Blue Hills Reservation – Shea Rink Trail
Trail Length: 3.39 miles
Trail Time: 1.25 hours
The Blue HIlls Reservation has a myriad of winding trails throughout it’s 7,000 acres of forest. The trails extend from Quincy to Dedham and Milton to Randolph. There’s something to accommodate all fitness levels from avid, experienced hiker to the very beginner. One of the NE Traildogs goals this year is to explore each of them, building our stamina in the hopes of accomplishing the nine mile, seven hour Skyline Trail.
We’ll bring each of the trails we hike to the blog so you can have some idea of what to expect if you and your dog would like to get out and enjoy the Blue Hills yourself (and we highly recommend you do). Trail maps can be found online, however, full color, updated trail maps can be purchased for a donation of $3.00 at the Reservation Headquarters (695 Hillside St., Milton)
The first of the trails we accomplished was the Shea Rink Trail. Shea Rink is located at 651 Willard St in Quincy and the trail head is distinctly placed in the parking lot to the left side of the rink.
The Shea Rink Trail is a relatively easy, meandering loop that allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the reservation. Loop trails are marked with dots and they begin and end at the same spot. Do be careful and be prepared to put your dogs on leash about 1/4 mile into the trail as it crosses over Wompatuck Rd which runs through the Blue Hills. People tend to drive quickly on it and it’s on a bend so you can’t really see cars coming. Best to listen for engine echoes before crossing. Same thing applies on the way back but it’s more easily predicted as the road is at the end of the pipeline (buried underground on a flat, wide path).
The trail is marked by green dots that are easily seen, about head height on the trees. Changes in course are numbered on small white plaques.
You’ll find fresh water brooks, small bridges and flat dirt pathways. There are a few hills but they’re rather small and can easily be managed.
We tend to hike in the early morning but the reservation gates don’t open until 7:00 a.m. The Shea Rink Trail is one of our favorites because we can access it without having to drive into the Blue Hills which means we can arrive at 6:00 a.m. and share the trails with only deer and wild turkey without having to compensate for cars. The reservation also has coyotes but we haven’t run into any yet, even at dawn’s early hours.