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What to expect

Massachusetts has 2024 trails including medium, easy, and difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Belle Isle Inlet Loop and the one with the least climb is the Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park. The longest trail is Vermont Long Trail at 400 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 27 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Delano Road a t 330 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Thruston Street Loop, Leadmine Mountain Wildlife Conservation Loop, Spruce Hill Loop via Busby Trail, Strout Avenue - Town Forest Loop Trail, and Race Point Beach.

Guide to hiking in Massachusetts

Be prepared for hiking in Massachusetts with the HiiKER app

FAQs about hiking in Massachusetts

What is the climate like for hiking in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts showcases a varied climate that shapes the hiking experience across seasons. Spring (March-May) offers cooler temperatures and budding vegetation, though trails can be muddy from snowmelt. Summer (June-August) presents warm, sunny days perfect for hiking, but hydration is crucial due to the heat.
Fall (September-November) is ideal for hiking with moderate temperatures and stunning fall colors. Winter (December-February) provides serene snowy landscapes for well-equipped hikers. Autumn is often recommended for the most comfortable hiking experience. Always check the weather before setting out. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation ( and the National Weather Service ( are excellent resources.

Do I need a permit to hike in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, most hiking trails are open to the public without requiring permits. However, for certain activities such as camping or fishing, you may need a permit. To obtain permits and get further information, contact the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (

Is wild camping allowed in Massachusetts?

Wild camping in Massachusetts is generally restricted to designated campgrounds within state parks and forests. Some areas may require a camping permit. To protect the natural environment, always follow Leave No Trace principles. For camping regulations and permit information, visit the Department of Conservation and Recreation's website (

Are there mountain rescue services in Massachusetts?

In case of emergencies during hiking in Massachusetts, dial 911 to reach local authorities who will coordinate with the appropriate agencies for mountain rescue. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's Park Watch Program is also involved in rescue efforts. Visit their website for more information (

Are there dangerous plants in Massachusetts?

Hiking in Massachusetts, you'll find a variety of flora including oak, maple, and pine trees, along with a diverse array of wildflowers. Be aware of poison ivy, especially in wooded areas. For more on Massachusetts' flora, the Native Plant Trust's Go Botany website ( is a helpful resource.

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Massachusetts?

Hikers in Massachusetts might encounter white-tailed deer, squirrels, and a variety of bird species. Be mindful of ticks and mosquitoes during the warmer months. Black bears are present, though encounters are rare. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife ( provides useful wildlife information.