Lincoln has always been a bit under the radar. It’s a small town nestled in the near western suburbs. Sometimes when people ask me where Lincoln is, the quick answer is nestled between Concord and Lexington or right along Route 128.
This quiet existence is Lincoln’s biggest strength because if you know Lincoln, you know that you have stumbled upon the best of all worlds. Bucolic land, historic homes, organic farms, neighbors with grazing horses or sheep. AND it’s a 10 minute drive to Harvard Square or a 20-minute drive into downtown Boston. Add the convenience of the commuter rail that zips you into Porter Square, Cambridge, or North Station in Boston and you start to see the advantages.
It seems that the good residents of Cambridge and Boston understand how convenient Lincoln is. They routinely spend the day enjoying Lincoln’ miles of conservation trails; a bike ride along stone-walled lined scenic roads; a swim at historic Walden Pond; or visits to the DeCordova Museum, Gropius House or Audubon’s Drumlin Farm. I have more trouble educating my friends and acquaintances who have settled in other metrowest communities. They view Lincoln as a distant exurb. I think it’s the trees that confuse them.
To my friend in Newton, Lincoln sounds like a hinterland. I have to remind her that it is just as quick for me to meet her in the city coming from Lincoln as from Newton.
“Oh, you’re coming from Lincoln,” she’ll fret. “Maybe we could meet at my house and drive in to the theater.”
I patiently answer, “I can hop on the Pike and be at the Majestic Theater in no time.”
Maybe it has something to do with home density. People simply think that if you live surrounded by nature and trees, you must by definition live far away from metro Boston. The reality is Lincoln is a very close-in community but looks rural because it has worked hard to maintain its New England traditions. Since the 1950s the town was a pioneer in land management and has managed to resist overdevelopment and suburbanization.
In addition to easily accessing Cambridge and Boston, Lincoln is perfectly located to the high tech businesses along Route 128. Residents can simply cross over the scenic Cambridge Reservoir and emerge into the fast action of the 128 corridor.
Urban warriors or culture vultures recognize the need to recharge their spirit. You could buy a getaway home in Vermont or you can simply live in Lincoln and have the best of all worlds.