Saugus, Mass – Continuing our series of pandemic field trips to destinations within a 30-minute drive of our house, we went hiking at Breakheart Reservation, another Massachusetts state park that I did not know existed. At 652 acres, Breakheart is significantly smaller than Harold Parker State Forest and Blue Hills Reservation. But it still contains two lakes and miles of hiking trails.
The main thoroughfare at Breakheart Reservation is a paved, two-mile loop, which connects both park entrances and the main swimming beach. The well-maintained path sees plenty of foot traffic, including strollers, tricycles, runners, dogs, etc. Many people were not wearing face masks, despite the signs stating it’s required to do so.
But there are many other trails that are more woodsy and less trafficked, and this where we were headed. As soon as we turned off onto the Ridge Trail, the crowds disappeared. In fact, we didn’t see a single other person on this woodsy route. We intended to connect to the Saugus River Trail and make a loop back to the parking area, but we lost the trail somewhere along the way.
Finally, by mistake, we ended up at Silver Lake, a lovely spot for fishers and picnickers. A few brave souls were even swimming on this hot spring day (although this is supposedly not allowed). It was tempting to linger. But by this time we had been hiking for several hours, and our picnic was long gone. So we made our way home.
I will definitely keep Breakheart Reservation on the radar for a future visit, though, especially since there is a swimming beach at Pearce Lake (also on site). So we’ll be back!