Houghton's Pond Recreation Area
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.

Maps and Brochures

Trail Map and Guide pdf format of Blue Hills Trail Map & Guide
file size 3MB

Houghton's Pond Brochure & Map  pdf format of Houghton's Pond Brochure & Map

Blue Hills Mountain Bike Map and Brochure  pdf format of Blue Hills Mountain Bike Map and Brochure
file size 1MB

Great Blue Hill Self-Guided Trail  pdf format of Great Blue Hill Self-Guided Trail

Ranger Tom's Suggested Hikes  pdf format of Ranger Tom's Suggested Hikes

Ranger Tim's Cross-Country Ski Routes  pdf format of Ranger Tim's Cross-Country Ski Routes
file size 1MB

Healthy Trail logo green heart with saying "Healthy Trail" written around it

Park Directions

By car: From Route 93, take exit 3 (Houghton's Pond, Ponkapoag Trail exit) from Rte. 93. 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.

Rules and Regulations

For 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 302.CMR.1200 pdf format of 302 CMR 12.00 Parks and Recreation Rules

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 (508) 820-1428. 

Recreational Opportunities

Educational Interpretive Opportunities

  • Educational Programs

Swimming Area Information

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.

Picnic Site Information

Groups less than 25
Picnic sites 1 and 2 are available for families and small groups of less 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 use.

·Groups of 25 or more
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 $50.

To reserve a picnic site, please send a letter with: name, address, cell phone number, contact person, date of event, arrival and departure times, number of adults and children.

The request can be mailed to: DCR, 695 Hillside St., Milton, MA 02186 or emailed to: Theresa.Whitten@state.ma.us or call 617-698-1802 x 210.

Ball Field Information

To reserve a ball field, 617-727-1199 x403 or visit   Athletic Fields & Facilities

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.