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Urban Safari: Socially Distanced Outings in Boston

Getting out separately, together!

As we head into Week 7 of our social distanced, curve-flatening, self-isolation, we stayed sane by venturing out for strolls whenever the weather permitted.

Of course, maintaining a safe SD is possible only if our chosen destinations were not too crowded. Realizing that some of our Boston readers may want to do the same, today we share some of those SD-possible locations with you, but let’s just keep these places between us, OK?

Neponset River, Dorchester

This trail was new to us even though it is just a few miles from the office. Not sure why we never set foot on it until now, but we are really glad we did!

When we took our wonderful stroll next to the Neponset River in Dorchester, the tide was out, exposing lots of interesting patterns in the marsh. This kind of view is common in many parts of New England, but it is amazing that this is so accessible right in the heart of Boston.

Boston Nature Center, Mattapan

The Boston Nature Center is another surprisingly natural space in the City of Boston. It has both walkways and muddy paths, so wear hiking shoes, not sneakers, for your jaunt, because it can be wet and mucky out there, especially this time of the year.

Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain

Socially-distanced walking around Jamaica Pond can be harder during the more popular parts of the day, but during the off times (early mornings, mid-afternoons, closer to dusk) it is possible for everyone to keep a safe distance from everyone else. While it is important to keep everything flowing in the lymphatic system, lets all do it safely 🙂

Cutler Park, Needham

Cutler Park in Needham is another new-to-us place for a socially-distanced stroll. It is very lovely, quiet, and Jamaica Pond-like (a little more than a mile around), without as many people or as much car noise. Which is weird, because a good chunk of it is literally right next to Route 128.

Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain

Socially-distanced strolling at the Arnold Arboretum can be a challenge, as it is probably the first place many locals head to when they want to stretch their legs. When we were there it was not crowded, but definitely not empty.

Fortunately, the Arboretum is very large, and as we opted for the more “rugged” paths, we managed to avoid most of the other visitors during our time there (and they us, it must be said) (but all very politely).

Parking is not permitted along the front entrance on Jamaica Way until the SD order is lifted, but the locals know that the place to park is between the two sections of the Arboretum along Bussey Street…shhhh!

Millennium Park, West Roxbury

Easy to observe safe SD when we got there at 2PM, harder later

The clouds were just starting to part when we got to Millennium Park in W.Rox (near Home Depot), so it was still pretty sparse and easy to keep socially distanced. However, it can get crowded at times as it is very popular with dog owners.

This place literally used to be the city dump, as evident by some of the quirky artifacts along the banks. It was converted into a park a number of  years ago, and now offers handicapped-accessible walking trails, playing fields, and a canoe launch on the Charles.

The river was pretty high when we visited. We also came across the skeletal remains of a creature, which someone later suggested was the spine and pelvis of a deer.

It looked like a deer pelvis and spine

Wollaston Beach, Quincy

City of Boston in the distance…the Pru and the Hancock (and the new building which nobody likes)

Our annual Spring ritual is the Clam Box on Opening Day. We missed it this year by a week because of the crazy virus thing, but we were there shortly after and got in a lobster roll before things really started getting whack.

Today, we went back to Wollaston Beach for a stroll (no beach parking), but obviously couldn’t eat inside. Fortunately, the Clam Box was still doing takeout, so we ate in the car!!!

The marsh-y side of Wollaston Beach

George Wright Golf Course, Hyde Park

A snow day in April…because we needed another reason to stay in. Well, knowing that most will do so, we thought we would venture out, but only to some place we knew would be pretty sparsely populated.

The George Wright Golf Course (GWGC) is a local municipal golf course in Hyde Park MA. Somebody recommended the GWGC to us and we decided to go check it out. So glad we did! It was a beautifully isolated stroll with varied terrain and wide open views. Even though the day was gray and wet, the chance to get out and stretch was absolutely worth the effort.

The only car in the lot

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