All programs are free and open to the public. Bring water, use sunscreen/bug spray, dress in comfortable, weather-appropriate layers, and wear sturdy closed toe shoes. An adult must accompany children. Inclement weather cancels outdoor programs. For more information visit: website https://www.mass.gov/locations/middlesex-fells-reservation or email Jesse.Macdonald@mass.gov. The Middlesex Fells Reservation’s Visitor Center is located at 4 Woodland Road in Stoneham. Parking is free throughout the park.
Visitor Center Open House
Sundays, 12:30pm-2:30pm, Botume House Visitor Center, 1 Woodland Road, Stoneham
Drop in at any time to view our permanent exhibit on the history and natural resources of the Fells, ask questions about the park or DCR, pick up a map, and meet the Fells staff.
Ecology Explorations Hikes
Sunday, August 14, 21, 9:30am-11:00am, Botume House Visitor Cntr., 4 Woodland Rd., Stoneham
Our forests are threatened every day by invaders from across the globe— invasive species! This two-part hike series will introduce the history, ecology, and management issues surrounding invasives. We will learn hands-on how to identify specific species that are established in the Fells, and discuss the techniques used to control them. All ages. Approx. 1.5 miles on easy terrain. Rain cancels.
August 14: Part 1– Invasive plants in the Fells (the “Big Six”)
August 21: Part 2– Insects, trees, “potential” invasives, and a history of management techniques— the good, bad, and ugly!
Off the Beaten Path Hike Series
Wednesday, August 3, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Greenwood Park, Doleful Pond, and Whip Hill.
Join the Park Interpreter for this weekly hike! Each trip will highlight a “less traveled” route in the Fells. Hikes will range from 2—4 miles and travel on uneven and rocky terrain. Best for ages 8 and up. Rain cancels.
Meet at Greenwood Park, 176 Pond St, Stoneham. Difficulty: easy.
Wednesday, August 10, 17, 24, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Greenwood Park, 176 Pond Street, Stoneham
Want to explore the outdoors, but don’t know where to start? This discussion and guided hike series is for you! Every week, we will explore different topics concerning the basics of outdoor recreation.
Includes an easy 1.5-mile hike. Intended for adults or families with little to no outdoor experience/comfort. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy, closed toe footwear. Bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, and a snack. Rain cancels.
August 10: Part 1: First Steps— where to go, what to bring, and other necessary prep!
August 17: Part 2: Staying Safe— identifying natural hazards; weather, temperature, and your body; knowing your limits; and how to handle an emergency.
August 24: Part 3: Caring for the Outdoors— trail etiquette, Leave No Trace ethics, and giving back to our natural resources.
Thursday, August 4, 25, 10:00am-11:00am, Botume House Visitor Cntr., 4 Woodland Rd., Stoneham
For the young set who loves nature! The park interpreter will lead a preschool aged program that includes a story, craft, & walk that involves outdoor exploration. A different nature topic each session, so come every week! For Ages 3 to 6. Meet by the picnic tables outside Botume House Visitor Center. Rain cancels.
After School Adventures
Thursday, August 4, 11, 25, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Botume House Visitor Cntr., 4 Woodland Rd., Stoneham;
Saturday, August 20 10:00am-12:00pm, Location TBD
Calling all young nature lovers: learn about conservation, outdoor skills, and the value of our natural resources to become a Fells Junior Ranger! A new topic is discussed weekly.
For ages 8-12. Pre-registration is required for this program. Space is limited to 15 participants on a first come, first served basis. Participants that attend at least 3 of the sessions receive a Junior Ranger patch and certificate! To pre-register, please email Jesse.Macdonald@mass.gov.
Out of the City and Into the Woods Hike Series
Friday, August 12, 19, 10:00-11:30 a.m.,
Our evening hike series features trails easily accessible via public transportation. Best for ages 12 and up, or younger children with hiking experience. Rain cancels.
August 12: Hemlock Pool and the “High Service” reservoir. Ap-prox. 2 miles, moderate difficulty. Meet at the Flynn Rink parking area across from Gate 33. Best MBTA access: 99 bus route, High-land Ave @ Molyneaux Circle stop.
August 19: Spot Pond, Half Mile Road, and Cross Fells Trail. Ap-prox. 2 miles, easy-moderate difficulty. Meet at the Botume House Visitor Center, 4 Woodland Rd., Stoneham. Best MBTA access: 99 bus route, Woodland Rd. stop.
Trails Thru Time History Hikes
Medford’s Gypsy Moth War
Friday, August 19, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Lawrence Woods, Meet behind Medford H.S., 489 Winthrop St, Medford.
In 1869, one of the most destructive invasive insects in America— the Gypsy Moth—escaped from a Medford home, making the Fells the front line in a decades-long battle to save New England’s forests. Hear the fascinating story of the ingenious, ill-advised, and bizarre methods used to combat the infestation, Medford’s first mayor Gen. Samuel Lawrence and his private moth-fighting force, and how the Fells was nearly lost completely to this invasive species. Meet behind Medford H.S. at the Mustang Loop trailhead, across from Bistro 489. All ages. Approx. 2-2.5 miles; moderate terrain. Rain cancels.
Fells Visionaries: Wright, Flagg, Baxter, and Eliot
Friday, Aug. 26, 2:00-3:20pm, Virginia Wood, 1 Woodland Rd., Stoneham
The creation and preservation of the Middlesex Fells is due to the activism and forward-thinking of a small group of local conservationists: Elizur Wright, Wilson Flagg, Sylvester Baxter, and Charles Eliot. Learn how their work resulted in not just the creation of the Fells, but was key to the founding of the American conservation movement. Approx. 2 miles; moderate terrain.
Fells Service Saturdays
Saturday, August 13 27, 30, 9:00am-11:30am, location and focus varies
Help to keep the Fells beautiful, clean, and healthy! A different location and volunteer opportunity each week. Begins with 30-minute conservation or ecology discussion. Comfort with outdoor work and hand tools strongly suggested. Rain cancels. Best for ages 8 and up.
“Drop-in’s” are welcome, but RSVP is appreciated.
Please RSVP to Jesse.Macdonald@mass.gov.
August 13: Jerry Jingle Rd., corner of E. Border Rd. and Fellsway E., Malden. Invasive plants/Japanese knotweed cut. Street parking available on E. Border Rd. northbound side.
August 27: Location and focus TBD. For details and updates, email Jesse.Macdonald@mass.gov.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS & EVENTS
Family Nature Hike
Nature Observation and Journaling
Friday. August 5, 9:30am-11:00am, Long Pond Parking, 530 South Border Rd., Winchester
An easy paced, family-friendly hike suitable for younger nature lovers! This week’s hike will explore the vibrant animal life of the summer— focusing on butterflies, dragonflies, cicadas, and other interesting insect life! Observe nature, learn to use field guides, and create a nature journal. Journals are provided (bring your own crayons, colored pencils, or markers)! Binoculars recommended, too!
Hike is 1.5-2 mile route with frequent stops to observe the nature around us. Best for ages 4 and up. Rain cancels.
Full Sturgeon Moon Hike
Thursday, August 11, 7:30pm-10:00pm, Bellevue Pond Parking Area., 24 S. Border Rd., Medford
Join our park interpreter and rangers for a hike to Wright’s Tower under the full moon and experience the nocturnal life of the forest! Starts with a 30-minute talk on the astronomy, lore, and ecology of the full moon. Bring water, bug spray, a flashlight/headlamp (red lights recommended), and appropriate clothing for cooler nighttime temperatures.
Pre-registration required. Limited to 30 participants. Please RSVP to Jesse.Macdonald@mass.gov.
Approx. 2 miles, moderate terrain. Best for ages 12 and up (or younger children comfortable with darkness). Rain cancels.
Hawk Watch Nature Hike
Saturday, August 20, 2:30-4:30pm, Lawrence Woods, Meet behind Medford H.S., 489 Winthrop St., Medford.
A community favorite returns to the Fells! Join us on a search for some of the birds of prey that make the Fells their home. Session begins with a brief primer on behavior and techniques for identifying different raptor species. Binoculars are strongly recommended (limited pairs available to lend). Bring water, bug spray, sunblock, and a snack.
Please RSVP to Jesse.Macdonald@mass.gov. Approx. 3 miles; moderate difficulty with some rocky terrain. Best for ages 8 and up. Rain cancels.