Comprising over 600 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and hilly terrain, Breakheart Reservation has expansive views that reach south to Boston, north to New Hampshire, and east to the Atlantic Ocean. What began as a parcel of common land awarded to new settlers arriving in Saugus in the early 1700s is today considered a gem in the Massachusetts state park system. In the 1890s, businessman Benjamin Johnson and two friends bought the land to create a private hunting retreat called Breakheart Hill Forest. The tranquil forest was catapulted into the limelight in 1900 when their caretaker was brutally murdered. Three decades later, Johnson and his partners sold the land to the state. It became a camp for the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps and was later transformed into a recreational area.