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Top 10 New England Self-Guided Walks

Lots of corners of New England -- villages, unique neighborhoods, lakefronts, ancient cemeteries -- are wonderful spots for a walk, whether you simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings or wish to dive deeper into the stories baked into the places around you. Self-guided walks are abundant in New England and many walks are enhanced by printed or online maps and guides. Find someone who shares your love of New England places and plan a walk soon. (Photo by Peter Bloch)

Top 10 New England Self Guided Walks -VisitNewEngland.com - Photo Credit Peter Bloch
walks in plymouth NH
New Hampshire – Explore Plymouth, Near the Lakes

New Hampshire Heritage Trail is a 230-mile walking trail across New Hampshire. One fun part of the trail for people who love the New England small towns is the 5.6-mile loop in and around Plymouth, a neat college town just a little west of Squam Lake and the beautiful Lakes region. Plymouth’s portion of the trail has 16 points of interest, like the 1909 Railroad Depot, the cottage where Robert Frost lived while teaching at Plymouth Normal School, and Silver Cultural Arts Center, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Park and begin the walk at the Senior Center on Green Street. Follow the brown Heritage Trail signs. Map.
east side of providence walks
Rhode Island – Find Architectural Bliss in Providence

Providence has many distinctive neighborhoods, and The East Side in particular is a repository of natural and architectural beauty. Along the way are physical manifestations of the state’s early commitment to principles of religious freedom. The self-guided East Side walking tour created by the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitor’s Bureau starts at the magnificent State House and crosses the Providence River, moves past a national memorial named for Roger Williams, the city’s founder, and other places along North Main and Benefit streets that are equally stirring for their roles and their architecture: First Baptist Church, Rhode Island School of Design, the Providence Athenaeum and Brown University. [photo: N Milldard and GoProvidence]
walks at laudholm
Maine -- Walks Through a Rich Tidal Estuary

An estuary is the tidal mouth of a large river, where the river meets the ocean. It’s a place of undulating small stream, marsh grasses, small fish, birds and abundant life. Estuaries feed the life of the sea. Wells Reserve at Laudholm in Wells is an estuary and research center that welcomes visitors to meander seven miles of easy-to-moderate trails through south coastal Maine. Trails are available year round for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing or you can take a guided tour with a trained naturalist. The kids can enjoy Discovery Program Trail Guides paired with activity backpacks. Map.
walks at yale
Connecticut -- Walking Tours of Art at Yale University

Standing or strolling in the presence of great art and architecture is uplifting all by itself, especially on the campus of Yale University – founded in 1701 -- in the city of New Haven. A very helpful map and self-guided talking tour of structures and art on the Yale campus is available online. Chose a brisk, clear day, and meander among Harkness Tower, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Woolsey Hall, Battell Chapel, and other splendid structures. You may glimpse some public works by Maya Lin, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, and others. More information. Map.
bennington self guided walks
Vermont -- Bennington Is a Beauty

Bennington, in southwestern Vermont and one of the gems of the Shires of Vermont region , is one of the prettiest of New England towns, especially in fall. The Bennington Chamber of Commerce offers a delightful self-guided walking tour that touches on the industrial and social history of the town. The tours pass delightful places: Bennington Monument, Catamount Tavern, the Old Academy, the Village Lion, Old First Church, and the Bennington Museum (bonus next to the museum is the George Aiken Wildflower Trail). Bennington also has wonderful shopping and dining to refresh you. Map. [photo: Bennington Chamber of commerce and Lauzon Photography]
walks in portsmouth nh
New Hampshire -- Wander a Waterfront Town: Portsmouth

Portsmouth is an old and historically interesting town on the mouth of the Piscataqua River, with a long story of shipping and industry. The town has a beautiful and well-used waterfront park and a living history village, the Strawbery Banke Museum, and two dozen buildings represented on the National Register of Historic Buildings, National Historic Landmarks, and the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. A harbour trail historic tour in this town covers a handsome town square, a working waterfront, an beautiful athenaeum, tugboats at the waterfront, and sweet, small theaters. Fun shopping, too! Map. [photo: David J Murray, Clear Eye Photo]
walks in gloucester
Massachusetts – Meet a Hearty Fishing Town

Gloucester is a rugged fishing town known for its iconic statue of Man at the Wheel. Many of us have seen the town’s legendary bravado in the movie “Perfect Storm”. Gloucester’s HarborWalk is a walking path through town and past the working waterfront from Gloucester House to Stage Fort Park, encompassing St. Peter’s Square and Harbor Loop and City Hall. Forty-two story posts guide visitors among the historic sites. For refreshment, you can count on authentic Italian food or, of course, the freshest seafood to be found anywhere. Map. (photo by David Gleeson)
walks in boston
Massachusetts – Walk through a History of Boston

Boston’s Walk to the Sea is a self-guided trail through the city that encompasses four centuries of Boston history. Beginning at the State House on Beacon Hill, overlooking Boston's ancient Common, this walk passes among historic landmarks and skyscrapers. The walk from summit to sea, spanning one mile and descending a hundred feet, brings Boston history to life. Large panels are situated along the walking trail to guide and educate walkers. This is a great activity for families with curious kids, because vigorous activity and the bustle of city life is interspersed among lessons of real people and happenings where they happened. Map.
champalin shore walks
Vermont – Slowly Soak In Views of lake Champlain

The multi-use Island Line biking and walking trail, concurrent with the Burlington Bike Path and Colchester Causeway, is 12 miles of paved and gravel roads that moves along Burlington’s shoreline, crosses the Winooski River, and crossed the lake into South Hero. Gorgeous waterfront views of Lake Champlain are the biggest highlight, of course. The trail website helps you find several access points. Milestones along the trail include ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in the downtown area, as well as Oakledge Park, Perkins Pier, North and Leddy beaches, and Charlie's Boathouse. Map.
grove street cemetery
Connecticut – Enjoy Art of the Stone Mason

Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven welcomes people to walk the peaceful paths and appreciate the art of the stone carver at this, the first chartered burial ground in the United States. The first burial, of Martha Townsend, took place on November 9, 1797. Online tour guides cover topic of Connecticut history and nature. Guides, with maps, include Amistad Notables, Arboretum Tour, Civil War Notables, and History of Grove Street Cemetery. Tour maps are available in the cemetery office on weekday mornings.