Here are a few of my favorites:
Calahan State Park, Millwood St., Framingham 508 653-9641
According to the town website, Callahan State Park is a 820-acre day use area located in Northwest Framingham. Callahan has seven miles of marked trails and is used for activities including fishing, hiking, horseback riding (horses not provided) and cross-country skiing. Within the park are nearly 100 acres of open fields, 70 acres of which are currently under an agricultural lease.
Cochituate state park, Park Entrance: 43 Commonwealth Rd. Natick, Ma 508 653-9641
According to the town website, Cochituate State Park is a popular regional day use park featuring water based recreational opportunities including boating, swimming, windsurfing, and fishing on its three large lakes. Picnicking, swimming, and boat launching are limited to the main area of the park on the middle lake and boaters can gain access to the other lakes through channels under roadways. Jet skis are not allowed on the lake. On summer weekends and some holidays, this park may reach maximum day-use parking capacity and be temporarily closed until sufficient parking is available. If you arrive at the park and find it closed, you can visit Places to Go for information on other nearby DCR recreational opportunities. For capacity closure updates, follow us on Twitter at @MassDCR or call the DCR at 617.626.4973.
Garden in the Woods … New England Wildflower Society, 180 Hemenway Road • Framingham, MA 01701-2699 • T 508.877.7630 • F 508.877.3658 •
According to their website: Only 21 miles from Boston, Garden in the Woods is a magical spot unlike any other botanic garden. Its sharp, glacier-made ridges spill into narrow valleys. Two miles of meandering paths lead through a towering canopy of trees to a pond, a wooded bog, numerous springs, and an ever-flowing brook. Set among 45 acres, this living museum contains 1,500 kinds of native New England plants, including more than 113 rare and endangered species, displayed in naturalistic settings. For families looking to teach their children about the natural world, for adults who can’t decide between a stroll in the garden and a walk in the woods, and for anyone curious about the diversity of New England’s wild flowers and woody plants, Garden in the Woods offers a unique experience in a tranquil and beautiful setting.
Many native plants are available for purchase at the Garden Shop, which also offers snacks and a selection of gifts for gardeners.
The Garden is seasonal and will reopen in mid-April. The Garden Shop will remain open until December 20.
Farm Pond Park, Located between Dudley Road and Farm Pond, Farm Pond Park is maintained by the Framingham Parks and Recreation Department. The park offers scenic views of the pond and its swans and walking trails. There is a newly-installed playground at the end of the park, across the street from the baseball diamond. At the other end is Peace Park.
Saxonville Beach, Saxonville Beach is one of three public beaches maintained and staffed by the Framingham Parks and Recreation Department. The beach is accessed by following a winding paved path downhill from the parking lot. This seasonal beach is open from late June to mid-August. It is staffed by trained lifeguards and swimming is allowed in designated areas only. Cookouts are prohibited, but picnics are allowed. Day passes and seasonal tags are available for residents and non-residents.