Hiking opportunities abound in the North Quabbin region. There are hundreds of miles of foot trails with varied levels of maintenance and difficulty. Most of these are on land owned by various state agencies and some on land owned by nonprofit conservation organizations. The New England National Scenic Trail and the Tully Trail include sections on land owned by private individuals who welcome hikers. Old roadways serve as hiking trails in the Quabbin Reservation – that’s the name of the protected watershed land surrounding the huge reservoir.
North Quabbin Trails Association’s mission focuses on trail creation and stewardship of trails. While we’re not primarily a hiking organization, getting hikers out on the trails is also part of our mission. That’s one reason we put a lot of energy into the creation and publication of maps. Our maps are available in our online shop.
You can hike solo, with friends and family, or with an organized group. Occasionally NQTA’s officers or members will lead a guided hike. Organizations that more regularly organize group hikes include various chapters of the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Sierra Club. The Random Hiking in North Quabbin Region Facebook group can be helpful. The Athol Bird and Nature Club has outings for those with a special interest in birds and geology. An excellent map of the Quabbin including all the roadways available to hikers and bicyclists, restricted areas and rules can be obtained from New England Cartographics.
In the past, the Tuesday Trekkers, sponsored by the Athol YMCA and led by Jeanie Stone, worked closely with NQTA for several years bringing about 10-30 people out on varied hikes every Tuesday morning. However, the COVID pandemic resulted in the Trekkers permanent demise. Perhaps another weekly hiking group will be formed in the future in this region.