Hiking: Blue Hills Reservation

Passport to Adventures - Hiking

Hiking Trail Description

Located just minutes from downtown Boston, Blue Hills offers the ultimate quick getaway. Kids will love traipsing through the forests and marsh, along swamps and ponds, and across open meadows. Resident wildlife ranges from coyotes to copperheads, from turkey vultures to dragonflies. And when the youngsters really want to expand their horizons, there’s an observatory and science center at the top of Great Blue Hill that hosts educational programs. Purchase a trail map either at reservation headquarters or at the Trailside Museum.

Driving Directions

Traveling north or south on Route 93, take Exit 3 for Houghton’s Pond. Turn right at the stop sign onto Hillside Street. Houghton’s Pond is located approximately 0.25 miles on the right. Continue 0.25 miles to the reservation headquarters on the left. Parking is free.


Houghton’s Pond is open for swimming. And if that’s not enough cooling off, there’s an ice cream concession at the pond, too. The Trailside Museum, run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, has excellent cultural and natural history exhibits. Museum admission: $3 adult non-Audubon members; $1.50 children (ages 3–12); $2 seniors.

Trip Report Essentials

Location: Boston, Framingham, Hingham, Reading
Rating: Easy to strenuous
Distance: 1–5 miles roundtrip, 635' elevation gain

Why this hike?

The 7,000 acres of the reservation include 125 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous—something for everyone from the youngest to the most adventurous family members.
Be sure to bring these necessities along in your daypack: For a complete day hiking checklist, visit Expert Advice on REI.com.

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