I hike a lot in the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a huge area of conservation land just north of Boston. The Fells is split in two by Route 93, with western section being much larger than the eastern section. But the eastern section has a lot ot offer in its relatively compact area, including some very rugged geography and spectacular views that you just don't get in the more placid, less rocky western section.
A number of us saw some of these rugged sections of the eastern Middlesex Fells late last month, including the extreme eastern edge of the reservation where the land drops off sharply. From Black Rock (see photo, you literally cannot go further east, as the Fells simply ends in such a steep dropoff that it feels a lot like a cliff From this point you can see some of the residential sections of Melrose as well as Melrose Center in the distance.
We also hiked south a short distance from Melrose Rock, ending up a Black Rock, which is perhaps even more stunning than Melrose rock, with the same sharp dropoffs as well as more sweeping views of both Melrose and Malden (see photo). Black Rock is a great place to stop for a lunch/picnic break, as there are lots of rocky outcroppings where hikers can sit and enjoy the views far below.
There is another scenic spot south of Black Rock called Pinnacle Rock which is so steep and rugged that some hikers feel a little hesitant climbing it. But it does make for a great third stop before turning west once again and heading into the woods. I will try to post pictures of Pinnacle Rock in a future entry on this site.