If you love the outdoors and spend any time in eastern Massachusetts, AMC's new Bay Circuit Trail Map and Guide is an essential addition to your bookshelf of awaiting adventures.
This waterproof, three-map set ($19.95; members $15.96) details the entirety of the 230-mile Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) network, which arcs around the greater Boston area in a tour of protected open spaces and soothing outdoor scenery in 57 different communities.
As a local resident and avid explorer of the region's natural places, I've found one of the greatest challenges to be unraveling the dozens upon dozens of land management agencies that collectively protect thousands of acres of public open space in the region.
A panoply of local land trusts, regional and statewide non-profits, town conservation agencies, state parks, national wildlife refuges, and more—all of which maintain their own separate collections of trail maps and information—makes it difficult to get a handle on the full breadth of outdoor opportunities that await in eastern Massachusetts.
And so I particularly appreciate the comprehensive coverage that these in-depth waterproof maps provide. Spanning a broad and nature-rich swath of the region, the maps highlight every parcel of protected open space visited by the BCT, as well as other nearby properties, making it much easier to get a full handle on potential conservation lands to explore.
What's more, the maps indicate viewpoints (precious in this mostly wooded region), notable points of interest, and parking locations for accessing the trail. They also highlight 30 recommended trips to some of the trail's best destinations, including short descriptions and directions. (It's how I discovered and explored the lovely Deer Jump Reservation in Andover this past weekend.)
Most importantly, however, is that this map set makes it easier than ever to get out, explore, and help protect the remarkable natural world of eastern Massachusetts. It certainly has renewed my inspiration and appreciation for the region I call home.
Equipped is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.
Labels: Hiking, Maps