Saturday, April 4, 2009

Blue Hills Skyline Trail

Saturday, March 28th I hiked across the Blue Hills Reservation via the Skyline Trail. My sweetheart, Beth, along with Skippy Bones, our Toy Fox Terrier, & a couple other friends decided to take advantage of the proposed nicest day of the weekend, at least according to the forecast. Wouldn't ya know it, the meteorologists were right on; Saturday was a great day for hiking, sunny & in the 50s, and Sunday was a little cooler and rained most of the day. The hike was filled with good climbs, great views & lots of interaction with other people out for a day hike. Skippy also met some new buddies along the trail. 


Since the Skyline Trail isn't a loop but in a linear direction, we took two cars. The first car, being the destination car, was parked at the Shea Ice Skating Rink in Quincy. The four of us then drove to Canton and parked in a lot off of Rte. 138.  Looking at the map above, about 1 1/2 inches from the left side, the western section, there's a small green dot. That was our starting point. On the far east (right side) of the reservation is a red dot, our ending position. From one end to the other of the Skyline Trail is about 9 miles, though we skipped a small portion to the west of Rte. 138, our starting point, which accounts for another mile or so. So all in all, we hiked about 8 miles that day. Good time!

If you've never hiked any part of Blue Hills before, & you live within an hour's drive, you should check it out. On the last mile or so of our trip, we came across some rock climbers on Rattlesnake Hill. Each year, the Boston Chapter of the AMC hosts The Beginner Rock Climbing Program. They happened to be there that same day, so we stopped for a few minutes & watched. I've never done any climbing, but am seriously interested in doing it. Maybe this time next year Beth & I will set aside the time to do it.

This hill was the last good climb on the day, with the back side being a good cool down period, as we moved through the St. Moritz Ponds area. Somewhere near Rattlesnake Hill a few years back, Skippy & I came across a couple Timber Rattlesnakes that were mating. That was awesome! The month was August and, from what I've read, is the time when they do mate. Skip had scared them off into a bush just as I was about to snap off a couple great pics. But I moved slowly, further into the bushes and still managed to get some fairly nice pics of the 2 snakes. One was very dark, maybe even black colored, and about 4 feet long. The other was smaller, 2 1/2 - 3 feet in length, and tan & yellow. Timber Rattlers come in a wide range of colors, and along with the Copperhead, are the only poisonous snakes found in Massachusetts.

Check out these other links for Blue Hills info, as well as some regarding Timber Rattlesnakes & Copperheads.

~The Pilgrim.