A few weeks ago we asked our neighbors in West Roxbury, Roslindale, Dedham and Jamaica Plain for ideas about walking trails as a way to get some exercise and fresh air. At the top of many lists: Allandale Woods.
Allandale Woods is 86 acres of natural beauty, a quiet place bordered by busy streets including Hackensack Road, Allandale Street (also home to the wonderful Allandale Farms), Centre Street and the VFW Parkway.
With mostly pine, maple and oak trees, Allandale Woods is among Boston’s second largest woodlands and a rare secondary growth oak-hickory forest. Its trail system brings you to ponds, a cattail marsh, streams and stone boundary walls. There’s even has a certified vernal pool (a small, seasonal body of water created each spring by rain and snow melt) at its famous Spring House. You can hike, bird watch, run or just walk along the trails.
Trailheads are marked by granite posts and an information board, but it’s recommended to bring a map with you, which you can find on their website. Bring a backpack or tote – there are no trash cans.
Getting there: You can park in one of 6 dedicated Allandale Woods spaces at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church on the VFW Parkway, and you’ll see the entrance to the Woods to your immediate right behind the main church building. If you’re traveling by public transportation you can take MBTA buses #38 and #51 from the Orange Line Forrest Hills station. Both stop on Centre Street at the VFW Parkway.