BOOK YOUR ESCAPE
Dallas | Local Guides

Explore Getaway Piney Woods

Getaway is the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, and do nothing. However, if you’re feeling antsy, there’s still plenty to do near our cabins and on the way there.

Here’s our guide for attractions near our Dallas Outpost and the best places to stop on your drive there.

Getting There

Located in LaRue, Texas, just southeast of Dallas, your new favorite escape is easily accessible from the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, Waco, and Tyler. From Dallas, just take 175 down to our Outpost and pull right up to your cabin.

Walks in Nature Near Getaway Piney Woods

Wolfpen Hike and Bike Trail
Hike Duration: 4.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy

This loop trail, which features a lake, is a great choice for all skill levels for hiking, walking, or trail running.

Beaver Slide Nature Park
Hike Duration: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

This shorter loop trail offers a lake and is accessible year-round.

Lindsey Park Trail
Hike Duration: 8.5 miles
Difficulty: Hard

This longer hike features beautiful wild flowers and is best between the months of March and October.

Sustenance and Snacks Near Getaway Piney Woods

The Cherry Laurel 305 Prairieville St., Athens, TX, 75751
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
With soups, sandwiches, and plenty of sweet treats, this Athens bakery and cafe is the perfect spot to stop along the way to the Outpost for a quick snack.

Pierce Creek Station 10831 US-175, Larue, TX 75770
~ 8 minutes from the Outpost
This little store has a great selection of grocery items, the best ice cream, and it has a restaurant attached that serve breakfast all day and claims to have, “The Best Burger in Henderson County.”

On the Local Menu

El Arroyo 416 South Palestine, Suite C, Athens, TX, 75751
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
This local Mexican restaurant is known for its huge menu featuring Tex-Mex classics, nachos, and plenty of chef’s specialties. They even have hamburger and chicken fried steak options, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Railway Cafe 210 North Palestine, Athens, TX, 75751
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
This popular local spot with delicious American fare is a great place to go for plenty of options. Check out their daily specials for something different as well.

Cotton Patch Cafe 1413 State HWY 31, Athens, TX, 75751
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
If you’re looking for some southern comfort food, then Cotton Patch is your go-to. Try out their chicken fried steak or their Texas sized onion rings.

Outpost Watering Holes

Sidetrips

Lake Palestine Tyler, TX
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
This freshwater lake, located just outside of Tyler, offers fishing, boating, water skiing, canoeing, hiking, and swimming.

Cedar Creek Lake Malakoff, TX, 75148
~ 45 minutes from the Outpost
This picturesque lake, less than an hour drive from the Outpost, is a perfect spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.

East Texas Arboretum Athens, TX, 75751
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
On the drive from Dallas to the Outpost, the arboretum includes one hundred acres of trees, flowers, and nature trails. Take a pit stop and smell the flowers before heading to your cabin.

Pine Tree Farm
~5 minutes from the Outpost
If you’re looking for the perfect sidetrip to round out your Fall Getaway, head to Pine Tree Farm for a hay ride to enjoy all the beautiful fall colors.

New York, Texas Zipline Adventures LaRue, TX, 75770
~ 15 minutes from the Outpost
If you’re looking for some elevation, but aren’t much of a hiker, then this zipline adventure is for you. Experience 30-mile views from the platforms and enjoy the Texas scenery.

3 P’s In A Vine Winery and Vineyard, Athens, TX, 75751
~ 30 minutes from the Outpost
Covering 12 acres of land, this scenic vineyard offers tastings, glasses, and bottles of their eight wine varieties. So sit back, relax, and sip away.

For a round-up of organizations and Black-owned businesses to support in Dallas, Austin, and Houston, see our list.

Cleveland | Local Guides | Pittsburgh

Explore Getaway Beaver Creek

Getaway is the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, and do nothing. If you’re in the mood to explore, there’s still plenty to do near our cabins and on the way there.

Here’s our guide for attractions near our Beaver Creek Outpost and the best places to stop on your drive from Pittsburgh or Cleveland.

Getting There

Located just over the Ohio border from Pennsylvania, your new favorite escape is just 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh and almost 2 hours from Cleveland. Just take 376 to 30 from Pittsburgh or 480 to 76 from Cleveland and you’ll be ready to disconnect.

Walks in Nature

Hellbender Bluff Trail
Hike Duration: 3.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
This loop trail features lots of wildlife, including bald eagles and spring warblers, as well as wild flowers and mushrooms.

Mineral Springs Loop Trail
Hike Duration: 1.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
This easy loop on the Pennsylvania side of the border features a waterfall and is recommended for families with young kids.

Dogwood Trail
Hike Duration: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
This popular loop trail, just a 10-minute drive from the Outpost, features views of beautiful forest and wild flowers.

Vondergreen Trail
Hike Duration: 6.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Just a 10-minute drive from the Outpost in Beaver Creek State Park, this out and back trail has a balance of steep inclines and rolling terrain.

Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail
Hike Duration: 12.5 miles
Difficulty: Hard
This popular trail is ranked as difficult because of the distance, but you can always hike sections of it. The paved trail, which begins in Lisbon and ends in Washingtonville, can also be used as a bike trail.

Bradys Run Trail
Hike Duration: 7.1 miles
Difficulty: Hard
This loop trail features steep climbs and frequent terrain changes with pretty lake views.

Sustenance and Snacks

Campbell’s Grocery Lisbon, OH
~ 15 minutes from the Outpost
This family-owned grocery is the perfect spot to pick up small groceries, sandwiches, deli food, and beer.

Two Smart Cookies East Liverpool, OH
~ 5 minutes from the Outpost
This nearby bakery is the perfect spot for your daily dose of sweet treats.

On the Local Menu

The Courthouse Inn & Restaurant 116 West Lincoln Way, Lisbon, OH 44432
~ 15 minutes from Outpost
Specializing in vegetarian comfort food, this place has a little something for everyone.

Pondis Restaurant & Bar 8945 State Road 45, Lisbon, OH 44432
~ 15 minutes from Outpost
This restaurant has been around for more than 100 years, serving up steaks, seafood, pastas, salads, and daily specials.

Mary’s Pizza 301 N Beaver St., Lisbon, OH 44432
~ 20 minutes from Outpost
Stop by this local favorite for a classic pizza pie with a side of barbecue wings.

Shale Tavern and Grille 40964 State Route 154, Lisbon, OH 44432
~10 minutes from Outpost
This tavern has all of your classic favorites, from chicken noodle soup to a barbecue bacon cheeseburger. With a full bar and a homey feel, it’s the perfect place for your family meal.

Sidetrips

The Vineyards at Pine Lake Columbiana, OH
~ 30 minutes from Outpost
Stop by this local family-owned vineyard and enjoy their lakefront tasting room.

Lanternman’s Mill Youngstown, OH
~ 45 minutes from Outpost
For a historical and picturesque detour, check out this old mill built in the 1840s. As a tribute to the area’s historical roots, the mill was restored in the 1980s and still operates today grinding corn, wheat, and buckwheat.

White House Fruit Farm Canfield, OH
~ 40 minutes from Outpost
Come by this family-owned farm and buy your freshly picked berries, fruits, and vegetables, or sample some of their delicious baked goods- we’re craving the blueberry donut. The farm, established in 1815, also offers year-round events, including summer crop picking and flower festivals.

Beaver Creek Meadows Golf Course Lisbon, OH
~ 10 minutes from Outpost
Go for a round of eighteen holes at this golf course, covering 120-acres of greens.

Local Guides | Portland

Explore Getaway Mount Adams

We hope you think of Getaway as a day off for the always on – the perfect place to disconnect and recharge in nature. However, if you’re feeling antsy to get outside or if you want some activities for the journey from Portland, there’s plenty to explore in the area.

Here’s our guide to attractions near our Mount Adams Outpost and things to do along the way:

Getting There

Just over the border in Washington, your new favorite escape is easily accessible from Portland. Only two hours away from downtown, the fastest way there is by car. Take Highway 84 east to the Hood River Bridge (toll bridge), cross the bridge, and turn west on Highway 14. Turn north on Highway 141 toward BZ Corner. Pass BZ Glenwood Highway and continue up towards Trout Lake. As you approach the gas station, bear right onto Mount Adams Road, then take a right onto Sunnyside Road, which becomes Trout Lake Highway. Turn right onto Main Street, go through town, then take a left onto Mount Adams Highway. The Outpost entrance will be on the right. There may be some snowfall in the winter, so be sure to check local weather and plan your safe journey accordingly.

Getaway Mount Adams Cabin

Walks in the Mountains near Getaway

Dog Creek Falls

Hike distance: 0.6 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Many people pass by this quick and easy walk without even noticing it. Stop on your way to the Outpost and see a 25-foot cascading waterfall.

Weldon Wagon Road Trail

Hike distance: 5.4 miles

Difficulty: Relatively Easy

This trail starts in the Columbia River Gorge, but quickly ascends out of the gorge as you get further along. From there the trail becomes less of a trail, and more of a path through an open meadow with views of the mountaintops all around. Part of this trail also goes through the White Salmon Oak Natural Resources Conservation Area, so you can explore the area and see all the different oak trees during your hike.

Monte Cristo Trail

Distance: 8.1 miles roundtrip

Difficulty: Moderate

This out-and-back trail near Granite Falls, WA is a great one for history buffs. By following this trail, you get to follow the route that was taken by miners to get to Monte Cristo where they would mine for ore. Monte Cristo is a ghost town today, but you can head out and explore what remains.

Junction Lake via East Crater Trail

Distance: 4.9 miles

Difficulty: Easy

This out-and-back trail lets you head out to Junction Lake from east side of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Several trails intersect with East Crater Trail including the notable Pacific Crest Trail, so if you decide to explore the area a bit more, there are plenty of trails that will allow you to do so. A note to keep in mind is that the road to get to the trailhead may be closed between December 1st and April 1st.

Willard Springs Trail

Hike distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

This two-mile trail loops around the Conboy Lake Marsh is an easy hike with great views of Mount Adams. As you hike, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for signs of wildlife, as there are many kinds of wild birds often found here.

Sleeping Beauty Trail

Hike distance: 2.4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

This is a short trail near Trout Lake, which takes you through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It’s great for both hiking and bird watching. Dogs are welcome on the trail, but they must be kept on a leash.

Guler Ice Cave Hike

Hike distance: 2.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

This walk to the most visited cave features beautiful underground ice formations and tubes that are results of lava flows. Remember to bring snow gear though in the winter months, cave temperatures can drop pretty low.

Park in Portland

Lyle Cherry Orchard

Hike distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Recommended for early spring, this hike features wildflowers and beautiful gorge views on both sides of the trail. While there aren’t as many cherry trees on the hike as there used to be, some can still be found on the eastern edge of the property.

Dog Mountain Loop

Hike distance: 6.9 miles

Difficulty: Hard

This hike boasts beautiful gorge views and wildflowers from April to May. The trails can be quite steep, but if you’re willing to try, the trail is relatively short for some pretty views.

Pacific Northwest Hiking

Sustenance and Snacks Near Getaway

Glenwood General Store

~5 minutes from Outpost

Visit this store for groceries, food, beer, and wine. In the summers, check out the burgers made by the owner, and maybe even try tasting some wine.

B Z Corner Grocery Store

~33 minutes from Outpost

Visit this corner grocery for a little bit of everything, from groceries to chicken tenders. Located right near locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking, it’s a great place to pick up supplies after these activities.

Harvest Market

~48 minutes from Outpost

Harvest Market is a great staple spot to grab everything you’ll need before your Getaway. Their website also has recipe ideas and coupons you can print and bring with you, and they even have a flower ordering department—so if you’re headed to Getaway for a special occasion, you can make it extra special and celebrate with the colors that nature provides.

Backwoods Brewing Co.

~55 minutes from Outpost

About an hour’s drive from Getaway Mount Adams, you can find Backwoods Brewing Company, which is a family-owned and local-operated craft brewery. They source all of their ingredients from the North West, and their Carson, WA location is also famous for its delicious pizza.

Eating Food

Side Trips near Getaway

Zoller’s Outdoor Odyssey BZ Corner, WA

As the longest running whitewater enterprise in Washington or Oregon, Zoller’s is the local go-to for the adventurous type. Check out one of their several options for a whitewater adventure.

Use code Getaway for $10 off per person on the Klickitat, White Salmon Upper Gorge, Middle Gorge, Middle/Lower Gorge and Upper/Middle/Lower Gorge rafting trips.

Goose Lake

For a day spent near the water, you can head out to Goose Lake, which is about an hour’s drive away. This is a great spot to go for families, as you can swim and fish in the lake, which is sure to delight the little ones.

Panther Creek Falls

These falls are hidden in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest along an easy out-and-back trail down to a viewing platform. The falls are well worth the walk, which is equally as gorgeous as the falls, as it allows you to hike along the side of the creek. The trail is a little under half a mile long, and dogs can be brought onto the trail as long as they’re on a leash.

Natural Bridges

The “natural bridges” in display along this trail were created by collapsed lava tubes. This is a great trail for families and children, as it’s relatively easy, but incredibly interesting to explor—these natural formations are an exhibit of how nature carves and changes the landscapes we call home.

Columbia River Gorge

If you’re looking for some scenic views, the Columbia River Gorge boasts more than a few as the river creates a canyon as it cuts through the cascade mountains. There are many scenic lookout points and scenic byways for you to explore the canyon, view waterfalls, and spend time in nature with your loved ones.

Mount Hood Meadows

Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort is a great day trip for skiiers and snowboarders of all skill and experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this resort has terrain that will challenge and delight you with its views and the thrill of riding down to the base of Mount Hood.

Ready for a Portland adventure? Book your Getaway now.

Atlanta | Local Guides

Explore Getaway Chattahoochee

Your Getaway is about finding time to disconnect in order to reconnect – whether with family, friends, or nature. After or en route to a restful break at one of our cabins, there’s plenty to explore in the area, whatever may pique your interest.

Here’s our Getaway Atlanta Outpost guide to nearby attractions and things to do along the way:

Getting There

Nestled in the Chattahoochee National Forest, your secluded escape is easily accessible from Atlanta. The best way to get there is by car; the Outpost is about a two hour drive from the city. Parking is easy and available for every cabin. If you don’t have a car yourself, consider carpooling with a friend, or renting a car in the city. If all else fails, your journey will take you longer, but you can take a Greyhound bus to Gainesville, which is an hour-long Uber or Lyft from the Outpost.

The drive to Getaway Chattahoochee can get windy and steep. Be sure to prepare by knowing your route ahead of time, and addressing any motion sickness needs you might have.

Walks in the Mountains near Getaway Atlanta

Jarrard Gap Trail
Hike Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs allowed on-leash
Close by your cabin, this trail climbs gradually from Lake Winfield Scott Campground and merges with the Appalachian Trail. With ridge-line views, the path continues into the Blood Mountains in a lovely loop.

Cooper Creek Trail
Hike Distance: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs allowed on-leash
This loop trail, which is accessible all year, features a gorgeous array of wildflowers. As you hike, you’ll be followed by the gentle sounds of the creek. This is a great route for families and anyone interested in familiarizing themselves with all the colors Georgia has to offer.

Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trial
Hike Distance: 1.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs allowed on-leash
This two-mile section of the Appalachian Trail is one of the most beautiful in Georgia. It winds through a lush valley en route to Long Creek Falls, full of wildlife, flowers, steep cliffs, and soft moss in every season. The double-tiered waterfall rises over 50 feet before emptying into a deep pool, shadowed by bunches of rhododendron.

Yonah Mt.
Hike Distance: 4.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Dogs allowed on-leash
Recognizable by its asymmetric shape and exposed rock outcrops near the top, Yonah Mt. rises from the foothills of the southern Appalachian Mts. and is one of North Georgia’s best hikes. The continuous uphill hike climbs through a rocky, moss-filled forest leads to stunning panoramic views of the horizon. Check out the views from the rock outcrops along the way and at the summit, as practice some leaf-, flower-, and snow-spotting in all seasons.

Mt Yoha

Blood Mt. Loop via the Appalachian and Freeman Trails
Hike distance: 6 miles
Difficulty: Hard
Dogs allowed on-leash
Towering over the surrounding peaks, Blood Mt. is Georgia’s highest Appalachian Trail summit, rising high to 4,459 ft. at the summit’s massive rock outcrop, which offers sweeping, stunning views and a chance to explore the historic stone Blood Mt. Shelter. This loop explores quieter stretches, beginning at the Neels Gap trailhead and hiking the eastern face with the Byron Reece Trail. It merges with and follows the Appalachian Trail at Flatrock Gap to the summit, descending along the Freeman Trail, which leads back through a fern-filled valley.

Appalachian Trail: Three Forks to Springer Mt.
Hike Distance: 8.6 miles
Difficulty: Hard
Dogs allowed on-leash
Spanning from Maine down through the eastern United States, the Appalachian Trail winds to a stop here in North Georgia, its southernmost point. This hike traces the last steps of the trail and dips through the creek-strewn Three Forks Valley before climbing to an end at the summit of Springer Mt. with the reward of the southern Appalachian Mts., blanketed in blue haze.

Sustenance and Snacks near Getaway Atlanta

There aren’t very many grocery stores in close proximity to the Outpost, so it may be best to prepare before you head out on your Getaway. There is a Walmart around 40 minutes from the Outpost, in case you forget anything.

Van Zandt’s Riverwalk Grill & Grocery, 103 Newport Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
~ 20 min from Outpost
Visit Van Zandt’s for country-diner style breakfast and lunch and to grab some groceries on your way to the Outpost. Their pancakes are bigger than a plate, and if you can finish their 1/2 lb. burgers for lunch, they offer a 4 mile-long tubing and kayak float.

Dahlonega General Store, 24 Public Square, Dahlonega, GA 30533
~ 40 min from Outpost
This old-timey general stores has everything you need for your stay in a tiny cabin, with a wide variety of items, snacks, and tchotchkes.

On the Local Menu

Capers on the Square, 84 Public Square N, Dahlonega, GA 30533
~ 40 min from Outpost
For delicious Mediterranean fare with good gluten-free and vegetarian options, Capers is a Dahlonega staple. After narrowing down your choices off the menu (good luck) you can sit by the restaurant’s big windows or outside in the square and people watch.

Bratzeit77 Memorial Dr, Dahlonega, GA 30533
~ 40 min from Outpost
Born in Switzerland and Germany, the owners of Bratzeit bring their native cuisine and Swiss-German tastes to Northern Georgia. The schnitzels are fantastic, and order a classic apple strudel to top off the fare.

Shenanigans87 N Chestatee St, Dahlonega, GA 30533
~ 40 min from Outpost
With its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere and snug quarters, Shenanigans plates Irish-American classics (try the fish ‘n chips) and a diverse beer menu.

Restaurant

Sidetrips

Consolidated Gold Mine, 185 Consolidated Gold Mine Rd, Dahlonega, GA 30522
~ 35 min from Outpost
Descend 200 feet underground into this 100-year-old mine to see how turn-of-the-centuries miners found gold in Georgia. After panning for your own gold, visit the Dahlonega Gold Museum nearby, housed in the 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse. The perfect excursion for the whole family.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards, 180 Wolf Mountain Trail, Dahlonega, GA 30533
~ 35 min from Outpost
Tucked at the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest with views of the North Georgia mountains, Wolf Mountain has earned over 200 medals for its wines. Its grounds are landscaped beautifully, transforming the vineyard into a lovely place to taste wines and brunch.

Grumpy Old Men Brewing, 1315 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
~ 45 min from Outpost
The couple of retired beer enthusiasts who founded Grumpy Old Men Brewing in 2012 began by brewing their stores in an outdoor shower and eventually opened their microbrewery in Blue Ridge. In 2018, the original two migrated to the other side of the 18-tap bar, passing the company onto “another Grumpy Old Man & his Crabby Lady.” There’s lots of space in the tasting room to play games and chat with other brew-loving folk.

Lakewood 400 Antiques Market, 1321 Atlanta Hwy, Cumming, GA 30040
~ 1 hr 15 min from Outpost
Many dealers come to set up booths and stores at Lakewood 400, open on the third weekend of every month, to sell a wide variety of unique, fascinating antiques, and there’s something for everyone.

Book your Getaway today.

For a round-up of organizations and Black-owned businesses to support in Atlanta, see our list.

Boston | Local Guides | Nature

Best Places to Take Your Dog Outside of Boston

We sent guest writer Laurence Holyoak on a mission, along with her pup, to discover the best places to bring your dog outside of Boston. Take some time and enjoy her report on her adventures.

Rounding up a list of the best places to bring your dog outside of Boston has been my pup’s favorite assignment of the year. We tested many areas, hiked trails, swam in ponds and mucked through swamps to bring you a list of the most beautiful parks to explore with your pooch. With foliage season around the corner, this list will not disappoint.

Callahan State Park, Framingham
~39 minute drive from Boston

This park is hands-down the most dog friendly place I have ever visited. Dogs can run off-leash to their heart’s content and they have an entire group of people working to keep it that way. The Callahan Dog Owners Group, who’s board is appropriately made up of all dogs, has made it their mission to make Callahan State Park the best multi-use park in the Massachusetts State Park System. They strive to keep a safe, clean environment for all who use it.

Callahan ticks all of my boxes for a good place to bring your dog- there is nearly 100 acres of open fields to romp, two rivers to dip into, a giant network of trails to hike and a nice pond for swimming. With over 800 acres to cover, your dog will never get bored.

There are three parking areas to enter Callahan State Park, but for the dog park, you want to use the south entrance located at 311 Millwood Street. Once you cross the field, you will see Packard Pond. Grab a trail map, because the trails are not very well marked. Over 85% of the park’s visitors will have off-leash dogs, which is something to keep in mind if your dog is not very dog-friendly.  

Great Brook Farm State Park, Carlisle
~36 minute drive from Boston

This was my favorite of all of the parks I visited. Great Brook Farm is such a perfectly serene area.. There is a main trail that leads around a large pond called the Pine Point Loop. No getting lost, no maps needed, just one big circle. There are many offshoots of this main trail, so you can explore more as you get to know the area. My dog loved running off leash and since we were off the beaten track, we had the place almost all to ourselves. A place to swim is a must for my island dog and he loved being able to take a dip whenever he wanted. I loved the diversity of walking from a pine forest, through a swamp, to a meadow, ending up at another pond. Bring a towel for your pooch, because he will come out dirty on the other end.

To find the trailhead, follow North Road once you enter the park. Bypass the main parking area a quarter-mile and look for a small parking lot on your right hand side. This is also a canoe launch. You can pick up the trail system here. The cherry on top is that there is an ice cream stand on the property.

Noanet Woodlands, Dover
~34 minute drive from Boston

The Noanet Woodlands is owned by the Trustees of the Reservation, which means there is a $5 fee for a day pass. I would recommend parking at Powisset Street and walking the Peabody Loop (blue blaze) which takes about 45 minutes. This will lead you through some beautiful wooded trails passing three ponds along the way. Be sure to detour up Noanet Peak (yellow blaze), to get a beautiful view of the Boston skyline. The trails are very well marked, but grab a trail map so you don’t get turned around. There are over 17 miles of trails to explore here, allowing you to visit again and again. I was there in the late afternoon and heard a barred owl warming up his vocal cords for that night’s performance. It is amazing to be so lost in nature when you are just outside of a major city. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Rocky Woods, Medfield
~38 minute drive from Boston

This is another Trustees of the Reservation property, which means that same $5 parking fee apply. This park is a part of the Green Dogs Program, which is an innovative approach to meeting dogs desire to have time off-leash, while sharing the space with other park users in the community. This means that there are designated trails for off-leash romping, which are usually located on the outskirts. You dog is welcome on the other trails, but must be on leash. The rules of each trail are well-marked so there is no confusion. As a person who once walked a caution dog, I can appreciate having a bit of both.

We chose to do the 1.5 mile yellow loop trail and loved crossing the narrow footbridge that cuts through Echo Pond. As my dog ran along the water’s edge, he caused a chain reaction of giant bullfrogs to jump off the bank back to the safety of the water. He thought it was the best game ever.

Sabine Woods, Groton
~54 minute drive from Boston

In Groton, MA you can find a beautiful wildlife sanctuary called Sabine Woods. After you cross the bridge, your dog can be off leash. I usually bear to the right, cross the field and walk until I reach the river. There is a trail that runs along the bank of the Nashua River. I love how the trees lean over the water, each leaf straining to get a piece of sunlight. In the spring, tree frogs will serenade you from the vernal pools just within the forest.

Throughout the sanctuary, you will find some neat statues and monuments. The park is well maintained like a nature reserve. The public access trail will eventually end at the Groton Boat House where you will have to turn back and retrace your steps. On a hot day, your dog will love running down to the banks of the river to get a drink or cool off.

Remember to be respectful and clean up after your dog. Have fun exploring.

 

Laurence Holyoak is a writer for Journeys and Jaunts which gives weekly inspiration for traveling with kids and dogs. She lives with her three children, two rescued dogs and two cats. Her mission is to show her kids, including her dogs, the world.

For more inspiration for traveling with your dog, visit Journeys and Jaunts here.

Boston | Local Guides | Nature

Public Parks in Boston

Need to add some quality time in nature to your life? Boston makes it easy with an abundance of options, whether you want to stroll within steps of downtown, sit on the edge of the water, stop and smell the flowers, or hike through the wilderness.

 

Boston Common/Boston Public Garden
Right in the heart of downtown Boston is an oasis of nature.

The Boston Common is America’s oldest park and has been a gathering place for Colonial militia to present day political rallies. With a gazebo, a fountain, baseball fields, and the Frog Pond – where you can ice skate in the winter – it provides a common ground for everyone in Boston to play.

Just across Charles Street from the Common is the Boston Public Garden which has a decidedly different vibe. Created 200 years after the Common as the first botanical garden in the US, the Public Garden places an emphasis on flowers in Victorian style. It is home to a lagoon where you can lounge on the banks while getting your daily dose of nature and watching the Swan Boats and actual swans glide by.

 

Rose Kennedy Greenway
Then end result of the 25-year “Big Dig” construction project, Rose Kennedy Greenway is a park system that stretches a mile and a half from Chinatown to the North End above Interstate 93.

The Greenway is filled with plants, from magnolias to milkweed, birches to bamboo. Many different soothing fountains are interspersed among the foliage, including a labyrinth and a stream. It’s also the perfect place for a lunch break downtown, so get your cannoli, dumplings or food truck fare to go and eat al fresco.

 

Charles River Esplanade
When a little water therapy is what you need, spend some time along the banks of the Charles River on the Esplanade.

Stretching 3 miles from the Museum of Science to the BU Bridge, the Esplanade provides 64 acres of green space separated from the city by Storrow Drive. After crossing one of eight pedestrian footbridges to enter the park, you can meander by the river, check out the Hatch Shell, hang out on the docks, bike down the path, or even head out onto the water in a kayak.

 

Back Bay Fens
Originally designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Fens has undergone many changes since his original design, including the addition of the English-style Kelleher Rose Garden, and it continues to be a beautiful green space that is part of the Emerald Necklace (which also includes the Boston Common/Public Garden & Arnold Arboretum).

Part of the Fens, the Fenway Victory Gardens are the only remaining, continuously operating World War II Victory Gardens in the United States. Consisting of 500 plots over 7 acres, the Victory Gardens are maintained by individuals and organizations and is a wonderful place to appreciate the variety of plants that bring the community together.

 

Arnold Arboretum
Curated by Harvard University on land leased from the City of Boston, Arnold Arboretum is a gem in the Emerald Necklace. Frederick Olmsted designed the layout of the paths and roadways, and the Arboretum still mostly maintains the style of planting that he and Charles Sprague Sargent created in the garden.

Located in Jamaica Plain, the Arboretum consists of 281 acres of plant life, from conifers to crabapples. The trails in the Arboretum provide plenty of easy hikes and are open from sunrise to sunset every day.

One of the best times to visit Arnold Arboretum is in spring when the lilacs are blooming. There is even a special Lilac Sunday each May to celebrate these fragrant flowers.

 

Fresh Pond
Located across the Charles River from Boston in Cambridge, Fresh Pond Reservation is another open space influenced by Olmsted. Consisting of 162 acres of land including meadows, forests, and wetlands surrounding Fresh Pond Reservoir, this is a lovely park to explore for awhile.

A 2.25 mile trail circumnavigates the Reservoir, providing plenty of opportunity for walking, running or biking along the water. Fresh Pond is also a great place for bird watching.

 

Middlesex Fells
Just north of Boston proper, you can easily escape to nature in Middlesex Fells. The Fells comprise 2,200 acres of wilderness, with hiking trails ranging from the easy 1 mile Spot Pond Brook Historic Trail to the 3.7 mile loop Rock Circuit Trail to the 6.9 mile loop Skyline Trail.

You can hop on your mountain bike or find rock climbing areas in the Fells as well. Dogs are also welcome to join you on your adventures, and Sheepfold Meadow is an off-leash area.

 

Blue Hills Reservation
On the southern end of the city is the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. With 125 miles of trails on 7,000 acres, you can immerse yourself in nature in no time.

Explore Houghton’s Pond on an easy hike or challenge yourself on the 3.5 mile hike up to the summit of Buck Hill for a beautiful view of the reservation.

The Blue Hills also offers mountain biking trails and cross-country skiing trails in the winter.

 

Interested in getting out of Boston? Check out our cabins in Epsom, New Hampshire for a nature escape.