Suffolk County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: April 29, 2004
Author: Mohamed Ellozy

walking from Brookline to Bellevue Hill

Many thanks to Tramper Al for suggesting this interesting approach to the highpoint of Suffolk County, Massachusetts! I was searching for an approach to this highpoint that would involve a meaningful "urban hike" and was thinking of parking at the southern end of the Stony Brook Reservation and hiking across it to the highpoint.

Tramper Al suggested a much better approach, walking along Olmsted's Emerald Necklace. Since my Massachusetts home is in Brookline, quite close to the Emerald necklace, I would have a pleasant walk the whole way, with no need to drive at all. I do not claim this as a "Hut to Hill to Hut" trip since my principal home is now in New Hampshire.

The morning of April 29th looked like a gorgeous spring day, ideal for strolling along the Emerald Necklace. I walked through Brookline to pick up the Emerald Necklace at Longwood T stop, staying on the west side of the Muddy River and ponds all the way.

The short section from Brookline Avenue to the Route 9 crossing is not terribly esthetic but apart from that the whole trip to the end of Jamaica Pond was delightful. Then a busy street, redeemed by nice homes with pleasant yards. Then I reached the Arnold Arboretum.

The magnolias were in bloom (perhaps a bit beyond peak) near the main entrance and further on the lilacs were beginning to get ready for Lilac Sunday (May 16). I climbed both Busey and Peter's Hills (elevations 198 and 240 feet respectively) in the Arboretum since I was on a peakbagging expedition! On the south side of Peter's Hill I got my first glimpse of the water tower on Bellevue Hill.

Once out of the Arboretum, I was in unknown territory (Roslindale) but my map guided me down Fairview Street (with a second view of the water tower) to South Street and to Wadsworth Street. This took me to Washington Street a short block from its intersection with the West Roxbury Parkway. Just across the parkway is a fire road that goes up Bellevue Hill, and presently a well used herd-path ascends more steeply to the "scenic" summit.

Over a dozen miles, probably 80% along the Emerald Necklace and Arboretum, on a gorgeous spring day. No post-holing, no ice, and no black flies yet. Life doesn't get much better.