Accessible trails

Discover paved rail trails and accessibly-designed hiking trails in Massachusetts state parks.

Table of Contents

Types of accessible trails

There are many different types of accessible trails in Massachusetts state parks. Any rail trail offers you a paved, level experience for access to natural areas and exercise. Several parks also offer accessibly-designed hiking trails in scenic, natural settings. These accessible trails are either paved or made from stone dust and are usually under a mile long.

All of our accessible trails have a firm, stable surface, without large roots or rocks. The trails are at least 36 inches wide, and usually wider. The slopes on these trails may be higher than the slopes you find on an accessible route, as the trail winds through the landscape. Many of our accessible trails follow the US Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines for sustainable trails for all.

To help you plan your hike, the Universal Access Program is working on updating information about our trails. If you have questions about a trail, would like to recommend a trail for this list, or if you would like hiking recommendations for your area, please contact us.

Boston region accessible trails

A stone dust trail winds through a flat, grassy meadow with few trees. The trail connects to a bridge that crosses a river lined with tall plants. Past the bridge, the trail splits. In the distance, a hill with houses is visible.
Belle Isle Meadow Loop at Belle Isle Marsh Reservation.
ParkCommunityTrail nameMilesSurface Description
Beaver BrookBelmontLoop starting in main parking lot0.75Paved/naturalWide trail among trees and open land. Steep entries may require assistance.
Breakheart ReservationSaugus, WakefieldPine tops road1PavedA paved forested roadway to Pearce Lake with moderate grades.
Castle IslandBostonCastle Island Loop0.75PavedWide urban walkway at historic waterfront site.
Belle Isle Marsh ReservationEast BostonBelle Isle Meadow Loop0.6Stone dustBoardwalk access to the salt marsh, benches, dynamic birding, and views of planes flying into Logan airport. There are no restrooms.
Charles River ReservationWatertownWatertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail0.25Stone dustThis loop is located within the Watertown Riverfront Park sensory garden, at the intersection of Charles River Road and Irving Street. The sensory garden's elements incorporate several senses, including touch, hearing, and smell. The Braille Trail includes a guide wire with beads to mark  interpretive panels and seating. Interpretive panels are offered in both English and Braille.
Charles River Reservation (upper)Waltham, NewtonFarwell to Elm Street Loop1.6  
Charles River Reservation (upper)Waltham, NewtonGalen to Bridge Street Loop1.6 Wide urban walkway along the river, with benches.
Charles River Reservation (upper)Waltham, NewtonMoody to Prospect Loop0.5 This riverside trail connects Waltham Center with an accessible canoe launch.
Charles River Reservation EsplanadeBostonEsplanade Loop1.5  
Mary O'Malley ParkChelseaMary O'Malley Loop1 Urban park pathways.
Middlesex Fells ReservationMalden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, WinchesterSpot Pond Loop0.6  
Nahant BeachLynnNahant Beach Promenade Trail3PavedA wide, pedestrian recreation path with views of the ocean bay and beach access.
Nantasket BeachHullPromenade1.5 Wide urban walkway along the beach.
Pleasure BayBostonPleasure Bay Loop1.9 Wide urban walkway along the beach.
Revere Beach ReservationRevereRevere Beach Blvd. Trail0.8 Wide urban walkway along the beach.
Spectacle IslandBostonPerimeter Trail1.5 Trail from visitor center circles the island. 
Wollaston BeachQuincyManet Community Center Road to Health Trail2 Wide urban walkway along the beach.
Webb Memorial State ParkWeymouthn/a1Stone dustTrail winds among trees and open areas with harbor views. Restrooms

North region accessible trails

A paved walkway with handrails winds down to open water. Small, young trees are planted along the right side of the path on a gentle grassy hill. Mature trees are planted along the left side of the path, with two benches in front of them.
The accessible trail at Ashland State Park leads to the water.
ParkCommunityTrail NameMilesSurface Description
Ashland State ParkAshlandAccessible Trail0.25PavedThis walkway runs from the parking lot to the reservoir and offers benches and great views.
Bradley Palmer State ParkTopsfieldAccessible Trail0.5Stone dustThis shaded trail travels over half a mile on level terrain along the Ipswich River, with a picnic table and boardwalk mid-way. Trail ends at a bridge over the river.
Harold Parker State ForestNorth AndoverAccessible trail at Berry Pond1Stone dustModerate grades through the woods. Views of Berry Pond and access to a CCC pavilion.
Lowell Heritage State ParkLowellLowell Esplanade1.5 Runs along the Merrimack River.
Walden Pond State ReservationConcordHouse Site Trail1 mile out and backStone dust

This trail starts across from the visitors center and then meanders through the woods to the site of Thoreau's cabin.

Trail width: 5-7 feet

Cross slope: typical < 2%, maximum 5%

Running slope: typical < 5%, maximum 10%

South region accessible trails

A boardwalk winds along a wide river that has many small boats moored in it. Trees are planted along the right side of the boardwalk, at the edge of a grassy field.
The boardwalk at Fall River Heritage State Park runs along the Taunton River.

 

ParkCommunityTrail NameMilesSurface Description
Cape Cod Rail TrailSouth Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, WellfleetCape Cod Rail Trail22PavedMuch of the trail is flat, but several sections are steep. Accessible parking is provided in the DCR parking lot at Nickerson State Forest, near a flat section of the trail. 
Fall River Heritage State ParkFall RiverBoardwalk0.75Wooden boardwalkA wide boardwalk along the Taunton River with views of ships on an urban waterfront.
Horseneck Beach State ReservationWestportBeach Road2Paved 
Manuel F. Correllus State ForestEdgartown, W. Tisbury, Oak BluffsBicycle Trail Paved10 miles of multi-use trail loop around the Forest, and a smaller 3-mile loop is located inside the Forest. Most of the path is flat, with a few steep sections on the south and southwest side of the Forest. Four paved parking lots are located in the Forest.
Scusset Beach State ReservationSandwichCape Cod Canal Pathway7.5PavedA 7.5 mile paved walkway skirts the Cape Cod Canal and offers a fishing pier.
Wompatuck State ParkHinghamWompatuck1.25  

Central region accessible trails

dunn trail
The accessible trail at Dunn State Park winds through the woods.

 

ParkCommunityTrail nameMilesSurface Description
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State ParkBlackstone, Millville, UxbridgeBlackstone River Greenway3.7Paved8-10 foot wide shared use path. Travels alongside waterways, through wooded areas and open lands, passing a “Triad Bridge” crossing where 3 bridges overlap.
Dunn State ParkGardnerWoodland Trail1Stone dustA three-quarter-mile stone dust trail that loops through the forest.
J. Harry Rich State ForestGrotonJohn Tinker Trail0.25Stone dustThis flat, out-and-back trail runs through the woods and along the Nashua River. It offers a bench at the beginning, two rest areas with benches along the way, and a bench and a picnic table at the end. The trailhead is on the north side of Nod Rd., approximately ½ mile ENE from Rte. 119 where it crosses the Nashua River. The lot at the head of the trail is unpaved and has one designated accessible parking space.
Nashua River Rail TrailAyer, Groton, Pepperell, DunstableNashua River Rail Trail11PavedAccessible parking is provided in the center of Groton at the Station Road entrance. 
Wells State ParkSturbridgeMill Pond Trail1Stone dustA 1-mile loop through forested area that includes wetlands and historic stonework. A paved vehicle road leads past the trailhead, but no parking is provided.

West region accessible trails

A stone dust trail runs down a gradual hill towards open water, then switches back while continuing downhill. The trail has raised wooden timbers along the sides. A stone bench is beside the trail.
The accessible trail at Mt. Tom State Reservation runs alongside Lake Bray.

 

ParkCommunityTrail NameMilesSurfaceDescription
Ashuwillticook Rail TrailLanesborough, Cheshire, AdamsAshuwillticook Rail Trail11Paved10 foot wide shared use path travels alongside river and reservoirs, through towns, open space and wooded areas, with views of Mount Greylock.
Canalside Rail TrailEast Deerfield, Turners FallsCanalside Rail Trail3.7 Shared use path that runs along a canal. Best accessibility on the quieter Connecticut River end of the trail in Deerfield. 
DAR State ForestGoshenAccessible Trail0.4Stone dustFeatures a one-half mile stabilized stone dust trail that travels through the woods alongside Upper Highland lake. Includes benches, a fishing pier, and lakeside views.
Norwottuck Rail TrailNorthampton, Hadley, Amherst, BelchertownNorwottuck Rail Trail11Paved8-10 foot wide shared use path travels through agricultural lands, wetlands and forest with a bridge over the Connecticut River at one end.
Pittsfield State ForestPittsfieldTranquility Trail0.75PavedA paved three-quarter mile trail known as the "Tranquility Trail" winds through the woods and crosses a brook.
Mount Greylock State ReservationLanesborough 0.25 This quarter-mile loop trail at the summit of Massachusetts' tallest peak has spectacular views.
Mount Tom State ReservationHolyokeUniversal Access Trail0.5Stone dust

PLEASE NOTE: Starting February 27, 2024, the Mt. Tom Universal Access Trail will be closed for improvements. The trail is expected to re-open with an improved trail experience in June 2024.

A half-mile forested loop trail along Lake Bray with 2 accessible fishing piers.

Savoy Mountain State ForestFloridaNorth Pond Loop (portion)0.25Stone dustA quarter mile of stabilized stone dust trail travels through woods and skirts the pond. Offers benches and views.

Contact   for Accessible trails

Last updated: January 23, 2019

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