15 Best Things to Do in Hopkinton (MA)

In the MetroWest area, Hopkinton is a town that will be known to many as the starting point of the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day in April.

Hopkinton received the honor in 1924 after the course was extended, eliminating its starting point in nearby Ashland.

This is a chapter in the historic rivalry between Hopkinton and Ashland, marked each year by a Thanksgiving soccer game between the two high schools.

What is remarkable about the landscape around Hopkinton is that there are many reservoirs, all part of a 19th-century system built on the Sudbury River and its tributaries to supply Boston with water.

The reservoirs were no longer needed by the end of the Second World War and two of them, in Hopkinton, became adventure national parks.  

1. Boating in Boston – Hopkinton

Another advantage of Hopkinton State Park is that in the summer there is a location for the Boating rental company in Boston.

They are based in the Boathouse near Parking C and are a perfect entertainment option if you have older children and teenagers.

Available for rent during the summer are kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and stand-up paddleboards.

Hopkinton Reservoir is an especially fun place for boating, thanks in part to the small islands accessible from the water, with Bacon Island just a few hundred feet from the houseboat and Farr Island a little further south… 

2. Start Line Brewing

Minutes south of downtown, near the headwaters of the Charles River, is a microbrewery that has taken over the old Waterfresh Farm Marketplace.

The only brewery named after his marathon in Boston, Startline Brewing opened in 2016 and has a rustic-style taproom serving 20 beers at the time of making this list. there is.

Exactly half of the draft beers are IPAs, including his two flagship beers, the Hop Road Mosaic, with notes of tangerine, papaya, and grapefruit, and the juicy, slightly floral Hop Road Hazy.

Other options include Red Ale, Kolsch, Wheat Beer, Blonde Ale, 2 Stouts, and 2 Hard Selters. Start Line also has a barbecue specialty kitchen serving ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, along with interesting vegetarian menu items such as falafel sandwiches. 

3. Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA)

As the hub of the Metro West region, the recently expanded HCA offers a wide variety of arts experiences for a large and diverse audience.

The center hosts events and courses in visual arts, music, theater, dance, writing, ceramics, and film within the complex.

A quick stop will take you to a variety of group and solo exhibitions in the gallery space, including annual exhibitions by HCA members in December and January.

In the summer, enjoy free Summer Sunset Jazz on Saturday nights in the center’s beautiful amphitheater.  

4. Cameron Woods

Cameroon Woods, east of Whitehall Reservoir, provides access to more than 250 acres of city-owned reserves of mature forest, rocks, and murmuring streams.

The facility is bordered by Hopkinton Town Forest to the south and Phipps Woods to the southwest, with a network of trails leading to the Loop Trail in Whitehall State Park. Realistically, you can spend hours hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing in nature without stepping into civilization.

The longest singletrack is the 2.7-mile yellow-marked loop trail that follows the eastern ridge and accesses several impressive viewpoints. 

5. Sands Conservation Area

Hopkinton has many other wildlife sanctuaries waiting to be explored, but one of the most impressive is this trail that traverses a deep canyon west of Hopkinton State Park.

The most scenic trail is the Douglas Sands Memorial Trail, which climbs steeply to a dramatic rock lookout with breathtaking views to the northwest.

If time permits, you can also take the newly created Greenwood Trail here and walk him around the property for four miles.

As a detour, the Greenwood Trail loops around the Zetec Overlook. Zetec Overlook is a small hilltop park that offers great views all year round, especially on late autumn days. 

6. Hopkinton Farmers’ Market

On Sunday afternoons in the summer, there’s a beautiful farmer’s market on Hopkinton Common near the start line.

Market transaction 1:
00:00-17:00
Always exciting vendors from mid-June to mid-October at 12 am.

In summary, expect seasonal fresh produce, Atlantic seafood, handcrafted bread, herbal teas, trail mixes, farm-grown meats, cupcakes, cheeses, honey, maple syrup, and more.

Handicraft vendors are an integral part of the market. Artisans sell everything from alpaca wool to pottery, handmade jewelry, stained glass, and organic skincare.  

7. Weston Nurseries – Hopkinton

The company, which operates the massive Hopkinton Garden Center and greenhouses, has been growing and selling plants for a century.

It is a destination for gardening tours in the area. Located on E Main Street just minutes from downtown Hopkinton, it is set on extensive grounds that take time to traverse.

We have everything from annuals to perennials, trees, shrubs, planters, ornamentals, hanging plants, orchids, terrariums, fertilizers, plant foods, houseplants, tools, and more.

We also have a team of trained and knowledgeable gardeners who are happy to answer any questions and point you in the right direction.  

8. EMC Park

About a mile south of downtown Hopkinton, across from Hopkinton High School, is a great public park, especially for families with young children.

Location is important here, as EMC Park is just a stone’s throw from the headwaters of the Charles River and close to the city’s hiking trails.

As you enter the park from Hayden Row Street, you’ll be greeted by a series of mesmerizing murals commissioned by the Hopkinton Cultural Council.

EMC Park has three baseball fields, Corella Field, Egan Field, and McIntyre Field, and the newly renovated playground is great for families. There are separate sets of gear for children ages 2 to her 12, all shaded by tall conifers.  

9. Lake Maspenock (Sandy Beach)

Not far from where W Main St and I-495 meet, there is a place of outstanding natural beauty on the forested shores of a 234-acre lake.

Maspennock Lake is long and relatively narrow, with many small depressions along its shoreline. One is the peninsula at the northern end of Lakeshore Drive.

This is the main public access point to Sandy Beach, a lake, and a beautiful seasonal swimming area. It’s been open to the public for decades, but more recently it’s been restricted to Hopkinton residents from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. For non-residents: If the weather is warm outside of these hours, it’s definitely worth a visit. There is also a public boat launch at 213 W Main St for shore fishing that is open year-round. 

10. Ashland State Park

Like the Hopkinton Reservoir, the Ashland Reservoir was once part of Boston’s second major water system (1885) and became the center of a public recreation area in 1947.

The site spans over 470 hectares and includes the entire 157-hectare reservoir coastline. Ashland State Park is a recreational mecca with swimming, boating, paddleboarding, fishing, mountain biking, and hiking from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

The main trail circles the reservoir, and boats depart from a convenient gravel road on Spring Street on the south shore.

At the northern end, the original 19th-century dam and spillway were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.  

11. Starting Line of Boston Marathon

No matter how much time you spend in Hopkinton, you should know that the world’s oldest annual marathon starts in the city.

Local operations have numerous references, and in 2015 the elementary school was renamed Marathon Elementary School. Interestingly, from 1897 to 1923 Hopkinton was just a few miles up Route 135 in Ashland, so it wasn’t necessarily the starting point.

This track was extended to match the new standard distance of 26 miles 385 yards he set by the IMF in 1921.

The starting line is on the north side of Town Common, but for clear views, you should start as early as possible. The best place to park is Hopkinton State Park, which has a B.A.A. Shuttle bus from there to the starting point. 

12. Hopkinton State Park

For a blissful day out in nature, look no further than Hopkinton State Park. This 1,245-acre public recreation area of ​​his overlaps with Ashland and sits on the banks of a large reservoir built in the late 1800s but closed in 1947.

Since then, the park has become a popular summer spot for swimming and sunbathing on pristine beaches, while miles of hiking trails have disappeared into the surrounding forest.

There are 12 shelters and over 160 barbecue spots on the shore, perfect for picnics and barbecues. Seasonal boat rentals are also available. More on this later.

In addition to trout, the Hopkinton Reservoir is a popular fishing spot with abundant populations of yellowfish, largemouth bass, and white catfish. 

13. Whitehall State Park

Whitehall Reservoir, a large 1,500-acre pond, was also designated for water supply in the late 1800s and converted into a recreation center shortly after World War II.

As we’ll see later, one of the many features of Whitehall State Park is the unbroken perimeter loop around the water.

On the East Coast, the trail leads to hiking trails to the Hopkinton Reserve, just a few miles from downtown Hopkinton, making it more than just a day trip.

In the summer, Whitehall Reservoir is a popular destination for boaters and kayakers, and the many small islands add to the excitement. Fishing is also a major pastime, with large stocks of largemouth bass and trout being released each spring.  

14. Downtown Hopkinton

At the intersection of Cedar Street and Main Street, Hopkinton has a relatively small central business district with many shops, services, and restaurants all within walking distance.

There are several stately homes along Main Street, as well as some curiosities such as the Hopkinton Supply His Company Building (26-28 Main Street), an example of a 1906 mail-order company.

Nearby is the stone Hopkinton Public Library building, built in 1895, and Hopkinton’s Town Common, adjacent to the starting line, further east of Main Street, houses the First Congregational Church (now the Korean Presbyterian Church). ).

It hosts a summer farmers’ market, a variety of Fourth of July activities, and an outdoor concert series that includes an annual show by the Hopkinton Community Band.  

15. Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary

This Mass Audubon estate encompasses 600 acres of diverse forest, hidden behind beautiful secluded ponds.

Numerous dead trees protrude above the water, providing nesting grounds for a wide variety of bird species, including ospreys, herons, crested woodpeckers, and blackbirds. You may see a Great Horned Owl in this opening.

Look for beavers on the Sassafras Trail. The Sassafras Trail is home to many specimens of the eponymous tree, known for its three distinct leaf shapes. A cart path also leads to the pond dam, offering pristine views of the water.  

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