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Multicolored trees clustered together in the foreground, with a city skyline in the background. Shutterstock

Where to see fall foliage without leaving the Boston area

These easy-to-reach spots include Stony Brook Reservation, Fresh Pond, and the Public Garden

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Sure, Boston-area residents and visitors can go to Western Mass. or up into northern New England to watch the leaves turn this fall. But, really, they don’t have to leave the region. Here are 10 solid options for basking in all the autumnal glory.

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1. Fresh Pond Reservation

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180-220 Fresh Pond Pkwy
Cambridge, MA 02138

A few minutes inside this 162-acre park surrounding Cambridge’s water supply and visitors feel like they’re in the countryside. It’s dense and verdant, and the leaves pretty much explode come October.

Leaves changing on a hill of trees of Cambridge. Shutterstock

2. Stony Brook Reservation

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95 Turtle Pond Pkwy
Hyde Park, MA 02136
(617) 333-7404
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This 616-acre park cuts through the lower reaches of Boston into Dedham. A couple of minutes in, and woodlands surround and abound. Because of its size and infrastructure, Stony Brook might be a particularly good fit for leafers on bikes.

A swampy pond surrounded by trees with leaves on the ground too. Wikipedia Commons

3. Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

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125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 524-1718
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The 281-acre, Harvard-owned public oasis includes more than 4,000 species of trees, plants, and vines. It positively pops this time of year, and its wide bike and pedestrian paths offer a lot of views.

Colorful trees shading a walking path with a bench next to it. Kevin Fleming/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

4. Middlesex Fells Reservation

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4 Woodland Rd
Stoneham, MA 02180
(617) 727-1199 ext. 406
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Get to the country without going all that far from Boston proper. This 2,200-acre state park unfolds over several towns, including Medford and Malden, and offers more than 100 miles of trails.

Multicolored trees clustered together in the foreground, with a city skyline in the background. Shutterstock

5. Franklin Park

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1 Franklin Park Rd
Boston, MA 02121
(617) 635-4505
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The city itself suggests that residents and visitors “perambulate” in this 485-acre expanse. Its dense woodlands make for some beautiful sights during the fall—never mind a bit of quiet respite—and there’s a 72-acre zoo within its boundaries.

A tree with lots of pumpkins underneath it. Shutterstock

6. Charles River Esplanade

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Charles River Esplanade
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 227-0365
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The 3-mile park along the Boston side of the Charles River includes 64 lush, leafy acres. It’s also easy to slip over to the Cambridge side for more kaleidoscopic views.

Trees changing color along the Charles River and next to a pedestrian walkway. Getty Images

7. Public Garden

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4 Charles St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 635-4505
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The lusher, more curated neighbor of the Common dates from the early 19th century, and includes 24 acres of statuary, flowers, trees, and assorted other plantings as well as plenty of bench seating. It can be particularly gorgeous in late October and early November.

Trees in Boston’s Public Garden with leaves changing from green to red and orange. Shutterstock

8. Boston Common

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139 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 635-4505
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America’s oldest public park dates from way, way back in 1634. Its 50 acres are particularly inviting and scenic in the cooler months, with the trees changing over amid wide walkways and plenty of seating.

Leaves changing along a pathway in Boston Common. Shutterstock

9. Neponset Trail

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Neponset Trail
Boston, MA

The 2.5-mile trail runs along the Neponset River, the river estuary, and the Neponset Marsh, with a further 1.8 miles in Milton and Hyde Park and another mile in Mattapan. It’s another urban redoubt that can very quickly feel rural.

A mostly wooden bridge along the Neponset Trail. Shutterstock

10. Deer Island

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165 Tafts Ave
Winthrop, MA 02152

Deer Island—which is actually a peninsula—includes not only 2.6 miles of shoreline but 5 miles of often tree-lined trails. Pro tip: While you’re there, why not check out the super-cool sewage treatment plant that turns the region’s wastewater nearly pristine?

In the foreground is a lawn with green grass. In the distance is a large white building. Shutterstock

1. Fresh Pond Reservation

180-220 Fresh Pond Pkwy, Cambridge, MA 02138
Leaves changing on a hill of trees of Cambridge. Shutterstock

A few minutes inside this 162-acre park surrounding Cambridge’s water supply and visitors feel like they’re in the countryside. It’s dense and verdant, and the leaves pretty much explode come October.

180-220 Fresh Pond Pkwy
Cambridge, MA 02138

2. Stony Brook Reservation

95 Turtle Pond Pkwy, Hyde Park, MA 02136
A swampy pond surrounded by trees with leaves on the ground too. Wikipedia Commons

This 616-acre park cuts through the lower reaches of Boston into Dedham. A couple of minutes in, and woodlands surround and abound. Because of its size and infrastructure, Stony Brook might be a particularly good fit for leafers on bikes.

95 Turtle Pond Pkwy
Hyde Park, MA 02136

3. Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130
Colorful trees shading a walking path with a bench next to it. Kevin Fleming/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

The 281-acre, Harvard-owned public oasis includes more than 4,000 species of trees, plants, and vines. It positively pops this time of year, and its wide bike and pedestrian paths offer a lot of views.

125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130

4. Middlesex Fells Reservation

4 Woodland Rd, Stoneham, MA 02180
Multicolored trees clustered together in the foreground, with a city skyline in the background. Shutterstock

Get to the country without going all that far from Boston proper. This 2,200-acre state park unfolds over several towns, including Medford and Malden, and offers more than 100 miles of trails.

4 Woodland Rd
Stoneham, MA 02180

5. Franklin Park

1 Franklin Park Rd, Boston, MA 02121
A tree with lots of pumpkins underneath it. Shutterstock

The city itself suggests that residents and visitors “perambulate” in this 485-acre expanse. Its dense woodlands make for some beautiful sights during the fall—never mind a bit of quiet respite—and there’s a 72-acre zoo within its boundaries.

1 Franklin Park Rd
Boston, MA 02121

6. Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA 02116
Trees changing color along the Charles River and next to a pedestrian walkway. Getty Images

The 3-mile park along the Boston side of the Charles River includes 64 lush, leafy acres. It’s also easy to slip over to the Cambridge side for more kaleidoscopic views.

Charles River Esplanade
Boston, MA 02116

7. Public Garden

4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116
Trees in Boston’s Public Garden with leaves changing from green to red and orange. Shutterstock

The lusher, more curated neighbor of the Common dates from the early 19th century, and includes 24 acres of statuary, flowers, trees, and assorted other plantings as well as plenty of bench seating. It can be particularly gorgeous in late October and early November.

4 Charles St
Boston, MA 02116

8. Boston Common

139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111
Leaves changing along a pathway in Boston Common. Shutterstock

America’s oldest public park dates from way, way back in 1634. Its 50 acres are particularly inviting and scenic in the cooler months, with the trees changing over amid wide walkways and plenty of seating.

139 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111

9. Neponset Trail

Neponset Trail, Boston, MA
A mostly wooden bridge along the Neponset Trail. Shutterstock

The 2.5-mile trail runs along the Neponset River, the river estuary, and the Neponset Marsh, with a further 1.8 miles in Milton and Hyde Park and another mile in Mattapan. It’s another urban redoubt that can very quickly feel rural.

Neponset Trail
Boston, MA

10. Deer Island

165 Tafts Ave, Winthrop, MA 02152
In the foreground is a lawn with green grass. In the distance is a large white building. Shutterstock

Deer Island—which is actually a peninsula—includes not only 2.6 miles of shoreline but 5 miles of often tree-lined trails. Pro tip: While you’re there, why not check out the super-cool sewage treatment plant that turns the region’s wastewater nearly pristine?

165 Tafts Ave
Winthrop, MA 02152