Date Of Visit: August 14, 2016
Location: 177 Forest St, Saugus, MA 781-223-0834
Parking: There are about 30 parking spots at the entrance to the park. There is also off street parking and parking available down the street at Kasabuski Arena (201 Forest St).
Hours: Open everyday sunrise to sunset
Size: 640 acres
Time To Allot For Visit: At least 1 to 3 hours
Trail difficulty: Easy to Moderate in some areas
Dog Friendly: Yes
Fun For One: Yes
Highlights: scenic views – especially from Eagle Rock, beach, play area for children, trails for cycling and running, fishing is allowed
Lowlights: side trails end without warning, some rocky terrain
Trail Map: Breakheart Reservation Trail Map
Website: Breakheart Reservation
Once a hunting ground and camp area for Paleo Indians as far back as the Archaic and Woodland eras (roughly 1000 – 2000 BCE), Breakheart Reservation boasts two grand lakes, scenic vistas, a beach, a play area for children and miles of trails.
The trails are mostly easy with some moderately difficult trails and inclines. The side trails can be challenging more because of the rocky and narrow terrain rather than the inclines. The one downside to taking the side trails is that some of the side trails end without warning, such was the case with the Saugus River Trail which is one of the first side trails you will see when you enter the park. The Cedar Glen Golf Course abuts the park. So, you’ll hear and see golfers whacking their golf balls around. Also, one side trail leads to the children’s camping site which you’re not supposed to access and yet another trail just ends near a store’s parking lot. So, you end up walking long distances only to have to turn around. If you want to avoid walking on trails that end suddenly, it’s best to stay on the main trail and the trails that loop around the lake.
The two lakes at Breakheart Reservation, Pearce Lake and Silver Lake, have trails that loop around the bodies of water.
Pearce Lake (considered the lower pond) has a beach and some very pretty views. It runs along the main trail and along some of the side trails. It is the larger of the two lakes and it is where the beach is loacted.
Although Lake Pearce is the larger of the two lakes, I found Lake Silver (the upper pond) to be more intriguing than Lake Pearce.
Lake Pearce has two smaller islands in the lake. One of the islands is accessible via a makeshift walking bridge of branches, sticks and anything else that you can walk on to get to the island. Except for some pretty views there wasn’t much on the island.
At an elevation of 206 feet, Eagle Rock offers scenic views of the Boston skyline and surrounding areas. One suggestion I would make if you do try to climb up to Eagle Rock (it’s a moderate climb) is to use the “back” way to the vista (aptly names Eagle Rock Trail). I went straight up along the rocky edge along the Pearce Lake Trail and it was more challenging than it would have been if I had gone up via the trail on Eagle Rock Trail. There are other points of higher elevation on other trails such as Castle Rock and Crow Hill.
There are many other beautiful and interesting things along the trails at Breakheart Reservation.
Breakheart has a paved main trail which is usually packed with runner, cyclists and people walking their dogs, especially at the Bark Place where dogs are allowed off leash for a section of the trail.
Breakheart Reservation stopped allowing vehicles on the trails some time ago. It was great not having to look over your shoulder or carefully turn a corner worrying if a car or other vehicle might be coming your way. It also allows lots of room for all the walkers, runners and, of course, the dogs that frequent the park.
These dogs had a great time at Breakheart Reservation during my visit…
Bailey is a 6 year old Black Mouth Cur
Cooper is a 7 year old Golden Retriever.
Free is an 8 year old Bichon and Shih Tzu mix.
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Below is a video of the view from Eagle Rock.