City dwellers live vertical lives in the least pleasant way imaginable, trudging to walkup apartments and elevating to fifth-floor offices. All the more reason to get out of the city and climb – genuinely climb – a mountain. These summit hikes, all within a short drive of major metropolitan areas, allow urbanites to summit a peak (however small) in one day and make it home in time to order a pizza and catch the game. It's a different way to get up and a great detour from routine.
Boston: Mount Wachusett
At 2,006 feet, Mount Wachusett – famous among locals for its small ski area, which incessantly broadcasts radio advertisements – is hardly an awe inspiring peak. But the views from the top are astonishing, especially on a clear day when Mt. Monadnock in southern New Hampshire rears into view. The Wachusett Mountain State Reservation is a well-maintained park, so expect dense forest, healthy meadows, and 17 miles of smooth trails. A visitor center sits at the top and makes a good spot for a picnic.
Credit: John Phelan / Wikipedia