Blue Hills Reservation Headquarters
840 Hillside Street
Milton, MA 02186
The Department of Conservation and Recreation invites you to spend the day and enjoy the calm, clear waters of Houghton’s Pond in the scenic Blue Hills Reservation. Offering 7,000 acres of open space, the Blue Hills Reservation is a green oasis in an urban environment.
Twenty-four acres in size and up to 42 feet in depth, Houghton’s Pond is a spring-fed kettle hole pond formed by receding glaciers approximately 10,000 years ago. The Massachuseck Indians fished the pond and hunted the surrounding lands. From the colonial period through the late 1800s, several generations of the Houghton family farmed the area.
Today, the Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area offers a variety of recreational activities, including swimming, fishing, picnicking , and hiking as well as a playground, concession pavilion, and Visitor’s Center. Restrooms and a first aid station are open during the summer at the bathhouse Payphones are located by the main gate.
The swimming area is supervised by DCR lifeguards in July and August, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., 7 days a week. All park visitors must follow the directions of the lifeguard
and park staff at all times. Failure to do so will result in removal from the park.
Groups of 25 or more must have a permit to use the picnic sites. Houghton's Pond Recreation Area offers 3 reservable sites with picnic tables and cooking grills. Portable grills are allowed in designated areas only. Two picnic sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis for families and groups of fewer than 25 only. The ball fields are being renovated and will reopen in summer 2011.
Picnic sites 1 and 2 are available for families and small groups of fewer than 25 persons only. The sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of two DCR picnic tables per family or small group. Note: On weekdays, picnic site 1 is
reserved for summer camp group use.
Picnic Sites 3, 4, and 5 require reservations in advance and can accommodate larger groups . Please allow 2 weeks to process requests. The permit fee is $25.
To reserve a picnic site,
Please send a letter with: name, address, phone number, contact person, date of event, arrival and departure times, number of adults and children.
Mail the request to:
DCR Picnic Permits
695 Hillside St.
Milton, MA 02186
or call 617-727-4573 x 200.
Applications will not be accepted until March 1.
Holiday Weekend Policy
Organized groups larger than 25 are not allowed on Memorial Day weekend, the week of Fourth of
July, or Labor Day weekend. On these days all sites are on a first come, first
served basis for families and small groups only. Limit of two picnic tables per family.
your safety, please be aware of the following regulations:
- The parking lots close at 8 p.m. unless otherwise posted.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- Swimming is allowed only at the supervised beach at Houghton’s Pond. No swimming beyond, or hanging on the lines.
- No grills or open fires on the beach.
- Ground fires and wood fires are prohibited. Cooking fires of charcoal or propane are allowed in designated areas only.
- Pets must be leashed at all times and their waste removed.
- No horses or pets allowed on the beach or in the water at any time.
- No floatation devices.
- No masks or snorkels.
- No boats allowed on Houghton’s Pond.
- No balls or frisbees on the beach.
- No fishing from the beach.
- No littering.
- No amplified sound.
- No metal detectors.
- Disruptive conduct, including public nudity is forbidden.
- Destruction, injury or removal of animals, vegetation, artifacts or other state property is forbidden.
All visitors must follow the direction of park personnel or police. Any violation of these regulations may result in arrest and/or fine per order of MGL C 92, S.37.
From Route 93, take exit 3 (Houghton's Pond, Ponkapoag Trail exit) from
Follow the signs to Houghton's Pond.
By public transportation:
MBTA: The Great Blue Hill and Houghton’s Pond sections are accessible from the Red Line's Ashmont Station. From Ashmont, take the trolly to Mattapan. The Canton and Blue Hills bus services the Trailside Museum and Great Blue Hill on Route 138. For the Houghton’s Pond area, exit the bus at Blue Hill River Road. Cross the road and walk one mile east on Hillside Street. For directions to other areas of the reservation, please call (617) 698-1802.
Please call JBL Bus line’s at (781) 843-4505 for schedule and fee information. No Sunday service.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
In an emergency, please call 911.
For all other issues, please call the Blue Hills Reservation at
(617) 698-1802 or the 24-hour radio dispatch at (617) 722-1188.