We all have so many memories of the Blue Hills. Here are just a few. As part of our 35 year celebration, we’d love to hear yours!
David Murphy (Milton)
I remember my 88 year old Dad telling me how he walked miles to get to the Blue Hills, then hiked, skied and rode his bike up and down them, before the trails were made.
I remember being in grammar school in Boston and the most exciting day of the year was going to Trailside Museum and seeing real animals up close.
I remember being in college in Cambridge and learning to ski at the Blue Hills.
I remember being in love and hanging out together at the Blue Hills.
I remember bringing my three sons to the Blue Hills and sharing all of those happy memories.
Now I hike the Hills, sometimes alone, sometimes together, I pray in my church which is named after the Hills, and I think of a retirement which will include more time than ever in the woods, and it starts to dawn on me how lucky I am, and that some of the best things in life are free and at our doorstep.
Rev. Sheldon W. Bennett (Quincy)
Ever since moving to Quincy 27 years ago, I have been in love with the Blue Hills and hiking its varied trails. It is my favorite place, and it’s right here! – 7000 acres, and so rich in ecological diversity.
Walking its woodland paths for me is meditation, savoring the quiet beauty, observing the changing seasons, delighting in the sounds of swollen brooks, songs of birds, or the chorus of peepers signaling spring, or contemplating distant vistas from a hilltop or the lazy soaring of a hawk.
I treasure those times with family and friends when our walks together lead to easy conversation, and sometimes important talks about deeper things. Our adult daughters when visiting often ask, “Can we go for a hike in the Blue Hills?”
My thoughts often turn to this special place, and I think of John Adams when he wrote to Abigail from Europe, “My dear blue Hills, ye are the most sublime object in my Imagination.”
Ever since we moved to this area 15 years ago we started bringing our grandchildren to this natural untouched place. We would begin with the Trailside Museum, watch the wildlife and hear stories of how they live. Then when old enough we would begin the walk around the pond and enjoy each area of the trail sometimes seeing other families enjoying the day or lolling by the water.
Now that they are teens this is still part of our weekly walk to visit, smile at the beauty of it all, hear the sounds of various birds and walk around the pond. It is a treasure for everyone that is our natural surroundings, hopefully to have for future generations.
John Kearney (Needham)
I have so many great memories of the Blue Hills (learning to ski on Big Blue, running cross-country races for Milton High at our home course at Houghton’s Pond.) But my favorite memory has to be my earliest, which was when the Milton Park Department’s summer program took us on a field trip to the Blue Hills for blueberry picking, but all of us lost every last blueberry from our baskets because we ended our visit by running straight down (and eventually tumbling down) the Big Blue ski trail!
Joseph Falconeiri (Boston)
I will never forget one of the many days I was trail running in the Blue Hills. I was on the Bouncing Brook Path and suddenly I came to a halting stop. There in front of me was sitting in the middle of the trail, straight as an arrow, a 6.5′ Black Racer snake! This was the largest and longest Black Racer I had seen in all my years! He was taking advantage of a mosaic ray of sun that had made its way to the ground through the thick canopy above. For 5 minutes I stood completely still and marveled at his enormous size. I could not believe my eyes. Suddenly, the magnificent serpent sped off the trail into the forest and I watched as he effortlessly made his way over the thick underbrush and rocky terrain like a magician walking on water. For as long as I live, I will never forget that moment
Charlie, OFD (Now lives in Randolph)
I love the Blue Hills, My Grandmother owned a home on Hillside Street long before I came along, but I have gone by it many times. I fondly remember my Mom talking about picking blueberries and seeing snakes when she was growing up in Milton. (I love snakes and all animals especially our Rattlers and Copperheads.) I recall my older sister taking me to Houghton’s Pond to swim and enjoy the area. I moved to Randolph in ’75 and always, always turned off the expressway to return home decompressing in the beauty and solitude of the Blue Hills. I was a frequent visitor to the Trailside Museum and wondrous animal exhibits. We always took our children to visit and take hikes to the summit of Big Blue and explore the beauty of nature. Since I retired I have tried to go on as many hikes/walks as possible on weekends in the Blue Hills as well as some of the other wondrous places preserved by prescient leaders. Persistence? I would go a lot further to advocate for this treasure!
Photo credit: Len Carroll (Quincy) “Winter Morning Walk”