With finals season on the horizon, many of us here at Tufts may feel overwhelmed by our workloads. I, for one, am a ball of stress this time of year, and so I’m always looking for ways to decompress between work sessions. Over the course of the semester, I’ve walked in a few different directions from campus to blow off steam, and I’ve been pretty happy with some of the sights just a mile or two away from my dorm. I’m sharing these with all of you in the hopes that you might try one if you need a little break.
The first walk is about two hours and features a breathtaking view of the Assembly Square skyline in Somerville, as well as the Mystic River that characterizes Medford. To get there, I walked southeast down Boston Avenue until I hit Harvard Street, at which point I hung a left. From there, I walked a fair bit, observing the quaint cookie-cutter homes and the shops along Main Street, which runs perpendicular to the route. Eventually, I arrived at an overpass, with cars gunning it down Interstate 93 into Boston. Walking under the overpass led me to a bridge over the Mystic River, where I saw a short footpath. The path took me alongside the river, where I was free to sit and observe. This particular section of the Mystic was wide and powerful, and I loved sitting and listening to the rushing water. I also got an impeccable view of Assembly Square. The skyline tastefully contrasted the rushing water at my feet. This is a walk worth taking.
The second walk also involves water, although this one takes you west to the Mystic Lakes, which are calm for their size. They are 1.9 miles away from Tufts. To get there, I walked down Capen Street near Carmichael Hall, eventually entering a small gate and passing an assisted living center. I popped out at the Mystic Valley Parkway, where I saw another scenic walking path across the street. This one took me along the Mystic River to the west, until I reached a bridge on my right separating the towns of Arlington and Medford. It isn’t the first bridge on the path, so to make sure you’re at the correct one, look for the signs with “Welcome to Arlington” and “Welcome to Medford” on either side of the bridge. Crossing the bridge headed east, I saw yet another walking path on my left. I took it, heading through a large field until I reached a meadow. From here, the lake is visible in all its stunning glory. I cannot stress the size of it, with foliage blocking one’s view of the road in all directions. It is also strikingly quiet, so it is a great place to clear one’s head of work woes. Both walks are great, but this is my personal favorite of the two.
Overall, it is important to remember that there are great destinations a short walk from Tufts, and these walks are convenient ways to balance one’s workload with healthy outdoor time.