The Blue Hills has been part of Annemarie’s life for decades. Now she supports it year round as a Blue Hills Champion!
Interview by Michael Morgan
Needham resident and Blue Hills Champion Annemarie Rom Weisman has a busy life, with a full-time job and workouts with a neighborhood exercise club. But the Blue Hills has been part of her life for decades and she made her first visit and climb there more than 30 years ago.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Blue Hills?
I do weight training and exercise with a group in Needham. We also have outdoor adventures and three or four times a year we climb the Blue Hills and go to the Eliot Tower. In January we celebrate the New Year with a climb and visit at sunrise. It’s a very popular activity. The first time I did the January climb, I thought it would be kind of a solitary activity, but it was more of a cocktail party atmosphere. There had to be 25 people there then, because you can see a clear view of the ocean and so much activity. But I also like to go by myself to enjoy the stillness.
When you think of the Blue Hills, which memory stands out?
The sunrise hikes. They are such a popular activity for 5:30 in the morning and I’m not usually that much of a morning person.
When did you first hear about the Blue Hills?
I’m from New York and moved here in 1987 to work for the Digital Equipment Corp. So, I first heard about them in the late 1980s – and that’s when I first went up to the Eliot Tower. We moved to California later but came back to the area in 2000. I brought the kids (one girl, two boys) to the Blue Hills in 2003. We did the Red Dot Trail then. It was a good route for them, not too steep and we did it about 45 minutes. The kids liked the rocks on the trail and also the tower.
How did you first hear of the Friends of Blue Hills?
Probably from a visit and seeing one of the bulletin boards at Houghton’s Pond mentioning a Friends’ activity. But I really got interested from an Instagram feed. I’m interested in protecting and advancing the parks, the upkeep and the advocacy…Keeping an eye on encroachment and does these things.
Would you talk about the activities you enjoy in the Blue Hills?
I’ve done cross country skiing there. I’ve done the hikes. I used to do a lot of hiking there when I worked part time but now I work full time. I’ve gone on the Red Dot Trail, the Ponkapoag Trail. I went on the Bog Trail, which is go great, just get away by myself in nature. And, of course, the sunrise hikes with Koko Fitness. I’ve had an ambition to do the Skyline Trail and, eventually, I’d like to be involved in removing invasive species from the hills and maybe trail maintenance.
If someone goes to the Blue Hills for the first time ever, what is the first thing they might think of, or what might you suggest to them?
I’d tell them to do the Red Dot trail and take the hill up to the tower. It’s a pretty decent elevation and it’s a nice bonus when you get up there and look at the Boston skyline. In fact, I’ve told people that; it’s a great gateway.