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Buck Hill Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Loop through the heart of Blue Hills to rack up around 600 feet of elevation gain/loss with rewarding views of the city.


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Map Key

5.3

Miles

8.6

KM

Loop

465' 142 m

High

172' 53 m

Low

583' 178 m

Up

583' 178 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

With so many trails in the area, it's easy to shorten or lengthen this loop hike for any ability or time. As a complete tour, though, this hits many of the best hills around Houghton Pond for a great workout or day hike adventure. In total, this loop hits five of the main hills starting with Breeze Hill, Burnt Hill, Buck Hill, Boyce Hill, and Tucker Hill.

The view from Buck Hill is an amazing reward and a neat way to see the Boston skyline. A great reminder of how close you can still be to the city while feeling like you're in the wild.

Need to Know

Numerous parking areas on all sides of this loop to make access even easier. Open to bikes and horses, with some exceptions like the Skyline Trail.

Description

This lollipop-style loop starts from one of the main parking areas at the Houghton Pond Visitor's Center. Here you'll find more information, a concession stand, and restroom. Follow the Green Dot - Breeze Hill trail east toward marker 2053 and then take a left (north) to begin the first climb up Breeze Hill. Look for the first right onto Bugbee Path marked by green dots and white triangles.

From here, continue east toward Burnt Hill leaving the green dots at marker 2096, but staying with the white triangles toward marker 2111 and then 2129. Here, turn right for an extra little loop to link up with Beech Hollow Path (you can also continue straight to marker 2135 and bypass this little loop).

As you near Randolph Avenue on the Oblique Path and Forest Path Connector, you'll begin heading to the left (north) to start the climb up toward the Skyline Trail and then the highlight of the loop: Buck Hill. This half-mile section is the longest climb but the summit of Buck Hill is worth the effort.

From there, continue back west, heading downhill toward Boyce Hill on the Forest Path. Use the Dark Hollow to Deer Hollow Connector to get over to Tucker Hill for the last major climb of the loop on the Skyline Trail. From here, continue heading south back toward Breeze Hill and Houghton Pond to complete the loop.

History & Background

The Civilian Conservation Corps did extensive work in Blue Hills Reservation between 1933 and 1937, adding trails, masonry, and the camp east of Randolph Avenue.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#2818

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#25

in Massachusetts

#2,818

Overall
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2,377 Since Oct 15, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

hiking up Buck Hill on the Skyline Trail
May 7, 2016 near Milton, MA
20140406-DSC_0009
Oct 14, 2019 near Milton, MA

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Mar 27, 2021
Shea Mizuno
1h 48m
Jan 18, 2021
Cedric Mendes
Jul 3, 2020
Sara Janjua
Feb 16, 2020
J J
Jan 18, 2020
Jamie Marshall
Dec 7, 2019
Tomo Tarui
May 12, 2019
Anne-Isabelle Jungels