Blue Hill Mountain
The 934′ mountain has 7 different trails that offer great views of the peninsula. Trails vary in length & difficulty. Parking can be found at 3 different trailheads.
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 0.75 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 SOUTH FACE 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 POST OFFICE TRAIL connects the Village to the Mountain via a 1 mile trail that starts at the Blue Hill Post Office and leads to the beginning of the Osgood Trailhead on Mountain Road.
THE BECTON TRAIL is an easy to moderate 2-mile hike, through softwood forest dominated by large spruce and pine, 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.
LARRY’S LOOP is a 1,000 ft extension loop, completed in 2016, that offers another wonderful view from the southern side of the summit.
Location and Parking
Parking is available at 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 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, 0.6 mile from Rt. 172 on the left.
- 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 the communication tower.
Blue Hill Mountain, a 934-foot monadnock (solitary mountain), overlooks the town of Blue Hill and all of Blue Hill Bay. Named Awanadjo, “small, misty mountain,” by the Penobscot, it has been a landmark for as long as people have lived in this region, some 5-7,000 years. The Blue Hill peninsula was home to both the ancestors of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy peoples, who lived here seasonally.
Beginning in the 1760s, European settlers converted land around the mountain for agriculture and cut trees for lumber and charcoal on its slopes. By 1840 Blue Hill was almost completely deforested, and eventually, the decline of farming saw its lands given over to blueberry cultivation, which continued into the last decade.
In the late 1800s, the mountain was mined for Rhodonite, pink or gray silicate of manganese, which was taken from the summit and shipped to Bangor. From there, it was 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, became 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.