Cambridge offers a lot, but natural scenery is low on its list of credentials. If you need a change of pace from the bustle of Harvard Square, head to Hammond Pond Reservation. Just under an hour from campus, the reservation is open from sunrise to sunset year-round and accessible to all for no charge. Once there, you can wander the 114 acres—although you’ll need to swim to cover all of them—and explore the miles of pathways through the woods. The sound of wind rustling through the trees and ducks crunching fallen leaves under their feet make for an idyllic escape. In addition to walking and jogging, the reservation is also good for those interested in fishing, hiking, geology, bird watching, and perhaps most notably, superb climbing thanks to some of the most accessible outdoor rock faces around. All you need is your own gear. In the winter, the reservation’s trails can be used for cross-country skiing, which also requires you to bring your own equipment.
Hammond Pond Parkway, Newton. Chestnut Hills (Green—D).