695 Hillside Street, Milton
Blue Hills Reservation includes 7,000 acres of varied terrain. It ranges
from woodlands to marsh to rocky hills. There is an extensive, well-marked
and maintained trail system with miles of fire road, double and single
track. There are great views of Boston and the South Shore from several
hilltops. Other activities available include hiking, swimming, rock climbing,
canoeing, fishing and horseback riding. At Houghton’s Pond, there
is a designated swimming area and a refreshment stand.
The terrain open to mountain bikers at Blue Hills consists of the Houghton’s
Pond, Great Blue Hill, and Little Blue Hill sections, as well as a portion
of the Fowl Meadow. Trails in the Chickatawbut section, east of Route
28, are closed to bikes. The Ponkapoag section is also off-limits. Even
with these restrictions, the amount of terrain available to riders is
significant. Within the open areas, approximately 95% of the double-track
and 50% of the single-track is open to cyclists. Watch trail intersections
for white and red signs that designate closed trails.
Blue Hills is a big place! There's a lot of stuff to ride here and plenty
to explore. Much of the double track is gravelly fire road but significant
portions are rocky and quite challenging. The variety of single track
is more limited than the double track but there are enough trails that
even the experienced rider will not run out of terrain quickly.
Riders visiting the Blue Hills for the first time should stop at the Reservation
Headquarters on Hillside Street to pick up a free copy of the DCR’s
Mountain Biking in the Blue Hills brochure. It has a map of open trails
and shows closed trails in red. For $2 you can purchase a beautiful color
map showing the entire reservation.
Two marked loops offer an easy way to explore the reservation without
too much route finding. The White Loop in the Houghton’s Pond section
is a 6-mile route of intermediate difficulty. The Yellow Loop in the Great
Blue Hill section covers 4.5 miles and offers greater challenges and steeper
Blue Hills has a limited amount of novice terrain open to mountain bikers.
The flattest and easiest trails are the short loop around Houghton’s
Pond and “Old Route 128,” which is actually a paved road through
trees on the edge of the reservation. The Burma Road trail in the Fowl
Meadow is another beautiful dirt road that passes through the Neponset
River marshes. Some of the double track in the reservation is not difficult
from a technical standpoint but is still quite hilly. If you are not reasonably
fit, you may want to build up conditioning riding someplace flatter for
a while before trying Blue Hills.
Blue Hills TrailWatch is a group of nearly fifty volunteers who hike and
bike through the reservation, keeping an eye on trail conditions and encouraging
safe and cooperative trail use. TrailWatch volunteers lead rides, from
Beginner through Advanced levels, from April to December. They also assist
with the DCR’s annual Blue Hills Mountain Bike Day. This event,
begun in 1996, offers rides, skills training, contests and prizes in a
Mountain bicycles are prohibited on Blue Hills trails between January
1st and April 15th. During the winter months, Ragged Mountain operates
the Blue Hills Ski Area on the western side of Great Blue Hill.
Click here to view
Hills Reservation is headquartered in Milton, 8 miles south of Boston.
From north or south: Take Route 93 to Exit 3, Houghton's
Pond. Turn right at the stop sign onto Hillside Street. Houghton's Pond
parking lot is located approximately 1/4 miles on the right. There is
plenty of parking in this lot. Reservation headquarters is 1/4 mile further
up Hillside Street. You can stop here for a map but there is little or
no visitor parking.