Mt. Misery - Hiking

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Visit Mt. Misery in Lincoln, MA for quiet trails with easy footing. Features of its trails include natural forests, a picturesque farm, and a small "summit."

Written by

Allie Aylward


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

15.8 miles


1 of 5 diamonds

The terrain of its surrounding trails is extremely mild and the summit is a modest hill.

Time To Complete

1 hours

Depending on where you begin, walking on the trails at Mt. Misery could take from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Walking from the main parking area off Rte. 117, hikers should allow 1.25 hours there and back.


All Seasons

Mt. Misery and its trails are open year round, but trails are particularly pleasant on early mornings, evenings, and during the winter. In fact, I've found the most enjoyable aspects of my hikes on Mt. Misery to be photographing the countryside during the magic hours just before sunset.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only



You’ll walk through Thoreau’s old stomping grounds when you visit Mt. Misery and its wooded trails. Nestled in Lincoln’s conservation land, Mt. Misery is a small, forested hill surrounded by a network of trails and a few small ponds. In fact, the name Mt. Misery is entirely misleading; it is neither miserable nor a mountain.

Part of 375 acres of recreation space and 60 miles of trails that are preserved by the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust and the Rural Land Foundation of Lincoln, Mt. Misery’s trails run roughly parallel to Farrar Pond, another popular nature destination in the area.

What Makes It Great

Experienced hikers misled by the summit class will be disappointed to find that the trails at Mt. Misery are not a challenge in the slightest; in fact, exiting the Red Line Porter T stop offers a more strenuous climb. But if you’re looking for a quiet respite from the daily clamor, the trails around Mt. Misery provide just that.

Far from a regional hotspot, Mt. Misery is a hidden gem where hikers and runners alike enjoy meandering, pine-softened trails. At 284 ft. above sea level, it’s a hill immersed in hemlock forests and surrounded by farmland, wetlands, ponds, and wildlife.

Its secluded trails are easy on the feet, and its gradual incline amenable to walkers of all sorts. A major advantage of Mt. Misery is its proximity to Boston — a mere 20 miles to the west. Residents of Cambridge and Somerville will find it particularly accessible since it’s a short trip down Rte. 2. It’s almost alarming how quickly the landscape turns from major roadways to backwoods, where visitors can find escape in the pervasive calm of country life.

Not only is Mt. Misery a favorite among Lincoln locals, but it was apparently frequented by Henry David Thoreau, who mentioned the trails in his journals. Though surely changed since his days, Mt. Misery remains a natural haven for those who enjoy the outdoors.

Who is Going to Love It

Walkers, hikers, dog-owners, and trail runners will enjoy Mount Misery. 

These trails, often free of roots, rocks, and incline, are suited to nature walking and trail running. Those new to hiking who want to try walking in the woods or those testing a pair of new hiking boots will also benefit from Mt. Misery’s gentle climb.

City-dwellers near the outskirts of Boston can get to Mt. Misery easily via car, public transit, or even bike. The extensive network of bike trails from Somerville, MA can get you into Lincoln with minimal road biking. Certain trails within Mt. Misery’s network permit biking, while others do not. Dogs are permitted on the trails as long as they are leashed.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The main parking area for access to Mt. Misery is located off Rte. 117 on St. on South Great Rd. There are a few entrances to its surrounding trails, however, a favorite being that by Lindentree Farm off Old Concord Road.

To reach Mt. Misery by car from downtown Boston, take I-93 N to exit 31, then continue on MA-16 W until it meets with MA-2 W. Stay on Route 2 until it meets with MA-126 S on your left, then take a right onto Route 117.

Mt. Misery is accessible via public transit, too. Visitors can take the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line from North Station to the Lincoln stop. The trailhead at Old Concord Road is about 1.7 miles from the train station.

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Mt. Misery Hiking

Lincoln, MA, 01773
42.418091, -71.355719

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