Saugus, Massachusetts: Breakheart Reservation

Breakheart Reservation
177 Forest Street
Saugus, Massachusetts
Telephone: (781) 233-0834

When you happen upon an area formed by glaciers, odds are you’ll find plenty of enormous boulders perfect for clambering up and over and standing atop to play king of the mountain. Called “erratics,” these remnants of the ice age abound at Breakheart Reservation, a 700-acre park that is perhaps the most diverse nature area in metropolitan Boston. The forest – oak, pine, hickory, blueberry bushes – provides shelter and food for wildlife that includes coyotes and fisher cats, hawks and the great blue heron, and countless chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits. Bass, pickerel, painted and snapping turtles live in the two lakes, and meandering creeks offer relief for dusty paws. It all adds up to miles and miles of glorious sniffing opportunities for your favorite pooch! (And activities for their human counterparts that range from bird-watching and fishing to cross-country skiing, cycling, and hiking.)

I learned about Breakheart Reservation in the Dog Fun Directory. Read my Editor’s blog about this excellent online resource!

About a mile down the main loop trail is the Bark Place, a fenced-in, leash-free area, but on the two occasions Brontë and I have visited, every dog we met (even Daisy, the 17-year-old terrier mix pictured here) was busy trotting along the trails instead, their people in tow. And although going off-leash is strictly verboten, I suspect many furry four-paws were indeed running free up in the remote wild spots of the reservation. Let’s just hope their people brought along “poop bags” from one of the handy dispensers! Having discovered Breakheart in mid-winter (it was a breezy 17 degrees the first afternoon), I look forward to visiting on warmer days – when The Boy can enjoy one of the playgrounds while Brontë takes a nice, long hike, and then we all grill some hamburgers in the picnic area. (February 2009)

Breakheart Reservation Saugus, Massachusetts