Breakheart Reservation

photo of Breakheart Reservation
177 Forest Street
Saugus, MA 01906

The name “breakheart” can be traced back to the Civil War era, when soldiers training at this isolated location found it so lonely, it broke their hearts. The state of Massachusetts acquired this land during the Great Depression as a camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Breakheart Reservation consists of 640 acres of hardwood forest, with numerous hills, the highest measuring over 200 feet high. The reservation offers views of Boston, central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. An extensive trail system through the woodlands guides visitors to various areas of the reservation, which also contains two freshwater lakes which attract fishermen and swimmers alike as Fishing in Silver and Pearce Lakes, hiking the trails and birdwatching by the Saugus River are popular year-round activities. The supervised swimming area at Pearce Lake, one of the few fresh- water swimming spots north of Boston, draws crowds in the summer. In addition to its natural resources, the reservation has a rich cultural history and Park Rangers conduct year-round programs that interpret the plant and animal life as well as the reservation’s past.


Open year round, from dawn to dusk



Driving Directions: 

From north or south: Take Rte. 1 to Lynn Fells Parkway exit, follow Lynn Fells Parkway a short distance, take a right onto Forest Street. Park entrance is after Kasabuski Rink.

Site Notes & Advisories: 

For a trail map visit Biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and swimming.


  • Family Friendly
  • Parking
  • Restroom


  • Birding
  • Camping
  • Swimming & Boating
  • Historic Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Scenic Vistas

Property Owner/Organization: 

Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation
Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Rail Trail
Rail Trail Trailhead