Suffolk County Highpoint Trip Report

Bellevue Hill (330+ ft)

Date: August 9, 2008
Author: Chris Gilsdorf

I spontaneously decided to do this diminutive county highpoint (my shortest to date) on a relatively sunny and relatively un-humid afternoon (thus revising my Great Blue Hill hiking plans down to a mere 15 miles). I took the Orange Line from Boston to Forest Hills, the very last stop (as a side note, the Orange Line north of Downtown Crossing is undergoing some reconstruction right now, so I'd suggest finding an alternate route if that's your point of origin). I happily set out, not realizing that the Washington Street I thought I was on was in fact Hyde Park. Somehow I'd gotten off track without realizing it and, having only a crappy hand-drawn map and a slow cell phone connection to Mapquest, I eventually managed to wander my way back to Washington Street without being able to use either. If you are on the correct road, it's a straight shot down Washington Street for about 2 miles. My getting off-track did have the benefit of getting to walk a few roads steep enough to be reminiscent of San Francisco and of getting the best view of downtown Boston I'd have all day.

Bellevue Hill is pretty obvious from the Washington Street approach and the water tanks on the summit can even be briefly seen at the bottom of the long uphill to Roxbury Parkway. There's a small shopping center at the intersection, which is probably a good place to park if you're driving. From this intersection, a couple of gated, paved paths are obvious. Take one, cut across it uphill when you reach a footpath, and you're at the top in five minutes. I wandered around both water tanks to be sure but the high ground's pretty obvious (next to the fence, between the two tanks, and by a tree and a metal pole). In the brief time I was in the park, I saw a jogger and a family with a stroller, so I'd imagine this mostly quiet piece of parkland gets a few visitors and mostly locals.

You can simply return the way you came but I made a half-day out of it and continued walking to Jamaica Pond and along the fens, detouring to see the Harvard Medical School and to find a restroom. Being pressed for time, I just hopped on the Green Line at HCC instead of walking the last three miles back to Cambridge.