June Volunteer Spotlight

Originally from New Jersey, Hobbit currently resides in North Reading where he has lived for 30 years. Hobbit enjoys working with computers and all things tech. He was in the computer and network security space for many years and is also interested in areas such as laser-show tech, theater lighting and sound, and electric cars. In 2005, Hobbit bought his first hybrid car and has been driving a hybrid or full-electric car ever since.

Hobbit is also a long-time barefooter. “I simply don’t need or want shoes anymore because my feet have reached a state that nature wants them to be,” Hobbit says about walking barefoot. One of his favorite things about walking without shoes in the woods is what he calls the “rich symphony of textures underfoot.”

Hobbit got involved with Friends of the Fells (FOF) just under a year ago, when he started leading hikes. Before leading hikes with FOF, Hobbit had previous experience leading hikes with the Friends of Harold Parker State Forest. He has been volunteering with Friends of Harold Parker for six years now, where he helps lead hikes every Wednesday and has helped with their annual 5k trail race.

Some of Hobbit’s favorite parts of leading hikes are meeting new people and getting to show folks parts of the Fells they have never been to before. He cares deeply about preserving our forests and greenspaces, and he wants to help teach others how to enjoy and protect them. Hobbit’s favorite spots in the Fells are the high rock peaks. He loves scrambling over big rocks, so he spends a lot of time on the Rock Circuit and Skyline trails. Hobbit is also interested in the historical aspects of the Fells and tries to remember what he learns and share it with his hike participants.

For anyone interested in volunteering, Hobbit has some advice for folks interested in leading their own hikes: “Go out with your map and GPS app and take a few loops on your own.”

Thank you, Hobbit, for all that you do for the Fells!

If you are interested in learning more and getting involved, please reach out to friends@fells.org, complete the Volunteer Application, or keep an eye on our calendar here for upcoming volunteer events.

Amanda Treat moved to Malden seven years ago. She works as a project manager for Wilson Sporting Goods and supports their Wilson Pact sustainability committee and different initiatives to help get folks together outdoors. Running, gardening, hiking, writing, and rock climbing are all activities that Amanda enjoys.

“Coming out of COVID, I really wanted to get out there and do something that gives back to the community and do things with other people,” Amanda says about her motivations to join the. Friends of the Fells’s Communications Committee. She writes blog posts and helps get information out to Fells community members.

Before joining the Communications Committee, Amanda volunteered at invasive plant removal work days. After attending these events and learning about invasive plants, she noticed large areas of black swallowwort near the Oak Grove T stop. She got in touch with the Fells DCR staff and asked about scheduling an event to remove invasive plants near the T stop. Members of groups like Friends of the Malden River and Bike to the Sea also joined in this event. “It was a cool way to expand something Friends of the Fells repeatedly organizes and spread it out into the community.”

Amanda frequents the Oakdale Park side of the Fells; Pinnacle Rock and the Cascade are two of her favorite places to visit and take in the view. She also walks in the Fells while participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count and considers herself a casual birder.

If you are interested in volunteering, Amanda has some advice for you. “Whatever you are interested in, there is an opportunity that matches that,” says Amanda. “[Volunteering] helps get people outside and get them together.”

Thank you, Amanda, for all that you do for the Fells!

If you are interested in learning more and getting involved, please reach out to friends@fells.org, complete the Volunteer Application, or keep an eye on our calendar here for upcoming volunteer events.

Kyle developed a passion for the outdoors through Scouting in his youth and became a frequent visitor to the Fells shortly after he moved to Cambridge in 2011. He joined the Friends of the Fells as a Trail Adopter in 2017. He enjoys cleaning up trash and invasive plants, as well as learning about and sharing local history.

“I love that there are so many ways to enjoy the Fells— on the trail I meet hikers, bikers, dog walkers, birders, rock climbers, fishermen, and more.”

In addition to being a Trail Adopter, Kyle often leads hikes around the 90mm site in Lawrence Woods to discuss what was once an anti-aircraft artillery defense site that was built during the Korean War. Kyle graduated with his B.A. in Anthropology and English Literature from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011 and currently works as an IT analyst at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge.

“I’m excited to be on the board because the Friends of the Fells has such an important role to play in protecting the Fells and making sure it continues to be a place that everybody can enjoy.”

Please join us in welcoming Kyle!

Guided trail run traverses the Fells reservoirs

On Sunday, March 5th, a group of seven dedicated trail runners got together for a scenic run through the western portion of the Middlesex Fells surrounding the reservoirs, sponsored by Friends of the Fells (FOF). These runners were not deterred by wind and snow from the previous day’s storm and were rewarded with sunny weather and gorgeous views. The run started from the Long Pond parking lot in Winchester and traversed the Reservoir Trail and the reservoir access roads over a 6 mile loop covering all three reservoirs. The trails were sloshy but the runners’ spirits stayed high. The runners had a great time and are already looking forward to getting out for another trail run soon.


Shawn Hoyt, who lives near the edge of the Fells in Medford and can frequently be seen running through the Fells on his Instagram account @shawnhoytstayactive, organized and guided the trail run. Shawn is a FOF member, volunteer, and an avid trail runner. Since turning 50 years old, he has run the full length of every marked trail in the Fells Reservation. Shawn is starting to plan for a second run, so watch the FOF website for upcoming details about the next trail run!

Interested in catching some guided hikes in the meantime?

Check out our calendar here!

Two weeks ago, Friends of the Fells was excited to host our Pride Hike for the LGBTQ+ community. Seven folks joined hike leader, Maddie Morgan, to explore an eastern section of the Fells.

The hike started at Flynn Rink and traversed the Cross Fells trail before circling the Fells MWRA Reservoir and returning on the Rock Circuit Trail. A warm, beautiful, sunny day made for excellent hiking weather!

It was fun to explore a part of the Fells I haven’t seen before,” said one hike participant. “I had a great time meeting fellow hikers, and already feel like I have some new friends from the hike!”

Interested in joining or leading more hikes? Please reach out to Maddie Morgan at maddie.morgan@fells.org or check out our calendar!

Friends of the Middlesex Fells is excited to welcome its new team member, Maddie Morgan!

Maddie Morgan is our Community Engagement and Operations Manager. Prior to joining the Fells, Maddie worked at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) where she was the Director of Programs and Services, focusing on managing the events and programs for nonprofits across the state.

“We’re thrilled to have her join our team,” shared FOF Executive Director Chris Redfern. “Maddie leads our work to build a community of volunteers, partner organizations, and state and municipal officials, all pulling together to make the Fells a safer and more welcoming place for everyone. Since joining us in January, she has already proved to be a thoughtful and energetic force in advancing many of our partnering and outreach efforts.”

Maddie graduated from Kenyon College where she worked on the Brown Family Environmental Center’s programming and environmental education efforts.

“I am so excited to join the Fells community and work with the incredible partners, users, and members of the space,” says Maddie. “The passion of the network of organizations and individuals who support and protect the Fells and its role in the various communities it reaches is already so inspiring.”

If she’s not out running or hiking, you can find her volunteering at a local farm or enjoying the Somerville Community Growing Center, where she currently serves on the board.

Feel free to reach out to Maddie at maddie.morgan@fells.org to say hello!