AMC Ponkapoag Camp in Randolph A Year-round Hidden Gem – CBS Boston

RANDOLPH (CBS) – There’s a year-round campground just outside of Boston that’s a hidden gem, even 100 years old.

Its Appalachian Mountain Club’s Ponkapoag Camp in Randolph.

“People don’t realize what’s going on here. Before arriving, I didn’t realize there was anything here,” camp president Dennis Maher told WBZ-TV.

What’s here are twenty rustic cabins, quietly tucked away in the Green Hills Reserve, dotting the shores of Ponkapoag Pond. No electricity, no running water, just a few houses out.

“You have to bring your own water and food and cook with a small propane stove, so it’s ‘making it crude.’ I think going back to that life gives you more exposure to the outdoors,” Maher said.

Maher has volunteered at the camp for the past 30 years and knows the cabins inside and out. Each is named after the family that built it. Cabins have beds but no beds and those with wood-burning stoves can be rented year-round.

“The idea of ​​using a wood stove, having an evening in the cabin reading a book is always fun,” says Maher.

Back in the 1920s, the Appalachian Mountains Club was looking to build a camp within commuting distance of Boston where they could practice canoeing, fishing, and snowshoeing.

Just 13 miles from downtown Boston, with 230 acres of waterfront, they settled on Ponkapoag Pond.

“They saw the hillside and noticed that the wind from the pond was blowing up here and cooling this hilltop in the summer, so that’s how it started,” explains Maher.

Campers can stay in the original 1920s chestnut cabins listed on National Register of Historic Places. And there’s no shortage of winter activities at Ponkapoag, from hiking trails, to wildlife and pond skating.

“There is something they call ‘Ponk Magic.’ They’re here for a week and by the weekend they’re running around in the woods, getting dirty, playing ‘catch,’ ‘hide and seek,’ and swimming in the pond and they don’t want to leave,” Maher said. “It’s a bit of paradise right here in Randolph.”

Camp Ponkapoag is entirely voluntary. Instructions on how to book the cabin can be found here. AMC Ponkapoag Camp in Randolph A Year-round Hidden Gem – CBS Boston

Dustin Huang

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