Eaton’s Pond is a conservation area located in the town of Braintree right on the Quincy line.
At 60 acres 20 of which are the pond itself you might conclude that there are not a lot of trails here. And you’d be right. Including neighborhood trails that lead into and out of the conservation parcel there a bit over 5 miles of trails. But, the trails are awesome.
The town of Braintree had this small conservation parcel that was little used by town residents for recreation. The reason, it was a teenage party site, lots of people had dumped trash there and there was an encampment of homeless people living in the woods. In other words, most people wouldn’t go there.
In 2012 the town reached out to the SE MASS chapter of NEMBA asking them if this might be a good place to ride. Their thinking, get some recreationalists out on the trails and it might drive out the unwanted activities.
NEMBA decided that with a lot of work that, the existing trail network could be improved and enhanced, that some old trails could be re-opened and that the litter could be removed.
Over the next winter, you might remember “the winter that never happened”, SE MASS NEMBA worked hard. Building bridges, clearing trails, picking up litter and broken glass and the result? A really great small trail system.
While a few trails are easy even OK for baby strollers, a few are technical and quite challenging. Most of the trails though are pretty smooth with very few roots, rocks or logs. Exeptions being the trail along the pond to the dam and the trail above the old quarry. Those and a few steep hills are the most difficult parts of riding there.
Since 2013 many more small enhancements have been made and the results have been quite favorable to the town. Now many residents, including seniors are comfortable hiking and fishing there. The local neighborhood association does morning walks there and you'll see kids on BMX bikes there almost every day. Dog walkers abound on the trails.
The one problem with these trails is thorns. You'll find lots of them, especially on the lesser used trails. Locals have been known to head out with lawnmowers to clear them, but be wary.
While 5+ miles of trails may not seem like a lot, located right in the center of an urban area they are a gem.
The best place to park for non-locals is in Quincy, at 58 Bower Road across the street from the Adams Heights Men’s Club at the South end of the parking lot. Across the railroad tracks you’ll see Eaton Pond and the trails start about 100 feet down on your right.
Who’d have thought that less than a quarter mile from a Walmart and the biggest car dealership on the South Shore that there’d be such great riding?