6 outdoor activities at Trustees of Reservations properties this winter

Outdoor events are in demand this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic , and plenty of options are available in Massachusetts thanks to...


Outdoor events are in demand this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic, and plenty of options are available in Massachusetts thanks to the Trustees of Reservations.

Ahead, discover some of the winter adventures that await at Trustees properties this season. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with COVID-19 safety measures at a property before visiting, as well as Massachusetts travel restrictions if crossing state lines.

Guests looking for a warm outside spot amid nature can book a private fire pit at several Trustees properties this winter, great for a “cozy picnic, date night, or family outing,” according to the Trustees.

The Trustees launched fire pit events this season at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard and, when the event began selling out, added similar events at additional properties. Groups of up to six can book a fire pit for up to two hours, and the organization supplies the wood, picnic table, seating, and, in some cases, s’mores kits.

Fire pits are available at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough, Fruitlands Museum, and Powisset Farm in Dover.

View thousands of shimmering lights at Naumkeag in Stockbridge and the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton when you attend Winterlights, recently named among the 10 best public displays of holiday lights in America by USA Today.

The light show has been extended through Jan. 17, 2021. Though the Stockbridge event is sold out, as of this writing tickets are still available in Canton.

Tackle the snow this season at Notchview in Windsor, part of the Hoosac Range in the Berkshire Hills, which offers more than 3,000 acres of rolling terrain for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The property offers equipment rentals, “learn to ski” programs, and private lessons through April.

Those looking for more cross-country trails will find them at Brooks Woodland Preserve in Petersham, Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield, Copicut Woods in Fall River, Field Farm in Williamstown, Noon Hill in Medfield, and Ravenswood Park in Gloucester.

Find more snowshoe trails at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, Copicut Woods in Fall River, Doyle Community Park in Leominster, Francis William Bird Park in East Walpole, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Noanet Woodlands in Dover, and Rocky Woods in Medfield. Snowshoe rentals are available at Appleton Farms, Fruitlands Museum, Notchview, and Rocky Woods.

World’s End in Hingham. —Peter Marotta

Winter hikers will find scenic trails and sweeping views of the Boston skyline at World’s End in Hingham, named one of the Trustees’ most popular properties of 2020 and recently recommended by The New York Times.

“Winter here is starkly beautiful,” The New York Times wrote about the the 251-acre South Shore park on a peninsula that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Due to the pandemic, visitors must pre-purchase a timed ticket, according to the Trustees, but members can reserve a ticket for free.

Those interested in nighttime hiking instead can check out the “All things glowing night hike” at Charles W. Ward Reservation in Andover.

Visitors to Weir River Farm will meet Nutmeg the pony, Ruby the llama, and the rest of the barnyard gang this winter on the 75-acre working farm in Hingham. Due to COVID-19, only staff and volunteers are allowed to touch the animals, but animal demonstrations and other related activities are on the docket.

The farm, part of the early 20th century country estate of renowned artist Polly Thayer Starr, is also offering a self-guided StoryWalk on its hiking trails. Pre-registration is required, and timed tickets are available at 11 a.m and noon.

Weekends at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard this season will be full of “Covid-safe winter fun”: sledding, snowshoeing, hiking, and more during “Frozen Fruitlands,” taking place every Saturday and Sunday between Jan. 2 and March 21, 2021.

Frozen Fruitlands guests will also have access to the galleries and current exhibitions “Recruiting for Utopia: Print and the Imagination,” “Ascutney Revisited: Sue McNally,” and “Nearer this Essence: Polly Thayer Starr.” Due to reduced capacity because of COVID-19, the museum is asking guests to book admission in advance.

For more winter weekend fun, check out “Winter Weekends at Appleton Farms,” full of hikes, walks, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, guided tours, and homemade food items.

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Newsrust: 6 outdoor activities at Trustees of Reservations properties this winter
6 outdoor activities at Trustees of Reservations properties this winter
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