Looking for somewhere to get out and enjoy nature around town? Check out some of these local favorites.
177 Forest Street – Saugus, MA
Breakheart is a great place to enjoy being outdoors, with a safe environment walk, roll, bike, or hike. Featuring a paved road as well as maintained off-road hiking trails, this is an accessible site that has two lakes, a beach, and lots of forested land to enjoy. Breakheart also features a Visitor Center with accessible restrooms, a playground, picnic areas, a dog park, and is a great place for swimming (at Pearce Lake beach site) and fishing during the summer and cross country skiing in the winter, and miscellaneous educational programs and events throughout the year. Breakheart even has free on-site parking!
Visit https://www.mass.gov/locations/breakheart for the most up-to-date information.
Saugus Iron Works
244 Central Street – Saugus, MA
Saugus’s very own National Historic Site, managed and staffed by the National Parks Service, Saugus Iron Works is a fun location to visit and explore for the whole family. This site celebrates the first successful iron-processing industrial site in the North American colonies. Saugus Iron Works is a 12-acre site, fully fitted with working waterwheels, forges, mills, a historic 17th century home, an herb garden, a nature trail, and lush tidal estuary on the Saugus River.
While enjoying the grounds, visitors get to learn how iron was made (17th century style) and get insight on the lives of colonial living, either on their own or by taking a scheduled guided tour with a Park Ranger. In addition to historic buildings, restrooms, a museum, and a visitor center, free on-site parking is also available. Throughout the year, the park offers various on site and virtual opportunities for engagement. If you’re lucky, on your next visit you may even catch a live blacksmithing demonstration in the site’s blacksmith shop!
Visit https://www.nps.gov/sair/index.htm for the most up-to-date information, and more details on programs.
Saugus Rail Trail
The Saugus Rail Trail is our local section of the Northern Strand Community Trail, built on the former railway bed of the Saugus Branch Railroad (of the Boston & Maine Railroad) which started passenger service in 1853, and had freight moved on it until operations stopped in 1993. The Northern Strand Community Trail currently runs through the cities of Everett, Malden, Revere, and the Town of Saugus, ending at the Saugus-Lynn border at Marshview Park. It is part of the visionary and almost-complete Bike to the Sea (a non-profit cycling advocacy group) plan to link Boston and the Mystic River to the seashore in Lynn.
Since completion of the Saugus section, local Saugus residents of all ages enjoy using the Rail Trail for activities like walking or biking, particularly since there are many access points to the trail throughout Saugus. You can take as long or as short of a walk/ride as you wish while observing the Pines River Marshes, the various tree varieties and bushes along the trail, sports fields, Riverside Cemetery, and the Saugus River (perhaps spying an osprey nest, if you’re lucky).
To reach limited parking at the northern trailhead at Marsh View Park in Lynn from US Route 1, take the exit toward Main St/Saugus, and follow Main Street East about 0.75 miles, until it becomes Hamilton Street. In another 1.2 miles, the road ends at Boston Street. Marsh View Park is to the right across the Street.
Prankers Pond is a conservation area owned by the Town of Saugus that is open to the public. It is one of the largest lakes in Saugus. Often used for fishing, canoeing/kayaking, and relaxing on the grassy areas, Prankers Pond is one of the town’s “hidden gems”. This is a completely natural area, with no picnic tables, vending machines, or other amenities. If you come to relax and enjoy this natural location, you may want to bring a beach chair or blanket, some snacks, water (just remember to carry out any trash), perhaps a book, and appreciate nature at its finest!
For more information and a map, visit https://www.mass-For more information and a map, visit https://www.mass-trails.org/towns/Saugus/prankerspond.html
Rumens Marsh Reservation
Rumney Marsh is a 600-acre salt marsh located within Saugus and Pines River Inlet along Route 107. Open from dawn to dusk, visitors can enjoy bird watching, fishing, hiking, canoeing and kayaking, as well as educational programs–including natural and cultural history tours–offered by the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). The DCR parking lot is on Ballard Street and Bristol Street in Saugus (No pull-off Parkin available along Route 107).
Rumens Marsh Reservation is a designated “Area of Critical Environmental Concern”.
Call 617-727-5350 for more information.
Vinegar Hill & Pirate’s Glen
Many Saugonians have heard the stories of Vinegar Hill and the associated Pirates Glen and Pirates Cave (and possibly even explored them looking for the treasure said to be hidden there), but if you haven’t yet it certainly isn’t too late. As local legend says, this glen area is where pirates used to keep watch, high on the hilltop but hidden among the trees, for enemies or ships approaching on the sea. In some accounts, these pirates are even tied to the history of Saugus Iron Works.
Vinegar Hill is said to have gotten its name from the apple orchard an early property owner ran— the cider mill there was able to produce vinegar, the same phenomenon that would occur as apples fell to the ground and decomposed in place on the hill itself. Vinegar Hill is one of the historic natural areas in Saugus, in an elevated area in the neighborhood of Lynnhurst adjacent to Pirate’s Glen. The trail on the crest of the hill provides unbelievable views of the Town all the way to Boston and affords some of the most beautiful sunset scenes in town.
It’s an easy/medium hike, with accompanying signage, to the top of Vinegar Hill, and you can park for free in several small parking areas at the base of the hill and across the street near the pathway to Pirate’s Glen / Cave. To get there: from Walnut Street in Saugus, turn onto Fairmount Avenue; turn right onto Vinegar Hill Drive (Vinegar Hill Drive is just past Jefferson Avenue)