Backpacker Magazine Boston, MA: Ponkapoag Pond Loop 

This scenic 4.2-mile hike in the Blue Hills Reservation loops under pines and passes by a rare Atlantic white cedar bog, home to 17 endangered species.

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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 8 Jan 2007 12:00:00 AM
Activity: Hiking
State: Massachusetts (MA)
Distance: 4.21 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 110 ft
Total Loss: 113 ft
Net Change: -3 ft
Difficulty: 2 / 10
Tags: Boston, Massachusetts, Readers' Choice
Rating:   2 rating(s) Rate it

A twenty-minute drive from Boston proper, the Blue Hills Reservation offers a host of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. This 4.2-mile hike around Ponkapoag Pond makes for a relaxing dayhike or a scenic trail run.

TO TRAILHEAD: I-93 S to Blue Hill River Rd. exit. Turn L onto Blue Hill River Rd. (becomes Ponkapoag Trail) and pass under I-93. Park @ end of road (do not block gate).

Position Format: Datum:

Boston, MA: Ponkapoag Pond Loop

Distance: 4.21 mi Points: 264
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 42.202156, -71.095389
From road, head S toward pond under white pines and birches


Location: 42.198572, -71.098119
Turn R @ 3-way to begin loop around Ponkapoag Pond


Location: 42.198582, -71.104195
Trail is fairly flat; YMCA camp to R. Ahead, take boardwalk on L into Ponkapoag Bog. Look for pitcher plants, sundews, cranberries, and water willow


Location: 42.196812, -71.108208
Head up slight hill, edging by Ponkapoag Golf Course; gate crosses trail


Location: 42.195389, -71.108955
Trail passes sand trap; continue heading S


Location: 42.190968, -71.107445
Trail curves SE; unobstructed views of shore­line; look for boaters and geese on this large, clear, blue pond


Location: 42.189610, -71.103401
Trail is flat and narrow; short side trails heading up the hill look promising, but go nowhere


Location: 42.186718, -71.091988
Continue heading E


Location: 42.189209, -71.084068
Forest opens up briefly; terrain becomes hilly


Location: 42.192394, -71.085739
Trail takes sharp L turn and heads uphill toward Appalachian Mountain Club huts


Location: 42.195915, -71.086197
Turn L by the tool shed after AMC huts


Location: 42.196266, -71.089790
Most rugged section; watch footing heading uphill on varied terrain; side trail leads to pond. Continue straight to WPT 2; turn R @ junction, return to trailhead


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