Be Kind! Campaign

Introducing the Be Kind! Campaign

We in the Greater Boston area have a wilderness gem in our backyard. The Middlesex Fells Reservation sprawls over 2,500 acres of forests, wetlands, and reservoirs just waiting to nourish our spirits – if we treat it with respect.

We’ve launched the “Be Kind” campaign to spread that spirit.

“Be Kind” is more than trail etiquette: The campaign provides all trail users with simple, meaningful ways to protect our beloved Fells.

We believe that by encouraging kindness between trail users and developing a culture of care and stewardship of the Fells, we can sustain the Fells’ unique ecology while supporting a safe and welcoming space for all.

Community members join a guided hike in the Fells.

Take a Few Steps in the Right Direction (Literally)

With over 100 miles of trails, the Fells has paths for everyone. To keep the trails welcoming for runners, hikers, and mountain bikers, it’s easy to extend small courtesies around the right of way, announcing your presence to other trail users (ex. “On your left”), and stepping aside to let others pass.

The Fells harbors sensitive habitats, soils, and hundreds of plant and animal species that can be easily disrupted by straying off the trail. By avoiding user-made “rogue trails” and sticking to official Fells roads and trails, you’re doing your part to preserve the Fells and its fragile ecosystems over time.

(See this map outlining rogue rails and their impacts in the Fells. This map is provided by Earthwise Aware.)

Packing It Out = A Love Letter to the Fells

Whatever we leave behind in the Fells, whether a seemingly innocent orange peel or bag of “organic” dog waste, disturbs the ecology of the Fells.

(Here’s a map of all the poop bags left in the Fells, as documented by Earthwise Aware.)

The Fells upholds a “Pack It In/Pack It Out” ethos similar to Leave No Trace principles, a set of outdoor ethics guidelines that allow natural environments to thrive undisturbed by visitors.

Following Pack It In/Pack It Out is a great way to be kind and to appreciate and care for the beauty of the Fells. By packing out all trash and belongings, you’re allowing the environment around you to flourish and delight you on your next visit.

Letting Dogs Lead with Kindness

Fells-loving dogs should be leashed outside designated areas to prevent disruption to wildlife and enable all guests to share the trails, including people who may be fearful of an unknown dog approaching them.

Dogs can enjoy going off-leash at Sheepfold, an idyllic, 10-acre meadow in the Fells that pups and their owners love. Sheepfold has its own parking lot and is accessible by the Reservoir and Skyline Trails.

Your “Be Kind” habits in the Fells help protect this refuge for future generations of both adventurers and wildlife.

What’s your favorite way to Be Kind in the Fells? What new acts of kindness will you try the next time you’re on the trails? Send us an email at!
Learn more about the initiative on the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s website here.