Blue Hills Reservation is an absolute gem for Boston-based nature lovers, sitting only about 7 miles outside the city in Milton and Canton. In winter, Blue Hills is a favorite last-minute decision ski destination for locals, but in the warmer months it offers 125 miles of trails to explore. Abundant parking is available at the Blue Hills parking lot or the Houghton’s Pond lot, which is only 100 meters down the road. Cross the street to the Blue Hills Reservation headquarters, where you can purchase a map for $3, or just take a picture of the one on the board for free. We did the two mile Wolcott & Border Path, but instead of taking the Wolcott Path back to the headquarters, we took a right onto the Houghton Path back to where we had parked our car at Houghton Pond.
The Wolcott & Border Path route took about an hour, including one detour where we took a wrong turn (or, more accurately, failed to take the right turn). In terms of terrain, the path was mixed: it starts out graveled near the headquarters, but quickly transitions to packed dirt with a few rocks and roots underfoot. You will pass over multiple small creeks along the trail, so keep an eye out for them. On a sleepy, foggy Sunday morning like this one, you won’t pass by too many other people, despite the full parking lot: that’s the benefit of there being so many trail options. Everyone can go his or her own way in relative solitude. This trail was very easy, with only slight inclines and declines, but there are certainly more difficult paths in the park for those feeling more ambitious. The Wolcott & Border Path can easily be done in sneakers, just be careful if the ground is somewhat slippery.
Being a heavily wooded area, bring bug spray whenever hiking in Blue Hills. As always, bring plenty of water and layering options for clothing. Parts of the trail were very muddy, so while the Wolcott & Border Path could be done in sneakers, it might be best to wear hiking shoes if it has rained recently. Many people bring their dogs to Blue Hills, so be on the lookout for furry friends!