Photo Credit: Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation
The Blue Hills Reservation is a 6,000+ acre state park in Norfolk County, covering parts of Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Canton, Randolph and Dedham. There are 22 hills and more than 125 miles of hiking trails. The highest hill is Great Blue Hill, which reaches a height of 635 feet.
With close proximity to Boston and surrounding towns, Blue Hills offers a wide array of flora and fauna within an urban region. Living within the Reservation are coyotes, copperheads, turkey vultures, dragonflies, hawks, owls and timber rattlesnakes, among many varieties of plants and other wildlife.
- Astronomy – The Blue Hills Weather Observatory sits atop Great Blue Hill and is open to the public, weather permitting.
- Canoeing / Boating – Allowed only on Ponkapoag Pond, located at the border of Canton and Randolph.
- Dogs – Allowed on leash, but not allowed on the Houghton Pond beach area.
- Hiking – More than 125 miles of trails over hills, through marshes, and across meadows for all ages and levels. From the top of Great Blue Hill, visitors have a spectacular view of the Boston metropolitan area. Visit the Dept. of Conservation site for detailed description of each trail.
- Horseback Riding – Enjoy a trail ride with Blazing Saddles Equestrian Center
- Fishing– Allowed at Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area.
- Skiing – Visitors may cross-country ski on park trails or go downhill skiing at the Blue Hills Ski Area. The season generally runs from mid-December to mid-March. The ski area is on the west face of Great Blue Hill at 4001 Washington Street, Canton, MA.
- Swimming – Allowed at Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area.
The park is open year round from dawn to dusk. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Visitor parking is free at the Houghton’s Pond parking lot.
The Blue Hills were named by early European explorers who noticed a bluish hue on the slopes when viewed from a distance while sailing along the coastline.