In October, Suffield Troop 260 and sister Troop 262 went biking through the Blue Hills Reservation, located minutes from the bustle of downtown Boston. The reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham and Milton to Randolph, providing a green oasis in an urban environment. The weekend was beautiful, and the troop took full advantage of it, leaving camp early in the morning to get a jump on the day. The reserve was already bustling with avid hikers, horseback riders and fellow bicyclists, but with 125 miles of trails, it was never crowded. The Blue Hills literally offers something for everyone, regardless of skill level.
Rising above the horizon, Great Blue Hill reaches a height of 635 feet, the highest of the 22 hills in the Blue Hills chain. For those Scouts brave enough to conquer this rocky summit, they could see over the entire Boston metropolitan area. This trail featured an intense climb to the top followed by a harrowing descent. One Scout’s bike suffered an epic failure, with his derailleur tearing off while ascending. This left him to descend with nothing more than a glorified scooter. Needless to say, A SCOUT IS BRAVE, and he won the day.
The Scouts favoring a more introductory experience enjoyed Houghton’s Pond Loop, as well as Ponkapoag and Ponkagoag West Trails. These trails offered meandering loops around the pond and off into the woods with small climbs and mild technical needs. A few Scouts chose more moderate trails like Little Blue Hill and Fowl Meadow Trails which required more skill and presented steeper pitches along the ride. The longest route was about four miles.
After getting back to camp, the Scouts cooked an outstanding open-fire dinner. The gang was all pretty exhausted from the day’s adventures, and there wasn’t a peep after 9 p.m. Overnight, the rain really came down hard, but there is nothing quite like sleeping dry, listening to the rain patter on your tent or hammock. We cleared out early in the morning and were back in town to relax the rest of the day. What a trip!
In November, the Scouts looked forward to their next adventure, an urban navigation trip to Boston. Troop 260 and 262 offer fun, high adventure activities all year long while teaching important life skills and responsibility.