Ponkapoag Pond Walking Trail
Last weekend I bravely decided to go for a winter hike in the cold January weather in the hills of the greater Boston area. Blue Hills Reservation is a great spot that offers numerous trails of all different lengths and skill levels (if you’ve read any of my other post you know I’m quite fond of the spot). On saturday, in the low 20° New England weather I thought I’d try a trail that was a little more flat since the ground was so frozen. So, me, my trusty side-kick Erin, and my camera embarked on a small winter quest. Ponkapoag Pond is located on the southern part of the reservation just south of RT 95 and is on a dead end street right off the highway, so you can’t miss it. The first part of the trail in a 1/4 mile path that is fitted for vehicles and is actually just an access road to YMCA center and subsequently the trail itself. The trail is 4 miles in total, but due to the cold, we only were prepared to do about half of that, which included our trek down the frozen boardwalk and eventually to the pond itself. As we walked along, we passed several groups of people who were cross-country skiing as well as several snowhoers. This would would be a great place to get som exercise and enjoy the outdoors as well. As we ventured down the boardwalk trail, it was easy to see several meters into the brush since there were no leaves, but we weren’t fortunate enough to spot and winter woodland creatures on our journey. We passed serveral clearings along the way that provided great shots of the marshy surroundings, and with the sun in the 2 o’clock spot (or 10 if your facing back) there lights provided great shadows.
At the end of the trail we came to what seemed like a huge clearing, only to realize it was actually the pond and it was frozen solid. There were several people ice-fishing and several more cross-country skiing as well. We figured it had to be safe enough to walk on, so we ventured out on the ice. It was very convienent that the ice was covered in snow, as it made it very easy to walk on.
There is something very peaceful about a frozen pond and the cruching of the snow under your boots. It’s a very relaxing experience, assuming your warm enough to enjoy it. While the glare off the vast snow-covered pond, made it hard to get a good exposure, the visual camera (the one in our head), always takes a perfect shot.
I highly recommend this as a nice way to get outdoors in the winter to remain sane, and given that it only took us 2.5 hours including traveling from Quincy and back its a nice way to spend the afternoon even when its 20° out. Check out more photos from the hike here.