My wife and I took an early spring hike last year in the Blue Hills Reservation, a large nature preserve just 15 minutes south of Boston. Quite unexpectedly, we came across 20 cabins spread along the banks of the 230-acre Ponkapoag Pond. It turns out that the Appalachian Mountain Club rents these out to families and groups at a very modest weekly or weekend rate.
The cabins are open year round and ideal for family adventures close to the city. Rental rates are surprisingly low during summer at $140-$200/week, and $40-$60 dollars per weekend during the off-season.
The facilities are primitive but are a spectacular overnight destination for children and an incredibly convenient one for harried parents. I find it incredible that such a hidden treasure exists just minutes from downtown Boston.
The accommodations include:
- 20 cabins (sleep four to six).
- Bunks with mattresses (bring sleeping bag).
- Wood stove (bring firewood).
- No electricity.
- No running water off-season.
- Limited tentsites in summer.
- Activities: Hiking, paddling, swimming, skiing, camping.
Reservations are taken by mail only. For more information call, contact Paul and Trisha Minton (caretakers) at 781-961-7007, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., or write Trisha Minton, AMC Ponkapoag Camp, P.O. Box 582, Randolph, MA 02368.
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