What can I say? Sometimes living in the city can suck. Sometimes you really need to escape the urban jungle and get out into nature — and I don’t mean strolling through the Common or walking along the waterfront (though those are very nice things to do). I mean really get out into nature — that place where you can hear crickets chirping, cicadas buzzing, and water striders walking across the water. That place where butterflies flit among the grasses that blow gently in the wind caressing an untamed meadow.
One of my favorite places to immerse myself in nature is Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, which is, shockingly, within the city limits of Boston. Belle Isle is located in East Boston, about a 15 minute T ride from downtown. Take the Blue Line to Suffolk Downs, cross the street, walk a couple minutes down the road, and you’re there!
This 188-acre recreational area protects a coastal marsh area of 241 acres. There are well-maintained trails you can take to explore this beautiful reservation, which includes a nice green lawn with plenty of shade, wooden boardwalks and decks that go out onto the marsh, and an observation tower that offers views of the ocean, Boston harbor, the Boston skyline, Winthrop, Revere, and all the planes arriving at nearby Logan Airport. Dog walkers, families, and more come through here, but for your safety be sure to follow park rules and only visit 9:00 to dusk, as it’s not the safest area at night. Be one with nature!