The Blue Hills is a group of granite hills in the southern suburbs of Boston that offer tons of class 1 and 2 trails, treeless summits, viewing tower, a ski area and weather observatory. The views from many of these hills towards Boston are nothing short of breathtaking. During summer these hills are extremely crowded with locals who just want to spend a half day away from the hustle of Boston. During winter though these hills can be much less crowded offering a chance at solitude rarely seen so close to a major city.
Most of the Blue Hills can be found in the 7000 acre Blue Hill Reservation. Within the Reservation itself lies 22 hills and more than 125 miles of trails. The park itself was founded by Charles Eliot in 1893 as park of the Metropolitan Parks System. There is tower on top of Great Blue Hill that is name after him as well a bridge that links the tower to the observatory (open seasonally to the public).
Among the hills Great Blue Hill stands out as the landmark due to the observatory and Eliot Tower. Both have incredible views of Boston and surrounding areas. However there are plenty of other hills that can't be missed including Hancock Hill, Buck Hill, Tucker Hill, and Chickatawbut Hill. Each has either a view tower, vista, or are partly or completely treeless.
Amond the trails the Skyline Trail is not to be missed. It travels over many of the Blue Hills.
The Summits of the Blue HillsThe following is table of the notable summits in the Blue Hills Reservation.There are others but here are the the most notable ones
| Great Blue Hill || 635 |
| Chickatawbut Hill || 517 |
| Buck Hill || 496 |
| Hancock Hill || 509 |
| Hemmingway Hill || 450 |
| Little Blue Hill || 270 |
| Burnt Hill || 420 |
| Houghton Hill || 400 |
| Rattlesnake Hill || 350 |
VIA THE RESERVATION HEADQUARTERS: From I-93 take Blue Hills River Road North (Exit 3) roughly a half mile to Hillside Street. Make a right on Hillside Street and continue until you reach the Reservation Headquarters (on your left) right by the Massachusetts Police Station. Parking will be on both your left or your right.
VIA THE TRAILSIDE MUSEUM (WESTERN SIDE OF THE PARK): From I-93 take Exit 4, Blue Hills Avenue north past the first set of light. The Trailside Museum Parking Lot is located about a mile and a half north. The ski area parking is located right next to the Trailside Museum.
There are no fees at the park. However the park is only open sunrise to sundown.
When To Climb
These summits can be climbed at any time of year. However if you want any sense of solitude, winter is your best bet. Snowshoes or crampons in winter might be needed if you are going after a major snowstorm.
Camping is prohibited in the Blue Hills Reservation.
Here are a number of different numbers for more information.
Blue Hills Reservation
Blue Hills Trailside Museum (617) 333-0690
Park Number 617-722-1188
Blue Hills TrailWatch (617) 698-1802.
Downtown Boston Shot
A classic shot of Boston from Hancock Hill
Summit Picture Log
Post your summit mugshot here.