Using the Walking Loop
as the main path, this hike heads into "The Wilderness" for some additional wooded exploration as well as a rewarding view from the Schoolmaster Hill Trail
. These paths and trails can be traveled in any direction.
From the main parking area by the William J. Devine Golf Course, start out heading south on the paved Walking Loop
parallel to Blue Hill Ave. After a couple hundred yards or so, continue through the playground and picnic area as the path heads west/southwest around the golf course.
At the first intersection, head right (east) toward and around Scarboro Pond. Continue north along the paved path past the tennis courts and baseball field to Circuit Drive and the 99 Steps/Ellicott Arch. Here, you'll enter "The Wilderness" area on one of the many paths through the area. Keep an eye on the Hiking Project mobile app
as you generally make your way to the northwest. When in doubt, turn right and you'll hit Circuit Drive/Jewish War Veteran's Drive, where the Walking Loop
continues and accesses the Schoolmaster Hill Trail
The Schoolmaster Hill Trail
loop provides one of the best viewpoints in the area. The name honors Ralph Waldo Emerson who was a teacher in nearby Roxbury in the 1820s.
After taking in the views, continue back to the Walking Loop
and finish the remaining three-quarters of a mile back to the golf course parking area.
Native oak forest.
Franklin Park was established in 1885, 27 years before the zoo in 1912, as the largest of the parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. It's said that the name of the park is due to the park commissioners initially hoping that the money needed to create the park would come from Benjamin Franklin's trust fund.