Blue Hills Reservation: Ponkapoag Pond
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:2167 Washington Street, Canton, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 617-698-1802

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: Beverage vending machine near the parking lot on Maple Avenue

USGS Norwood;; AMC’s Massachusetts Trail Map 4

Kids will love walking along planks through a bog to get to Ponkapoag Pond.

A plank leads to Ponkapoag Pond
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Lovers of the outdoors flock to the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation, the largest open space within 35 miles of Boston. Trekking to the 230-acre Ponkapoag Pond is one of the adventures here kids will enjoy. From the golf course parking lot, head down Maple Avenue through the course to get to the trailhead, which is to the left of the pond (yield to golfers).

You can walk all the way around the pond, but be aware that this hike is 4 miles. The walk directly to the pond (see map) is much shorter but offers a lot of opportunity for wildlife sightings. The trail here is entirely on a “floating boardwalk,” which is actually a series of planks over a bog leading to the pond. Children find the boards, which tilt this way and that as people step on and off, a source of much hilarity. This Atlantic white cedar bog is unusual for New England and is home to the carnivorous pitcher plant and a variety of protected plants and animals. When you get to the pond, look for great blue herons and osprey, which like to fish here.

Be sure to visit Blue Hills in winter for great snowshoeing or cross-country skiing opportunities. The snowy scenery is spectacular.

Remember: For those wanting to stay overnight, the Appalachian Mountain Club has cabins and tent sites on the other side of the pond. Advance registration is required; call 781-961-7007 or visit for information. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

Visit the Mass Audubon’s Trailside Museum (Trip 26) to check out exhibits about the wildlife found in the Blue Hills.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The golf course has a grill and snack bar.


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