Blue Hills Reservation
Houghton Pond – Tucker Hill Loop
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Starts at 11am @ Houghton’s Pond Parking Area
OVERVIEW: Cub Scout Pack 313 will have a Pack Hike in the Blue Hills Reservation starting at Houghton’s Pond parking area at 11am on Saturday, January 20, 2018. The hike will start at the information boards in front of the restrooms at the Houghton’s Pond parking area and consist of hiking to around Houghton Pond, followed by taking the Dark Hollow and Tucker Hill Paths around Tucker Hill. The planned path is shown in Figure 1. The hike is ~3 1⁄2 miles in total length with about 170 ft in elevation gain. The terrain for the hike is relatively level, with some minor inclines.
The planned route can be shortened to accommodate Scouts and parents that do not want to hike several hours. We estimate your Scout will hike at ~1 mile per hour, so the entire hike will be about 4 1⁄2 hours (3 hours hiking, 1 hour for breaks). While we will take snack and water breaks during the hike, we recommend you and your Scout eat an early lunch/late breakfast prior to the hike.
The Houghton’s Pond parking area is located within the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, MA. Google Maps lists the address of the parking area as 840 Hillside St, Milton, MA 02186. From Route 93, take Exit 3 (Houghton’s Pond, Ponkapoag Trail exit) from I-93. Follow the signs to Houghton’s Pond. The trip is approximately 26 miles (~30 minutes) from Arlington by car.
CUB SCOUT ADVENTURES:
This hike will assist your Scout in the following Cub Scout Adventures:
- Tiger: Tigers in the Wild, My Tiger Jungle
- Wolf: Paws on the Path
- Bear: Fur, Feathers, and Ferns
- Webelos: Webelos Walkabout
- Arrow of Light: Outdoorsman Option B
Please consult the relevant Cub Scout Handbooks for the requirements of these adventures that you can do with your Scout on this hike. Prior to the start of the hike, the Hike Leader will review the Cub Scout Essentials, the Outdoor Code, and Leave No Trace for Kids as well as talk about various activities that Scouts can accomplish on the hike. A hiking booklet, detailing these items as well as providing a guide to animal tracks and tree leaf identification guide, will be provided to each Scout.
It is recommended that you and your Cub Scout bring the six (6) Cub Scout Essentials for hiking. These essentials are (1) a first aid kit, (2) flashlight, (3) water, (4) trail food, (5) sun protection, and (6) a whistle. The Hike Leader will carry these items on the hike and will have several maps of the Blue Hills Reservation. However, it is recommended you bring your own map and compass. A free hiking trails map of the Blue Hills Reservation can be downloaded at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) website at http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/parks/trails/blue-hills-trail-map- 2016.pdf. DCR Maps can also be purchased at the Blue Hills Reservation Headquarters, a short distance up the road from the Houghton Pond parking lot.
The Hike Leader will have water and limited snacks for Scouts at the start of the hike. However, it is recommended you bring adequate food and water for you and your Scout. The weather will be typical for early winter in New England and the trails in the Blue Hills Reservation can be rocky with tree roots. If snow and/or ice exist on the trails, you may want additional traction for your feet, such as microspikes. Hiking poles also may be helpful in snow/icy conditions. Please dress you and your Scout appropriately for the weather conditions, keeping in mind that you and your Scout will be walking on cold snow/ice/ground for several hours. Bringing an insulated sit pad (such as a Thermarest Z seat) is also recommended for the rest breaks.
The hike will be led by Ed Hajduk, the Den 5 (Bear) Leader. Please contact Ed at 781-462-8971 or at email@example.com with any questions. Ed will happily text or email KML and GPX files of the planned hike and the DCR Blue Hills trail map as a PDF file to anyone who would like this information. Should the hike be cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions, an email will be sent to the Pack as soon as possible.