Medford has an abundance of natural green spaces, just waiting to be explored by locals and visitors alike. A large portion of Medford’s area is covered by the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a scenic wooded area for hiking, biking, picnicking, and generally enjoying the outdoors. The Mystic River provides ample opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and rowing, as well as walking paths for Medford and neighboring communities. Historic Brooks Estate is also available to walk, jog, or sight-see along the pond. Numerous public parks exist throughout the City to provide residents with more spaces for exercise and recreation, and to host programs and activities during the summer months.
Middlesex Fells Reservation
This 2,575 acre reservation has much to offer, including over 100 miles of trails, large open fields, multiple ponds, and Wright’s Tower, a great spot to look out over Boston. The reservation is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and more info about the history and resources available at the Fells can be found on their website. If you are interested in helping to preserve the Fells, plan events, or just learn about things going on, check out the Friends of the Fells organization.
Mystic River and Lakes
The Mystic River and surrounding area offer many places for boating, walking, biking, bird-watching, and more. The upper and lower Mystic Lakes provide many boating opportunities, a public beach on Upper Mystic Lake, and a walking path along the two lakes. There are many opportunities to volunteer at events benefiting the river, and to learn more about the river and the resources it offers on the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) website.
Starting in Malden, the Malden River runs along the Medford-Everett line before flowing into the Mystic. Recreation opportunities around the river have expanded in recent years, including paved paths for walking and biking. To learn more about how to get involved in Malden River initiatives, or see maps of the area, visit Friends of the Malden River.
A historical estate since 1660, the Brooks Estate is now owned by the City and open to the public. It offers walking trails across the sprawling property, as well as access to Brooks pond for bird watching or catch-and-release fishing. To learn more about the property or to get involved, visit the Brooks Estate website.
The City of Medford maintains over 20 parks for use by the community, which offer resources such as playgrounds, soccer and football fields, baseball/softball diamonds, and basketball and tennis courts. There are also two pubic swimming areas, the Tufts Pool and Wright’s Pond, that are staffed with lifeguards in the summer months. For more information, visit the Park Division website. For summer activities organized at the parks, visit the Summer Recreation Guide.
The City of Medford works with many community groups such as the Friends of the Fells and the Friends of the Mystic River, among others, to engage the community in support of our natural resources. We also partner extensively with the Mystic River Watershed Association and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority on projects and programs to improve our natural assets. We are a regular participant in the Mystic River Watershed Steering Initiative which is a collaborative effort convened by the US EPA to improve water quality and environmental conditions in the Mystic River, an Urban Impaired River.
As part of the work with the Mystic River Watershed Steering Initiative, the pieces of the watershed now get separate water quality grades and the main stem through Medford is in very good condition: