Fall in Boston means a lot of different things. While it may be easy to dread shorter days, heavier jackets, and no more lunches outside, let’s take a step back and remind ourselves that fall is not just an omen of the long winter to come but also a time of renewal. We should do our best to focus on how autumn is, in many ways, a beginning - not an end. Think about the trees shedding their leaves as an opportunity for you to do the same: to refresh and start anew. Those of us who live in Boston are fortunate that there is lots to be enjoyed outdoors in our city. Step outside during this time of year and feel an exhilarating chill in the air, savor the smell of leaves, and rediscover one of the best times to explore the green space that Boston has to offer. Fall passes quickly, so there’s no time like the present to venture out and drink in some fresh air.
Neponset River Greenway
Have you ever visited the Neponset Greenway? Recently highlighted by the American Planning Association as one of the Great Places in America, this beautiful stretch of greenway that runs through Mattapan and Milton is just waiting for you to explore. Take the Mattapan Trolley, or one of the many buses, out to this wonderful greenway, and be sure to check out the Harvest Bridge. Recently constructed and opened to the public in 2017, the bridge provides a valuable Greenway connection across the river.
The Arnold Arboretum is a favorite spot to enjoy the crisp air and the foliage. Bask in the array of colors that its exotic trees have to offer. Climb to the top of Peters Hill on the southwest part of the Arboretum to enjoy a view of the Boston Skyline. Like what you see? Check out our other Greenway Story on the upcoming Roslindale Arboretum Gateway Path here.
While you’re out by the Arboretum, you would be remiss not to spend some time exploring Franklin Park. An Olmsted legacy and gem of the City all year round, Franklin Park shines in the fall with many vantage points to gaze out on a medley of colorful leaves.
East Boston Greenway
In the other direction, the East Boston Greenway provides you with a connection from Piers Park up through to the last of the City’s salt marshes, the beautiful Belle Isle Marsh. These are both spectacular locations to visit in the fall. Race the Blue Line as it rushes past you alongside the path, and enjoy exploring a part of the City you may not have before.
Commonwealth Ave Mall
This may be a well known spot, but it’s easy to find yourself charmed when you wander down the Commonwealth Ave Mall, where the reddening leaves of the elm trees create a canopy over your head. From Boston’s Public Garden down to Mass Ave, this stretch effortlessly combines autumnal beauty with Comm Ave's historic brownstones.
Fall is a time to enjoy the bright vibrant colors and the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot. Walking and spending time outside has been proven to have a positive effect on one’s physical and mental health. While certainly not a catch-all solution, nor a substitute for professional help, going for a walk and drinking in a bit of fresh air could be a step in the right direction.
We hope that reading this has brought you towards peace with the changing season and inspired you to check out some of the beautiful spots that we’ve highlighted here. There’s still time to get out and enjoy the foliage before the leaves fall from the trees. But even when they do fall that doesn’t mean that the time to enjoy fall is over. Instead, take the barren trees as a sign of strength - if they can weather it, why not you?
How does fall make you feel? Let us know in the comments where your favorite fall spots in Boston are, or tweet at us @StreetsBoston with the hashtag #EmeraldNetwork.