Thursday, July 29, 2010
I do a lot of hiking, but not all of it is in the woods. Indeed, I take part in urban walks as well as walks near the ocean that are sometimes pieced together rather haphazardly. One such example of the latter is a walk we did recently in the Hough's Neck section of Quincy that took us through a variety of terrain, including salt marshes, placid beaches, and rugged oceanfront lands, as well as residential areas. We started our walk at Wollaston Beach in Quincy, heading south to the southern end of the beach where we took a left through some attractive, tree-shaded residential streets. We eventually ended up along the main drag that leads to Hough's Neck (Sea Street), crossing the street to a little-used trail that felt almost like a rail trail. This path formed the northern edge of some beautiful salt marshes that are hidden from view to most folks driving through this part of the city. The trail went on for a little under a mile, ending close to the ocean, where we walked north along a scenic beach (see photo) into the heart of Hough's Neck.
From the central area of Hough's Neck (which includes a restaurant called Louis' Crossing), we continued north on a couple of quiet streets, ending up at Nut Island, which is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, though it is not technically an island, but rather a peninsula. The sweeping views from Nut Island include the Boston Skyline as well as many of the islands in Boston Harbor, and we spent a bit of time here having a snack and enjoying the nice weather. Then we took the short way back to Wollaston Beach, along roads on the north side of Hough's Neck that overlook the water.
If you're looking for a remote-feeling hike that goes through the woods or up steep hills, this is not the one for you. But if you enjoy ocean views (and would like to see what salt marshes look like), strolling through the Hough's Neck section of Quincy can certainly be a fun half-day walk.