The Emerald Necklace

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The following parks are located in Boston from downtown to Forest Hills. At one point all the parks were connected and hence the name The Emerald Necklace was born.

For information Contact: 617-635-4505

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  • Boston Common - The oldest public park in the U.S. Located downtown and bordered by Tremont, Boylston, Charles, Beacon and Park Streets.
    Enjoy a picnic on the grass in the summer and in the winter you can skate across the Frog Pond.

  • Public Garden - A beautifully landscaped historic public botanical garden bounded by Charles, Beacon, Arlington and Boylston Streets. Public Garden is well known for the Swan Boats.

    Boston Public Garden
    Boston Public Garden, photo by Eric Boyer © 2009

  • Commonwealth Avenue Mall - Extends from Arlington Street west to Charlesgate.

  • The Back Bay Fens - Extends from Charlesgate to the Sears Building.

  • The Riverway - Runs along the Muddy River, between Boston and Brookline, from the Old Sears Building at the corner cop Park Drive and Brookline Avenue and continues south to Route 9.

  • Olmsted Park - Extends from Route 9 south to Perkins Street, between Boston and Brookline (in between Jamaica Pond and Brookline Village).

  • Jamaica Pond - Extends between Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain; Park Drive, Boston; and Prince Street, Boston along the Jamaicaway.

  • Arnold Arboretum - A botanical garden in Jamaica Plain with the largest collection of trees in North America. (Routes 1 and 203, Arborway). Established in 1872, the arboretum is home to 1000's of different types of plants and trees including a Bonsai collection with tress that are hundreds of years old. Run by Harvard University it is free to all to come and stroll through the pathways. Call (617) 524-1718 for more information.

  • Franklin Park - Extends south from Seaver and Walnut Streets to Forest Hills. Franklin Park Zoo is located at 149 Pond Street. For more informaiton call (781) 438-5100

  • Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park - Boston (Atlantic Avenue, between Mercantile Street and Long Wharf) A nice place to sit and look at the harbor. 617-725-4505

  • Garden in the Woods - Located at 180 Hemenway Road in North Framingham, Massachusetts. Call (508) 877-7630 for more information.

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    Other Parks & Green Spaces

  • The Boston Harbor Islands - Now considered state parks, the 34 Boston Harbor Islands are a quick stop from Boston via water taxis, ferries or private boats. National historic landmarks include Fort Warren on Georges Island and Boston Light on Little Brewster Island. Other accessible historical public places are Fort Andrews on Peddocks Island and Fort Standish on Lovells Island. Ruins from military installations and hospitals are found on Gallops and Bumpkin islands. Thompson Island, home to Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, has a history of education going back to the 19th century.


  • New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill - The New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, Massachusetts is a 132-acre garden featuring a diverse range of plant collections and themed areas, including formal and informal gardens, wooded areas, and meadows. The Lawn Garden, Orangerie, and Cottage Garden are popular attractions, and the garden offers a range of educational programs and art installations. The garden is a beautiful and inspiring destination for anyone interested in plants, nature, and horticulture.


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    Alphabetical List of Massachusetts State Parks

    Alewife Brook Reservation - Cambridge, Arlington, Somerville
    Ames Nowell State Park - Abington
    Appalachian Trail - County-Wide
    Ashland State Park - Ashland
    Ashuwillticook Rail Trail - Lanesborough, Cheshire, Adams
    Bash Bish Falls State Park - Mt. Washington
    Beartown State Forest - Monterey
    Beaver Brook Reservation - Belmont, Waltham
    Belle Isle Marsh Reservation - East Boston
    Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park - Uxbridge
    The Blue Hills Reservation - Milton
    Borderland State Park - Easton / Sharon
    Boston Harbor Islands State Park
    Bradley Palmer State Park - Topsfield
    Breakheart Reservation - Saugus
    Brimfield State Forest - Brimfield
    Briston Blake State Reservation - Norfolk
    Brook Farm Historic Site - West Roxbury
    Callahan State Park - Framingham
    Cape Cod Rail Trail - Dennis/Wellfleet
    Castle Island - South Boston
    Charles River Reservation - Boston, Cambridge
    Chester-Blandford State Forest - Chester
    Chestnut Hill Reservation - Allston/Brighton
    Chicopee Memorial State Park - Chicopee Falls
    Clarksburg State Park - Clarksburg
    Cochituate State Park - Natick
    Connecticut River Greenway State Park - Northampton
    Cutler Park - Dedham
    D.A.R. State Forest - Goshen
    Demarest Lloyd State Park - Dartmouth
    Dighton Rock State Park - Berkley
    Dorchester Shores Reservation - Neponset District
    Douglas State Forest - Douglas
    Dubuque, Kenneth Memorial State Forest - Hawley
    Dunn Pond State Park - Gardner
    Ellisville Harbor State Park - Plymouth
    Elm Bank Reservation - Wellesley, Dover
    Erving State Forest - Erving
    DCR Schooner Ernestina -
    F. Gilbert Hills State Forest - Foxboro
    Fall River Heritage State Park - Fall River
    Federated Women's Club State Forest - Petersham
    Fort Phoenix State Reservation - Fairhaven
    Fort Revere - Hull
    Francis D. Martini Memorial Shell Park and Moynihan Recreation Area - Hyde Park
    Freetown-Fall River State Forest - Assonet
    Gardner, C.M. State Park - Huntington
    Gardner Heritage State Park - Gardner
    Georgetown-Rowley State Forest - Georgetown
    Granville State Forest - Granville
    Great Brook Farm State Park - Carlisle
    Halibut Point State Park - Rockport
    Hammond Pond Reservation - Newton
    Hampton Ponds State Park - Westfield
    Harold Parker State Forest - Andover
    Hemlock Gorge / Village Falls Park - Needham and Newton
    Holyoke Heritage State Park - Holyoke
    Mt. Holyoke Range State Park - Amherst
    Hopkinton State Park - Hopkinton
    Houghton's Pond Recreation Area - Milton
    Horseneck Beach State Reservation and Campground - Westport Point
    Jug End State Reservation and Wildlife Management - Egremont
    Lake Dennison Recreation Area - Winchendon
    Lake Lorraine State Park - Springfield
    Lake Wyola State Park - Shutesbury
    Lawrence Heritage State Park - Lawrence
    Leominster State Forest - Westminster
    Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest - Lowell
    Lowell Heritage State Park - Lowell
    Lower Neponset River Trail - Neponset District
    Lynn Heritage State Park - Lynn
    Lynn Shores & Nahant Beach Reservation -
    Manuel F. Correllus State Forest - Martha's Vineyard
    Mary O'Malley State Park - Chelsea
    Massasoit State Park - East Taunton
    Maudslay State Park - Newburyport
    Middlesex Fells Reservation - Malden, Medford, Stoneham, Melrose, Winchester
    Mohawk Trail State Forest - Charlemont
    Monroe State Forest - Monroe
    Moore State Park - Paxton
    Mt. Everett State Reservation - Mt. Washington
    Mt. Grace State Forest - Warwick
    Mt. Greylock State Reservation - Lanesborough
    Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation - Deerfield
    Mt. Tom State Reservation - Holyoke
    Mt. Washington State Forest - Mt. Washington
    Myles Standish Monument State Reservation - Duxbury
    Myles Standish State Forest - S. Carver
    Mystic River Reservation - Medford, Somerville, Everett
    Nantasket Beach Reservation - Hull
    Nashua River Rail Trail - Ayer, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable
    Nasketucket Bay State Reservation
    Natural Bridge State Park - N. Adams
    Neponset River Reservation - Boston, Milton
    Nickerson State Park - Brewster
    Norwottuck Rail Trail - Northampton
    October Mountain State Forest - Lee
    Otter River State Forest - Baldwinville
    Pearl Hill State Park - West Townsend
    Pilgrim Memorial State Park (Plymouth Rock) - Plymouth
    Pittsfield State Forest - Pittsfield
    Pope John Paul II Park Reservation - Neponset District
    Purgatory Chasm State Reservation - Sutton
    Quabbin Reservoir - Belchertown
    Quincy Quarries Reservation - Quincy
    Quincy Shore Reservation - Quincy
    Quinsigamond State Park - Worcester
    Revere Beach Reservation - Revere
    Robinson State Park - Agawam
    Roxbury Heritage State Park - Roxbury
    Rumney Marsh Reservation - Saugus, Revere
    Rutland State Park - Rutland
    Salisbury Beach State Reservation - Salisbury
    Sandisfield State Forest (York Lake) - Sandisfield
    Sandy Point State Reservation - Ipswich
    Savoy Mountain State Forest - Savoy
    Scusset Beach State Reservation - Sandwich
    Shawme-Crowell State Forest - Sandwich
    Skinner State Park - Hadley
    South Cape Beach State Park - Mashpee
    Southwest Corridor Park - Jamaica Plain
    Spencer State Forest - Spencer
    Squantum Point Park - Neponset District
    Stodder's Neck & Abigail Adams Park - Hingham/Weymouth
    Stony Brook Reservation - West Roxbury, Hyde Park
    Streeter Point Recreation Area - Sturbridge
    Tolland State Forest - East Otis
    Upton State Forest - Upton
    Wachusett Mountain State Reservation - Princeton
    Wahconah Falls State Park - Dalton
    Walden Pond State Reservation - Concord
    Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve - Falmouth
    Watson Pond State Park - Taunton
    Webb Memorial State Park - Weymouth
    Wells State Park - Sturbridge
    Wendell State Forest - Wendell
    Western Gateway Heritage State Park - North Adams
    Whitehall State Park - Hopkinton
    Willard Brook State Forest - Ashby, Townsend
    Willowdale State Forest - Ipswich
    Wilson Mountain Reservation - Dedham
    Windsor State Forest - Windsor
    Winthrop Shore Reservation - Winthrop
    Wompatuck State Park - Hingham