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Blue Hills Reservation is a 6000 acre state park located only 10 miles south of downtown Boston, covering parts of Quincy, Canton, Braintree, Milton, Dedham, and Randolph. It's one of the largest parcels of undeveloped recreation land within the Boston area. A vast network of multi-use trails offers a variety of year-round activities including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing. The varied terrain includes wetlands and forests, and the rolling hills provide access to great views. From from mid-December to mid-March you can do downhill skiing at the beginner-friendly Blue Hills Ski Area. In the park you can also find the Blue Hills Trailside museum, offering both indoor and outdoor animal exhibits. This museum is affiliated with the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Parking is available across the street from the Reservation Headquarters on Hillside Street, or at the parking lot at Houghton's Pond.

on Great Blue Hill Trail

hiking
3 days ago

This was my husband and my second hike this month and this trail was a fun challenge. We followed the path initially, but shortly after Eliot Tower, we mistakenly continued to follow the blue markers. The blue markers, after a certain point, does not follow the Great Blue Trail path. Instead, it takes you towards Canton and to a path that crosses the street.

This is a heavy traffic trail though and we saw many hikers with their dogs, dogs ranging from a lab to a corgi.

The views at the top of the hills and at the Eliot Tower are stunning!!!

There are a lot of hiking up and down large boulders/rocks. At times it was challenging, but doable for beginners hikers. The down did take a toll on our knees and ankles, but we are beginners.

I would love to do this path again in the winter.

Gnarly rocky and rooty. If you’re not going up you’re going down or just about to do one or the other.

Great hike, but the trail near the route 128 station doesn’t really exist. I hiked the whole thing from the Quincy side and right near 95 the trail completely disappeared. I had to bushwhack to near the train station. I hope I didn’t get poison ivy on me.

TLDR: Go to this trail. Beautiful, green, remote, and appropriately related as moderate with some inclines/declines, passing from rocky trail to dirt.

Went on Sunday, 5/27 from about 2-4:38PM or so. We started on the side of the police station, up to Hancock Hill. Short 5 minute hike up and you get a beautiful viewpoint (see photos). A few minutes later to Hancock Hill where All Trails has the route split further to the west. We did this, but knew rain was scheduled for 4PM, so we stopped this side route with a couple hundred feet or so to go. Again, great views. As we continued we went down some other side trails exploring the lush forest, then back to the Great Blue Hill Trail.

Beautiful, thick forest throughout. Some fun crossings across logs. There’s a lot of downhill, so it seems like heading up on the Houghton Hill side would be much more difficult. Granted, there were some uphills for us. Wasn’t too crowded. Maybe saw 15 people total. No traffic noise, but heard or noticed one commercial jet.

AllTrails says 3.1 miles, though it’s close to 4.5-5.0. I didn’t monitor exact distance and writing this the day after, but apple health was about that when we finished. Of course we explored a bit off the GBH trail, but not enough to bump it by 1.5 more miles.

Moderate rating is appropriate due to the terrain and inclines. You will be walking over larger rocks, tree roots, etc. It’s not a smooth, flat, fire road like the Santa Monica Mountains. Was visiting family and wasn’t anticipating hiking, so didn’t bring proper boots or clothing. I’ve hiked for years in California in a pair of worn out Adidas so I had no problem in them on this hike. But, if I had my Salomon’s it would’ve been more comfortable and I would’ve taken more “risks” on some of the slicker, steeper inclined rocks. For inexperienced hikers, you will get tired and you should wear more appropriate shoes than sneakers.

Go hike, have fun, bring a bottle of water, and take your trash with you.

There are so many trails, it's hard to keep up which one you are doing. Anyway, just good if you can't get out of the city, nice little wood

Fine if you can't get out of the city, nice little wood. But it is crowed

Not mind blowing or remote, but honestly, this is so great considering you're still in metropolitan greater Boston. There is some great elevation change and wonderful views. And 6 miles is 6 miles.

First trail I hiked in the blue hills, good view from the observation tower!

Beautiful views, great workout over up and down rocky trail. Not for a beginner. The right shoes (hiking boots) make all the difference.

This is an awesome not so trafficked trail, making you feel like you’re hiking in a remote area until you reach one of the small summits and see the city skyline reminding you’re not far from Boston at all.

Good quick hike, couple hours. The weather tower was the highlight.

hiking
1 month ago

The loop alone is about 5 miles of hiking. Very nice views.

Love this trail. Amazing views, and a great hike if you decide to do the whole trail.

hiking
1 month ago

I took my dog and it was a great hike! Perfect weather. A lot of people and there were a good amount of friendly dogs! One of my favorites in Mass!

Really nice loop early in the day. Half is pretty flat and woodsy, the other half has hills and rocks. The flat part was also nice because there was lighter traffic.

A very rocky trail that will get your heart pumping. The trail is very well marked. I felt that if I was ever in doubt of the path direction I could be confident that if there was a choice between a smooth path or a rocky path the correct choice would always be the rocky path. The views at the top of the hills are not spectacular enough to put up with dealing with the constant rockiness.

Good workout in a relatively short amount of time. Trail is well maintained and there are some nice views at the top. Tends to be very crowded.

Quick and easy...great views!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail should be rated hard. It is very very rocky and has many steep grades both up-and-down. It is beautiful but can be challenging. It felt more like I was rock climbing then hiking on many parts of the trail. It is much harder then another trail I took that is rated hard. I'm not sure who does these ratings. A trekking pole would have helped me on this hike.

Great hike and really fun in Spring. If you do the entire round trip, it's 3,160 feet of elevation. Not a moderate hike. How Wolcott gets rated hard, when it's no where's near as long or difficult is beyond me.

Parked on Randolph Ave and headed up Hawk Hill. Continued easterly to Barberry Bush Trail and the Great Cedar Swamp. Bushwacked a bit over to the direct route up Kitchamakin Hill. Turned westerly over Fenno Hill to Chickatawbut peak. Continued by the Education Center then headed down the Skyline Trail back to my car. This is a terrific trek and property. Just do it!

This was my first time at Blue Hills. It’s beautiful! While not all of this trail was marked great the trails were still pretty easy to follow. Only a few times did I lose the trail but easily picked it back up. My dog came with and he absolutely loves exploring! It was a pretty good hike for him too, nothing too difficult for him. He’s a small 25lb Pup that has no problem scaling large rocks. You could start to see some new life in the trees. I can’t wait to come back in a few weeks to see how much it’s grown in!

fantastic trail with beautiful views

beautiful views. Rocky.
difficult in winter.

Not too hard.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike, kinda crowded.

Really great hike. Packed snow, trail broken in. Some icy spots, but did great with poles and crampons. Good training for New Hampshire!

Great hike. Don't let the fact that it's in eastern Mass fool you. The round trip hike is all up and down and is more strenuous than you think.

March 4th 2018: This was a beautiful trail, an easy 5 miles. Some elevation at times. Beautiful views of the water. Currently the boardwalk into the water is damaged from the recent storm, and in many areas of the trail there are newly fallen trees. On the last mile of the trail around the pond the entrance is blocked by a giant cluster of fallen trees. I chose to walk on the main road and into the nearby neighborhood to gain access back to rest of the trail. I suspect as the warmest weather approaches the town will make the necessary upkeep from the off season. Highly recommend and would return to despite the current damage.

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