Rattlesnake Hill, Blue Hills, 4/17/16

Went to the far end of the Blue Hills Reservation  on the Braintree/Quincy side, for the trails that eventually lead to Rattlesnake Hill. Park at Shea Rink on Rt. 37/Willard St, then head in by the trail map.

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The blue Skyline trail traverses the length of the reservation, climbing up and down the summits of the major hills in the reservation – 9 miles. Their map says it’ll take you 4-7 hours!

We followed the Skyline trail on the easy flat between the St. Moritz ponds.

Passed a number of burned out tree trunks – looks like lightning strikes, since some were burned on the inside.

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The trail continues through woods, and climbs up a little to a granite-walled pond – a former quarry? Lots of little fish, plus fat-bellied tadpoles.

Keep climbing up, following the blue blazes. And up. And up. Some of the boulders had been carved and positioned into a rough stair case. Still not an easy hop, skip. Had to toss the hiking stick ahead at points to use both hands to scramble up to the summit.

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On the north side, you can see Boston:

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Then the scramble down – no nice neat stone steps like on the upside. Very steep, lots of 2-handed climbing down.

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does NOT capture how steep this was!

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we were way up there!

 

Once down from the summit, we crossed a little stream. The signpost says 5.25 miles on the Skyline Trail to Great Blue Hill, or 2 miles on the Green dot trail to the St. Moritz ponds.

Took the green dot back to the ponds and the cars. Nice easy grassy trail, crosses the road at one point.  See skunk cabbage unfurled.

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Cross a little boardwalk, and head on home. About 2 hours total, with a little time to share an apple on the summit.

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