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  Walking in the South End of Middlesex Fells Reservation
Middlesex Fells South End

What to Bring

Walking shoes   Backpack
Hat   Sunglasses
Sunscreen   Comfortable Pants
Windbreaker   Insect Repellent
Water   Snacks


From Boston, take I-93 north
Take exit 33 for Middlesex Fells
Take the roundabout halfway and take first exit on the right (sharp turn)
Parking lot is about .25 miles on the right
(sign and metal gates)
  Good to know in advance
Reservation closes at sunset—MDC does close the gates!

No restrooms

Open fires prohibited
You can buy a very good map of the
Reservation by mail from the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Rd Stoneham MA 02180 781 662 2340 ($6).
For a list of bookstores carrying the map,
please check
You can also download and print the map online at:
Stay on trails
Do not go on the Reservoir shores
Do not throw anything in the water
Removing, disturbing, cutting plants is
Take your trash out with you
Please do respect pet regulation: dogs
allowed on leash not exceeding 7 feet

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 2/5
  Time from Boston: 20 mins.
  Duration: A Few Hours


  Main activity:


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Where else could you walk across woods, boulders, and ponds . . . 20 minutes from downtown Boston?

Middlesex Fells is as close to wilderness as it can get for a reservation less than 30 minutes away from one of the country’s largest cities. Some trails in the Fells may have you believe you are scrambling up a New Hampshire’s White Mountains peak, but this walk will take you through the best of the Reservation with only minimal effort.

Middlesex Fells is part of the public water supply system, which explains why actual access to the three lakes, or reservoirs, in the Reservation is restricted. However, public use of the fire roads surrounding has been tolerated, and you will meet many joggers and riders on these roads on summer weekends. Using these roads is a great way to discover the heart of the Fells and find silence away from the city. We even saw a fox crossing the South Reservoir one winter when ice had replaced water.

From the parking lot, take the main trail, leaving Bellevue Pond on your left. After the pond, take the fire road that on your left, which starts to climb up the hill after a curve on the right – this is Mud road (you will understand why in winter). At the next crossroad, take the road on the right (Red Cross path) until you reach another crossroad in a sharp left turn. Follow the climbing road on the left, until you will soon reach more level ground. Follow the trail until you reach a nice cove facing you: this is the South Reservoir. You can actually walk around it (see related destination), but here we have reached the far end of our walk.

To walk back to your car, take the next trail on your left (it is initially nearly parallel to the one you took to reach the cove): this is Middle road. Follow it for about half a mile until you reach a rocky outcrop on your left and a crossroad, named Panther Cave. Follow the trail slightly on the left around the cave, cross a small brook (Straight Gully Brook) with a pond on your left, and take right at the next crossroad: Mud road the road you were on at the beginning of your walk. Walk back to Bellevue Pond and then to the parking lot.

Allow about 2 hours to complete the hike.

You can also check our other destinations in the Fells:
The Skyline Trail at Middlesex Fells
Walking around the South Reservoir at Middlesex Fells
Mountain Biking at Middlesex Fells
Paddling Biking Mountaineering