Blue Hill Town Trail, Blue Hill
This is a very short trail, quite well made, behind the skating rink. It is flat and laid with fine gravel, so makes for easy walking (although it’s not consistent). I suppose you can go walk around it while your children are skating or playing in the nearby fields.
Directions: Drive along Union Street to Peninsula Skating Rink, which is roughly .5 miles from the village. Park in the lot, and look for the trailhead at the far end of the lot. The trail passes by the rink.
Heart of Blue Hill Trails, Blue Hill
These are lovely, short, easy-to-walk, gravel-covered paths. Sections are even wheelchair accessible (the leg closest to Route 15, Main Street), but not the whole system. There is a long series of wooden steps up the hill to South Street (Route 172). The path emerges next to the Blue Hill Co-op.
From South Street to Main Street, it’s roughly 0.7 miles. From Parker Pond Road to South Street, it’s approximately 0.5 miles.
There is also an interesting old town water fountain, or trough, in the parking area off Parker Point Road.
Directions: Parking for the trail system is on Parker Point Road near the old town fountain, 0.3 mile from Main Street.
Kingdom Woods Conservation Area, Blue Hill
(Map is incomplete)
The North Loop of this multi-part trail system is really nice — with a trail that passes through a pitch pine forest and ledgy rock, to an overlook of this surprisingly big, quiet pond (it’s 50 acres). The Nature Loop (the little loop west of North Loop) seems to be far less used, probably because it doesn’t include pond views. I am not sure whether it’s great swimming in Fourth Pond, but I did see a couple of hikers walking with towels strewn over their shoulders!
The Woods Road spur, off of Kingdom Road and just under a half mile before the trailhead to the North Loop, isn’t particularly spectacular, but it is an easier walk — possibly doable for sturdy wheelchairs. I only hiked to the point where the maintained road ends, at a large boulder. You can continue walking or skiing down the overgrown path if you continue straight. The map indicates it extends to some wetlands. If you follow the dirt road where it bends left here, crossing under power lines, you reach posted private land.
Directions: Three of the trailheads can be access off Kingdom Road. The first, for Woods Road, is at a sharp bend in the road, about 1.3 miles in. The second is for North Loop. It’s not plowed in the winter, so you’ll have to park on the side of the dirt road. A third loop trail is .2 mile further along the Kingdom Road — it wasn’t well signed when I visited (the kiosk isn’t visible from the road), so look for a large boulder barrier and open space for parking (that’s also not plowed in the winter). For the South Loop, park at the small pull-off across the Mines Road from the tennis facility.
Peter’s Brook Trail and Penny Preserve, Blue Hill
Peter’s Brook Trail takes you from the trailhead up a slight climb to a rather dramatic waterfall (dramatic for Maine, that is!). The Blue Hill Heritage Trust says the pool below is good for swimming.
From the waterfall, you can head over to the trails on Penny’s Preserve. A couple of them follow the pretty brook. When I visited in the winter of 2019, there were no bridges over the stream, and it was somewhat difficult to cross it.
Close to Route 176, there is the remains of an old granite quarry that is interesting to check out.
Directions: Parking for Peters Brook is on the East Blue Hill Road, .6 mile from its intersection with Rte. 172 in Blue Hill. Park at the little lot at the end of the cove, and walk across the road bridge about 100 feet or so to the trailhead on the left. Continue up the road just a bit for the pullout parking area for the rest of the trail system.
Blue Hill Mountain, Blue Hill
“Blue Hill is not a hill, it’s a mountain!” insists my ten-year-old friend who has grown up in Blue Hill. So, yes, it’s a mountain, and a fairly famous one at that, deservedly so. For a relatively easy hike, the views are glorious. The Blue Hill Heritage Trust has a good history of the site and brief descriptions of the trails.
There is a shooting range fairly close by, and sometimes the shots sound quite loud, especially from the northern side of the mountain.
I recommend hiking up the Osgood trail (.9 miles to the summit), because it is cool and shaded in the woods, and is a relatively gradual incline. Once you read the ledges, you can hike to the tower and the beautiful views just below the tower. There is a short loop at the summit which is worth doing for all the pretty vistas you catch along the way.
If you take the Hayes Trails down (which is short and steep), you’ll walk down a stone stairway and through a field of wildflowers (in season, of course). You can also take the Radio Service Road down from the summit, which is a more gradual and longer descent. Depending on where you parked, you can either walk back along Mountain Road, or take the South Face Trail back to the Osgood Trail for a loop.
In addition, for a longer hike, you can hike up the backside of the mountain on the two-mile (one way) Becton Trail. It is a very gradual climb, with one good view to the north. Fewer people hike this trail, and the parking lot on Turkey Farm Road is big enough just for two cars (others may park alongside the road).
The trust has also made a one-mile trail from downtown (behind the post office) to the trailhead. This trail is very easy.
Directions: Parking is available at both the Osgood and Hayes trailheads on Mountain Road and at the Becton trailhead on Turkey Farm Road, .6 mile from Rt. 172 on the left. The biggest lot is from the Hayes trail.