I heart the Middlesex Fells.
Yeah, yeah – technically the Fells Reservation is not in Somerville, but spans the towns of nearby Medford, Winchester, Stoneham and Melrose. But one of the things I love about Somerville is indeed its proximity to this local hiking mecca. Only a few miles from Boston and a 2 minute drive (or 10 minute bike ride) from Somerville, the Fells allows us city folk to pretend we’re out in the woods somewhere far away from our mostly urban landscape. Throw on a pair of headphones so you can’t hear the distant hum of the traffic on I-93, and you will definitely get your nature fix hiking these trails.
In addition to hiking trails ranging in difficulty from super-easy to fairly strenuous (the skyline trail is 7 miles long and takes approximately 5 hours to hike the loop), there is also a trail open to mountain bikers.
A variety of plant and animal life call the Fells home – oak and hickory trees, hemlock beds and white birch provide shelter to fox, deer and coyote. One day a friend and I were hiking when we encountered a snake making a meal out of a doomed toad, which was pretty fascinating – albeit slightly horrifying – to watch.
DAILY TRIVIA: In 1914 the original Economy Grocery Store opened its doors in Somerville, later to evolve into the Stop & Shop grocery chain.