15 Best Things to Do in Walpole, Massachusetts
Located less than 25 miles from downtown Boston, Walpole is a lovely setting in a small New England town.
Located in a charming town square, the historic center is quaint and fresh, with alfresco restaurants and a thriving farmer’s market in summer.
The city has acquired vast tracts of land for peaceful rest. An extensive trail system, including sections of the Bay Circuit Trail, takes you from high forested slopes with distant views to boardwalks in wetlands teeming with life.
Foxborough is just south of Walpole, and Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, is just five minutes from downtown.
If I had to imagine a quintessential New England small town, it would look a lot like downtown Walpole.
It is still next to the parish square and was the site of the town’s first parish hall in 1739 and a rallying point for the local militia in the years before the Revolution.
The Common Street side is very beautiful with grand homes and landmarks such as the United He Church (1839). Town Common is at the south end of Main Street and has a ridiculous dining scene for a city of its size.
Sandwich shops, pizzerias, and restaurants serving Chinese, Mexican, and diner fare are within a few blocks. To the east are public buildings such as City Hall and the Walpole Public Library, and next to Springbrook Park is Walpole’s lively Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings from mid-June to late October.
Francis William Bird Park
It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite public space near Walpole, but this park was founded in 1925 by businessman Charles Sumner Byrd Sr. and his wife Anna in memory of his eldest son, who died in 1918. is a strong candidate.
Managed by the Trustees of Reservations, Francis William Bird Park covers 90 acres of wooded open fields dotted with water features, streams and three ponds .
There are three miles of trails for easy recreation and facilities for more strenuous activities. There are basketball courts, four tennis courts, a playground with a sandbox, and a paved area with tricycles and pedal cars.
Showcase Cinema De Lux Patriot Place
Showcase Cinemas’ exclusive Cinema Deluxe brand was launched at Patriot Place in 2008.
This first location has 14 screens and all the stadium seating, while the Lux Level offers oversized motorized loungers with rotating trays for food and drinks.
Lux Level also offers the option to order meals at your seat, with full restaurant and bar menus available.
Elsewhere, Studio 3 is a casual restaurant and cocktail lounge with lunch and dinner menus.
Concert on the Common Series
During the summer months, the Walpole Recreation Department hosts a season of outdoor concerts in July and August.
Common Series concerts date back decades, and performances are usually held on Tuesday nights, sometimes traveling to nearby Stonefield.
Feel free to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets, and choose restaurants at the Walpole Center before or after the show.
In mid-September, the Main Street Live event will take downtown by storm, ending the summer with a full line-up of musical talent, food he trucks, and beer and wine tents.
Walpole has a highly rated ice facility with two Olympic-sized and NHL-sized ice rinks.
A preeminent sports center, Rodman Arena is home to several local high school teams and hosts numerous hockey tournaments throughout the year, including the Battle of Boston, the Premier Hockey League Playoffs and the Eastern Hockey League Showcase .
This is also a community-focused facility with myriad programs in hockey development, local leagues, figure skating, speed skating, and foundational skills. For a more casual experience, there are public ice sessions for public ice skating and public hockey several times a week.
Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
This 104-acre Mass Audubon Nature Reserve is part of a larger nature reserve near Norfolk and adjacent to Bristol Blake State Reserve.
Stoney Brook is the site of a colonial gristmill, where forests, fields and extensive wetlands have returned to nature.
The stunning sensory trails above the wetlands make this reserve attractive to visitors. Here you’ll find a thriving ecosystem with shorebirds such as turtles, waterfowl and great blue herons.
Noon Hill Reservation
Noon Hill Reservation, another local connection on the Bay Circuit Trail, is less than five minutes away in Medfield.
This 200+ acre site includes the famous Noon Hill summit for another spectacular view. Dense forests of hemlock, pine, birch and beech grow on slopes and ridges that were once meadows, and in spring the forest floor is dotted with beautiful wildflowers.
The history of Holt Pond here dates back to 1764. At this time, the sawmill creek was dammed to run the mill. Your adventure doesn’t have to end here. The trail leads to Trustee’s Shattuck Reservation on Charles’s River.
Moose Hill Farm
Adjacent to Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the Reservation Trust maintains 347 acres of historic farmland.
The location is sensational, near the top of Moose Hill (466 feet), his second-highest between Boston and Providence. The hill offers views of the Boston skyline and the region’s highest peak, the Great Blue Hill.
Surrounded by ancient American chestnut trees, Moose Hill Farm has more than 20 preserved farm buildings, as well as forests and archaeological sites dating back to the 18th century.
The trustee also keeps livestock here, including chickens, pigs, and a small herd of cattle (for grass-fed beef).
Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
Across from Walpole on Interstate 95 is a vast nature reserve that was first owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1916.
Consisting of fields, woodlands, wetlands, and kettle hole ponds, Moose Hill Wildlife Refuge covers approximately 2,000 acres.
There are 25 miles of hiking trails through the landscape, including sections of the Bay Circuit and the Warner Trail. A memorable walk is the Bluff Trail, which leads to a lookout with beautiful views of the forest, which is even more beautiful in the fall.
Not to be confused with nearby Moose Hill Farm, which has an on-site farm and offers community-supported farming and a weekend farm stand. Cookies Garden, on the other hand, is a natural playground for children where they can experience a variety of natural musical instruments.
The Patriots Hall of Fame
This high-tech, interactive museum is open 24/7 and is part of the Patriot Place outdoor mall centered around Gillette Stadium.
This is the place to dive into the New England Patriots’ golden recent history, relive key victories and losses, and browse a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring the team’s greatest players.
There are uniforms once worn by Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Grokowksi, Julian Edelman, Randy Moss, Ty Law and more.
A variety of Lamar Hunt trophies are on display, and his six Super Bowl trophies won by the Patriots (at time of tally) are also notable.
Downtown Walpole is about five minutes from the home of the New England Patriots. The franchise moved to Foxboro in 1971 and to this his 65,878-seat stadium in 2002.
Under owner Robert Kraft, the move to Gillette Stadium coincided with an incredible period in Patriots history when Tom Brady helped build its dynasty.
Home game tickets are probably a little easier to come by these days, and you can do it online through Ticketmaster.
Gillette Stadium is home to MLS’ New England Revolution and is also his arena, which has hosted the likes of Elton John, Beyoncé/Jay Z, The Rolling Stones, The Weeknd, Metallica and Taylor Swift in recent years.
Walpole Town Forest
Within one mile of downtown Walpole, you have access to 365 acres of forest owned and maintained by the city for passive recreation and forestry.
Crossed by the Neponset River, the Walpole Town Forest straddles Washington Street and was founded by later President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) in his 1916 when he planted the first tree.
This was only his third urban forest in the entire Commonwealth, and the first established by Walpole’s modestly sized town.
There are nearly 10 miles of trails here, and maps for the West (behind Walpole High School) and East sides are available for download.
Walpole Historical Society
Across from Town Common on West Street in Walpole Center is the Deacon Willard Lewis House.
Dating from 1826, this two-and-a-half-story wooden house was purchased by Willard Lewis in 1863. Willard Lewis later became the owner of the Kendall Company, which later became one of the country’s largest textile manufacturers.
The house is now owned by the Walpole Historical Society, founded in 1898, and is often open to the public on Saturday afternoons.
The interior is decorated in Victorian style and looks just like it did when the Deacon Willard Lewis family lived here in the late 19th century.
The vast landscape north of Walpole is open to the public for passive recreation. About half of the area is owned by the city’s Adams Farm, which was purchased by Walpole residents in 1997.
Here you can stretch your legs on more than 10 kilometers of trails. The trail offers plenty of shade in the summer and is ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
Abundant hardwood forests at Adams Farm make autumn an unforgettable experience. The land is adjacent to land owned by the New England Forestry Foundation and Norfolk County Agricultural High School, both of which are open to the public and have a total of 700 acres of pristine landscaping.
If you value quiet time in nature, Walpole is the place for you. Thanks to the vast amount of land owned by the city, it’s all connected by an extensive trail system, culminating in the 230-mile Bay Circuit Trail that circles Greater Boston.
The Bay Circuit Trail is divided into his three sections (North, Middle and South) and allows you to walk through much of Walpole, from Adams Farm in the north to Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in the south.
In all, Walpole has 32 publicly accessible hiking trails, most of which are managed and maintained by the Walpole Trail Commission, established in 1998. We discuss some of the city-owned properties on the network later in this list.