Blue Hills Reservation: Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:840 Hillside Street, Milton, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 617-698-1802

Bathrooms: At the visitor center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain in the center of the playground; concessions at snack bar during warm weather

USGS Norwood;; AMC’s Massachusetts Trail Map 4

This family favorite features an easy trail, a shallow swimming area, a large playground, and a scenic setting to enjoy.

Kids can try their luck fishing at Houghton's Pond.
Photo by: iStock

Houghton’s Pond is part of the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation; in summer, it offers Boston residents a nice alternative to the more distant Walden Pond. The 24-acre pond is a spring-fed kettle hole formed by receding glaciers about 10,000 years ago. It reaches 42 feet deep in some parts.

A roped-off swimming area is supervised by lifeguards in July and August. Before or after your swim, take an easy 1-mile hike around the pond (the yellow trail) and look for wildlife. On one hike we saw a snake and an egg very close to the trail. Close to the beach area, two spurs (green and red) lead to other parts of the reservation. Fishing is popular here, as the pond is stocked, so bring along a rod if your kids want to try their luck.

When the seasons change and the weather turns cold, visit Houghton’s Pond to spot meadowhawks, hardy dragonflies that can be seen as late as December. After snow falls, have the kids try snowshoeing the loop, enjoying continuous views across the pond.

Remember: Be warned that the rules for swimming in Houghton’s Pond are fairly strict. Leave balls, floats, and water toys at home; none are allowed in or near the water. The lifeguards frown on horseplay. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

The Mass Audubon’s Trailside Museum (Trip 26) offers displays and descriptions of the wildlife found in the Blue Hills.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A concession pavilion with snacks and drinks is by the Hillside parking lot and open in season.



By: Guest
Posted: 03/08/2018 03:34

This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself..

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By: Guest
Posted: 03/08/2018 01:17

Thanks for your information, it was really very helpfull..

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By: Guest
Posted: 05/25/2016 03:12

With over stock pond of fish you can get issues so attempt to evade and keep your pond kept up with Pond Repair by Pondpro2000 clean it from additional junk and additional things.


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By: Libby Stockwell Deegear
Posted: 03/24/2014 18:03
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By: kduncanmooney
Posted: 11/05/2012 11:17

Can get crowded in summer, but it's great for an "off-season" visit. The playground is divided into two sections--one for older kids and one for toddlers--and is great for before or after a walk around the pond. Head around the pond clockwise, and toward the end of your walk you'll come to a big field that's popular with dogs. A large, partially hollowed-out tree stump near the field provided nearly a half hour of entertainment for our toddler--put leaves in, take them out, repeat!

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