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Ponkapoag is a part of the massive Blue Hill Reservation area, a 7000 acre of pure tranquillity stretching from Quincy to Dedham and offering a wide range of entertaining activities plus secluded trails that leave you one with nature.
The pond is open to the public from dawn to dusk, year-round and the best part is that there is no entry fee. From Ponkapoag Camp, you can rent cabins near the pond – or, if you are visiting for the day, this is a perfect spot to have your lunch on the picnic tables near the cabins on a boardwalk. Restrooms are available at the golf club which is just a short stroll from the pond.
There are plenty of fantastic activities you can do ranging from swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. If you want to venture beyond the pond, there are lots of walking and hiking trails that are moderate with a few inclines. The highlight of the loop is a boardwalk that branches from the main path and leads through a cedar bog, which provides you with a great opportunity to admire the majestic trees that encircle the pond. The trails weave through astounding woodlands that burst with beautiful colors during fall and autumn, and at some points, there are stunning views of the Great Blue Hill. All the surrounding trails are clearly marked so you can stroll around without the fear of getting lost even (if you’re directionally challenged). Though the trails are labeled with different names, you’ll basically be trekking in a huge circle around the pond.
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The location gets pretty busy in summer with lots of hikers, runners, mountain bikers as well as dogs (and even horses). Most people scramble to find a parking spot near the trailhead (especially in summer) but there is plenty of parking near Houghton pond and at the Ponkapoag Golf Course. There are designated picnic areas along the beach with charcoal grills, where you can do some BBQ-ing. Understandably due to the wetness, there are plenty of mosquitos and biting flies so be sure to bring bug repellent spray. Ponkapoag Pond is a pet-friendly destination but if you’re tagging your fluffy friend with you, note that they have to be leashed.