stretch looks AMAZING right now! But I'm sure the area along the commuter rail is just as pretty.
posted by kpht at 7:12 PM on October 19, 2010

Ack, pick-your-own is closed at Russell Orchards! Nevermind.
posted by kpht at 7:14 PM on October 19, 2010

Nthing Arnold Arboretum. I've been out of Boston for over 10 years and I still have fond memories of it.
posted by Hactar at 7:15 PM on October 19, 2010

Walden Pond? Commuter rail to Concord and a 30-45 walk from the depot. Not sure what the foliage situation is right now, though, but it's a beautiful spot, especially if you can go mid-week and escape the crowds.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:26 PM on October 19, 2010

I always found the Boston Hiking Guide helpful in planning hiking and walking trips on public transportation around Boston. (Geocities-hosted, so I've linked to the Wayback Machine's cache; I don't know if there's a more recent version somewhere else.)
posted by posadnitsa at 7:26 PM on October 19, 2010

How about taking Amtrak's Downeaster? You can get to NH or ME, bike around a bit and come back the same day. I'd suggest getting off at Wells and biking to Mt. A. No apple picking, but it would be very nice scenery.
posted by ifandonlyif at 7:28 PM on October 19, 2010

Mt. A = Mount Agamenticus

Realized that wouldn't be clear after posting...
posted by ifandonlyif at 7:35 PM on October 19, 2010

Response by poster: these are all great ideas, thanks!
posted by anotherthink at 7:36 PM on October 19, 2010

The arboretum is awesome. I was in Boston for a summer and was going absolutely apeshit, and it was a godsend. I guarantee you you haven't seen all of it yet.
posted by devilsbrigade at 8:21 PM on October 19, 2010

Most of the north shore is very bikeable and is currently very pretty. The more woodsy areas are a little farther from some stops, but others (Ipswich, Rowley) are basically 1 mile from countryside. Unfortunately, bike maps for the area are bad where they exist at all, so it's not a bad plan to ask around about a route or do some google streetview scouting.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 8:29 PM on October 19, 2010

Try the T to Newburyport, and bring your bikes to take the reasonable ride out to Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury. Really nice apple-pciking, hot cider donuts and hot dogs, farm store, and great foliage, plus pubs and stuff in Amesbury or NBPT on your way back.
posted by Miko at 8:31 PM on October 19, 2010

(by "T" I mean commuter rail from North Station to Newburyport. Be careful not to get on the Rockport line).
posted by Miko at 8:34 PM on October 19, 2010

You can get to the Middlesex Fells by taking the Orange Line to Oak Grove. It's a gorgeous spot!
posted by cider at 3:36 AM on October 20, 2010

I know what you want to do, because it's what I want to do.

Since you have bicycles, consider taking the Minuteman Trail from Alewife station into Lexington. Get off the trail at Lexington Center, then take Mass. Ave. across I-95. The Battle Road Trail starts right there and takes you to Concord; once the leaves start turning, this is one of the most beautiful paths I've seen.

Alternatively, you can take the Commuter Rail to Concord and ride (or walk) the trail in the other direction.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:14 AM on October 20, 2010

Response by poster: We ended up taking the commuter rail to Gloucester and then walking to Dogtown Commons and hiking around there, which was AMAZING.

All these other suggestions are being filed for later in the season or for next year! Thanks!
posted by anotherthink at 9:20 AM on October 21, 2010

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