When you think of the Blue Hills, you may think of Great Blue Hill, or the ski area, or maybe Houghton’s Pond or the Trailside Museum. However, the Blue Hills Reservation is HUGE, stretching over 7000 acres, from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph. There are over 125 miles of trails, according to the website. The Blue Hills has much more to offer than just the hike up the main hill (which we love too!).
How to get there:
Shea Ice Rink (Just put this in your GPS)
651 Willard St.
Quincy, MA 02169
There is plenty of parking at the Shea Ice Rink. However, if there’s something happening at the Ice Rink, then the lot can fill up quickly. So, try to go early on weekends to avoid crowds.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP:
The green dot trail at the Willard St. entrance in Quincy is listed as a moderate hike on the trail map. It’s just under 4 miles, and it took us about 2.5 hours to complete, moving at a leisurely pace.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 4 (Plenty of spaces, but lot can fill up if the Ice Rink is busy.)
I – Interest Level – 4 (varied terrain, plenty of boulders and rocks to climb on, little streams, a pond, etc.)
N – Navigation – 4 (well-marked trail, easy to follow, two possibly confusing areas.)
T – Terrain – 3 (rocks/roots sticking up in trail, some uphill/downhill parts, mostly flat but some uneven parts. Accessible with jogging stroller, but not regular stroller.)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions on this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.
Points of Interest
- The pond at the beginning is fun–who doesn’t like to throw rocks into water?
2. Walk the planks! Our kids’ imaginations ran wild–they were “training for the military” here!
3. Have a snack, a picnic, or a nap (!) at the picnic rocks!
4. We found a geocache! Look them up before you go!
5. At about the half-way mark, there are some AWESOME boulders to climb!
6. If you look carefully, you may be able to watch some rock climbers! (In this photo, you can see a tiny orange dot-that’s a person!) There was a family with young children out there on these rocks! We had fun watching for a bit. If outdoor rock climbing is not your thing but you’d like to give the sport a try, check out Central Rock Gym in Randolph! It’s one of our favorite spots!