Blue Hills Reservation

Blue Hills Reservation
695 Hillside Street
617-698-1802

The Blue Hills were so named by early European explorers who, while sailing along the coastline, noticed the bluish hue on the slopes when viewed from a distance. More than ten thousand years before those Europeans arrived, Native Americans made their home in the hills. The Natives referred to themselves as Massachusett, or "people of the great hills". Eventually the Europeans began settling in this region. The colonists built houses and barns, cleared fields for crops and livestock and logged the hillsides for lumber.

In 1893, the Metropolitan Parks Commission purchased the lands of Blue Hills Reservation as one of the first areas set aside for public recreation. Today, the reservation is rich in both archaeological and historic resources. Sixteen historic structures listed on the National Register tell the fascinating tales of Native Americans, explorers, farmers, quarry workers and inventors. Additionally the Blue Hills Weather Observatory, a National Historic Landmark, sits atop Great Blue Hill, as a crowning feature.

The living treasures of the Blue Hills include flora, fauna and natural phenomena - from coyotes to copperheads, dogwoods to lady's slippers, and turkey vultures to dragonflies. Trails traverse upland and bottomland forests, marsh, swamp and pond edges, meadows and an Atlantic white cedar bog. A great variety of plant and animal life thrive in the diverse habitats, including several rare and endangered species in Massachusetts, such as the timber rattlesnake.

Activities

Hiking and walking
Explore hiking trails that will take you up rocky summits, through forests and meadows, and along scenic waterways.

Mountain biking
Blue Hills Reservation has a huge network of wide carriage roads and rolling rocky trails that are perfect for all levels of mountain biking.

Swimming
Visit scenic Houghton's Pond Recreation Area for a fun day of swimming, fishing, or a family picnic.

Skiing
Cross-country ski on park trails if snowfall allows or head to the Blue Hills Ski Area for downhill skiing. The season generally runs from mid-December to mid-March

All Activities at Blue Hills Reservation
Hiking
Mountain biking
Horseback riding
Camping
Swimming
Boating (non-motorized)
Canoeing and kayaking
Golfing
Cross-country skiing
Downhill skiing
Rock climbing

Facilities at Blue Hills Reservation
Athletic fields
Educational programs
Grills
Historic sites
Lifeguard
Museum
Observatory
Pavilion
Picnic areas
Restrooms
Science center
Visitor center


Photos