Blue Hills Reservation – Houghton’s Pond Trail
Trail Length: 1.3 miles
Trail Time: about 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
If you’re looking for a short, relatively easy trail for a little bit of quick exercise, the Houghton’s Pond loop in the Blue Hills Reservation is perfect. You don’t need a map if you’re going to just walk the loop around the pond. Simply keep the pond on your right (or left depending on which way you start). It’ll take you about 30 minutes. We do a slightly more extended hike, that includes Breeze Hill, so Pippin can get some hind end conditioning in. To find the trail head for the hike we take, enter the parking lot and park in the back row, more towards the center of the lot. You’ll see an opening in the wooden gate that leads down a dirt path. When it brings you out into the picnic area, turn left up the paved road. This paved road brings you around Breeze Hill and then back down towards Houghton’s Pond where you can add to your hike by following the pond loop.
Houghton’s Pond is a pretty busy place every day in the summer, but particularly during the weekend and especially on hot days. Most people spending the day will picnic in all the available spots so the parking lot is usually full by 10:00 a.m. There is additional parking on Blue Hill River Rd which takes you behind the pond. From there, it’s just a short walk to Houghton’s Pond.
The trees provide plenty of shade throughout, but be sure to bring your bug spray because the mosquitoes are relentless this time of year.
Swimming is allowed on the beach portion of the pond but there are “no swimming” signs all along the rest of the pond loop. I’m not sure why. Perhaps the grade isn’t as gently sloping as it is nearer the beach. Or, maybe it’s because there are a lot of lily pads on the outskirts of these areas that you could get tangled up in if you decided to take a quick dip. Georgia and Pippin don’t seem to mind and use these inlets to cool off.