Came here while in college at Brandeis University with my field Biology class. We explored all over the bog looking for interesting species of plants and animals and found so many amazing things. This is an amazing site to take anyone who is adventurous and loves to explore. It also doesn't hurt that it's so close to Boston. I agree with all the other reviewers and definitely suggest checking this site out.
The guy above me gave you most of the skinny, so I can keep this short and sweet. This campsite is superlatively convenient if you live in the Boston area, especially so if you’re like me and you’re one of those “Boston kids who don’t cross the bridge,” both proverbial and otherwise. The area around Ponkapog is beautiful, showcasing a wetland climate that, while common, is an integral part of the Massachusetts ecosystem that many people don’t even realize is within a stones throw. Why spend a summer weekend baking like a sausage next to a big of townies when you can chill in the bog with bogey-bogmen?
serviceable and cheap campground with limited amenities
some natural peace and quite close to the city
lots of good berry picking and trails
not far from the blue hills
good family fun
Great People, Great Times.
Ponky is a hidden jem! Minutes from Boston, feels Miles away. Love the cabins! Spending Friday & Saturday in one of the cabins (w/woodstove) is deal for a winter weekend adventure!
I found this campground in a totally roundabout way, while searching for lodging during a field trip to Plimouth Plantation. After discovering it, I decided that we HAD to plan a trip here sometime soon.
Ponkapoag Camp is run by the AMC. The camp is on a beautiful piece of wooded land surrounding a large pond/lake. There are about 25 rustic cabins, and a few tent sites dispersed throughout the camping area. There is a year round caretaker there to help folks check in, and she also sells firewood. Reservations are by mail only, although you can call the caretaker to confirm availability.
Before I continue my review, it is important to note: THERE IS NO ELECTRICITY OR RUNNING WATER.
We brought all our water from home, and it worked well. Make sure you bring campsuds or other eco-friendly soap since the toilets are just outhouses without running water much of the year.
Each cabin has between 2-6 beds. The mattresses in our large cabin were brand new dorm style mattresses, which were slippery but comfortable. The cabins have assorted dressers and shelves for storage, and a table for dining on those bad weather days. The floors are wooden. Many cabins have wood stoves, which is great for the cooler parts of the year. We were there Memorial Day weekend, and needed the stove when it dipped to 40 degrees. Outside of the cabin is a pedestal grill, and a picnic table. My children found trees close by to hang their hammocks.
Upon departure from the camp, you are required to sweep and tidy up the cabin.
Hiking trails abound on the property. While none of the trails are steep, they all go through beautiful ares, with views of the pond, and interesting rock formations. Blue Hill is within hiking distance, and it is a favorite spot for seeing the sunrise. Apparently you can see all the way to Boston!
The pond itself is a wonderful place for kayaking and canoeing. There are several rocky boulders poking out of the water that make fun spots to discover. The sunsets over the pond are spectacular to watch from the dock.
Getting there: The driveway to the camp is totally unmarked. It is a gate studded with two american flags. When you confirm your reservation (by mail), the caretaker will give you the access code for the gate. We enjoyed being somewhere that was so close to people, but felt so remote and had no traffic.
Downsides: One of the nights we stayed, the flight path to Logan International Airport was right over the campground. We all slept fine, but it was distracting. Thankfully, they change the flight path every night, so it should not happen every night!
WILD ZORA FOOD review:
As a Ranger with The Dyrt, I was given the opportunity to test out food from Wild Zora Foods. https://wildzora.com.
This is a premade meal company, focusing on Paleo and Primal recipes. We tried out a sampler pack of their meat bars, and then two meal-in-a-bag freeze dried entrees. We ended up eating several meat bars while making the trip to the campground, since we were stuck in traffic and everyone was hungry. Our 5 children helped do the sampling. Out of the six flavors (Parmesan Beef, BBQ beef, Mediterranean Lamb, Curry Turkey, Chili Beef, and Taco Pork), our favorites were Parmesan Beef ad Mediterranean Lamb. The other flavors seemed a bit too sweet for our liking. However, the bars were a great substitute for junk food when everyone is hungry. Everyone enjoyed eating them. I liked that they used food such as dates and dried apricots as sweeteners. My children all wanted more. I'd say that one bar would be a good snack for an adult.
We also cooked up a batch of a berry breakfast cacao bowl, and their Chicken Caldera Curry. Both meals were super convenient in their pouches that could be cooked and eaten in. We just poured boiling water in, and let them sit. The Caldera Chicken Curry was well seasoned, and very meaty. I was impressed by how filling it was without needing any rice. The texture was a bit chalky, but overall, it was a great option for a Paleo freeze-dried meal. The berry breakfast meal was less satisfying--but it tasted very fresh, and not overly sweet.
It was fun to test these foods out. When camping with kids, it is often hard to have time to cook a camp meal each night, so having quick options can really make a trip go more smoothly. I recommend checking out Wild Zora if you are interested in a preservative free, high protein freeze dried meal option.