Exercise in the 21st century generally takes place in a crowded yoga studio or claustrophobic gym. Because our culture demands accessibility and convenience, people forget about the best spot in the world to exercise, the great outdoors. There’s no exercise machine that can replicate the revitalizing sensation that being outside creates. While yoga helps its participants achieve relaxation, no yoga studio has the ability to induce feelings of being at peace with the earth like the outdoors do.

So in celebration of the beautiful weather outside, here are the five best hiking spots around North Andover:

1. Mount Monadnock
Jaffrey, NH

Situated in the Southern Vermont, Mount Monadnock offers adventurers four separate trails of varying difficulty, guaranteeing climbers of all skills will find a trail that suits them. The shortest trail, the Marlboro Trail, is just 2.2 miles, while the longest, the Pumpelly Trail is 4.4 miles long. From North Andover, Mount Monadnock is an hour-and-a-half drive away.

2. Mount Greylock
Lanesborough, MA

For more experienced climbers, Mount Greylock is the most difficult hike in Massachusetts, seeing as Mount Greylock is MA’s tallest peak. Its extensive number of trails makes Mount Greylock a wonderful place to visit multiple times, as well as an awesome camping spot. However, Greylock is quite a distance from North Andover, as it is approximately two-and-a-half hours away.

3. Wildcat Forest
Boxford, MA

For families in North Andover, Wildcat Forest may be the best option for a day in the wilderness. The open trails are located on flat ground, on land that was harvested by the Diamond Match Factory back in the 1800’s for its white pines. The trail heads are located only 8 miles away from North Andover, making for a short, 15-minute drive.

4. Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest
Dracut, MA

While the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest is technically located in three towns, the parking lot is located in Dracut. Historians believe the forest was once a Native American settlement abandoned long before colonial settlement. The forest offers six miles of hiking trails and permits a number of outdoors activities such as kayaking/canoeing, fishing, cross-country skiing and horse riding. From North Andover, the forest’s located a mere 30 minutes away.

5. Acadia National Park
Maine

While by no means ‘near’ North Andover (it’s about 4 hours away), Acadia National Park is New England’s premier hiking/camping spot. Located on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park offers an endless number of activities, guaranteed to please everybody in the family, including the dog! With lakes and oceans to dive into, make sure you bring your swimsuit when you visit Acadia National Park. For more information, visit their website.

And remember, exercising is only a portion of the battle for living a healthy lifestyle. You need to eat healthy and regularly see your physician. We at AFC Urgent Care North Andover can be your resource for all non-life-threatening medical needs. We hope you soon take advantage of the beautiful outdoors and remember to always stay safe while you’re outdoors!