Blue Hill Mountain

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Five Trails

THE OSGOOD TRAIL is approximately 1 mile to the summit, taking about 35-45 minutes each way. This trail is easy to moderate and mostly wooded with loose rock, exposed roots and some ledges and several sets of stone stairs.

THE HAYES TRAIL is about 1 mile in length. It begins in an open field, climbs a stone stairway, and ascends through a stand of oaks into mature spruce and fir near the summit. This trail is moderate to challenging in difficulty. While offering open views to the south, the re-routed section of this trail crosses an exposed ledge and climbs a steep rock talus slope as it nears the communication tower. Use caution.

THE CONNECTOR TRAIL links the Osgood Trail with the Hayes Trail, creating the opportunity for a loop hike without having to walk along the Mountain Road.

THE BECTON TRAIL offers hikers a new way to climb Blue Hill Mountain.  An easy to moderate 2-mile hike, the trail travels through softwood forest, dominated by large spruce and pine, before ascending the northwest slope of the mountain and intersecting with the Osgood Trail near the summit.  Watch for views to the north of Toddy Pond and Great Pond Mountain as the trail nears the summit.

THE TOWER SERVICE TRAIL was built by and at the expense of Blue Hill Mountain Leasing, the local company that owns the tower. Hikers are welcome. This trail provides the most gradual ascent.

Location and Parking

Parking is available at both the Osgood and Hayes trailheads on Mountain Road and at the Becton trailhead on Turkey Farm Road in Blue Hill. There are several spots along the wide road shoulder across the from the Osgood Trailhead. A parking lot is provided across the street from the Hayes Trailhead.  The parking area for the Becton Trail is on Turkey Farm Road, .6 mile from Rt. 172 on the left.

Use Guidelines

  • Please stay on marked trails.
  • Carry out what you take in.
  • Fires are not permitted.
  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • Foot traffic only.
  • Stay clear of communication tower.

Mountain History

Blue Hill Mountain is a 934-foot monadnock (isolated mountain) which has long been a local landmark. Awanadjo, an Abenaki word for “small, misty mountain” was the name given to the mountain by Native Americans, the Abenaki Indians in Penobscot Bay.

Beginning in the 1760s, settlers converted land for agriculture and cut trees for lumber and charcoal. By 1840 Blue Hill was almost completely deforested. Eventually the decline of farming caused the lands to be given over to blueberry cultivation, which continued into the last decade. In the late 1800s the mountain was host to mining operations. Rhodonite, pink or gray silicate of manganese, was taken from the top of the mountain and shipped to Bangor and then taken by oxcart to Katahdin Iron Works near Brownville, where it was used to enhance the durability of iron. By the late 1800s the roadway, originally used for mining, developed into a popular route to the mountain top for guests of local hotels. Horse drawn carriages made their way up the slopes so that the visitors could enjoy the view of Blue Hill Harbor and the surrounding area.

More recently in 1947, following a series of destructive statewide fires (one which burned Bar Harbor and surrounding Acadia National Park), the Forest Service built a fire tower to serve as a lookout for the surrounding forests and a ranger cabin on the mountain. The fire tower, last used in the 1990s, was removed in 2005 by the Maine Forest Service. The associated ranger cabin was removed in 2007.

In 1981 the communications tower on the open south face was constructed to allow for transmitters and repeaters for many different community organizations and businesses. In 2005, the tower was rebuilt to serve cellular phone users as well.

The transition to conservation land began in 1975 when property on the southern slopes of Blue Hill Mountain was generously left to the Town of Blue Hill by Ruth Hayes “for conservation purposes.” In 1989 adjoining land was given to Blue Hill Heritage Trust by Louise Frederick, a descendent of one of Blue Hill’s earliest settlers. Both properties provide well-used public access routes to the mountain’s summit. Conservation land on Blue Hill Mountain now totals nearly 500 acres. The mountain receives thousands of hikers each year who enjoy a walk through the fields and woods to the open bedrock summit for spectacular views of Mount Desert Island and Blue Hill Bay.

Under the management of Blue Hill Heritage Trust and the Town of Blue Hill, many improvements have been made to the trails and infrastructure on the mountain. Several sets of stone stairs were constructed on the Osgood Trail between 1999 and 2002. In 2003 a 400’ set of stone stairs was built with the help of Maine Conservation Corps and local volunteers to cure an erosion problem on the Hayes Trail.