April 25, 2002
About 1/2 mile further up the trail is the Blue Hill Weather Observatory (http://www.bluehill.org). Originally built in 1885, it's the oldest American weather observatory in continuous use. There are now more formal tours of the library and roof deck during daylight hours, Saturdays and Sundays (Adults: $3, Children 5-17: $1.50, Under 5: free). If you go on a windy or rainy day you can usually get to it yourself. On the roof, my favorite is the 'pyroheliometer', a glass orb through with the sun burns a strip of paper to estimate of the number of hours of sunshine each day. If you do wish to visit during the week (Monday through Friday) you must call first to make an appointment at 1-617-696-0389.
The Trailside Museum (run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society) has interesting exhibits, including live animals such as Snowy Owls. There are also special programs throughout the day. Check the Mass Audobon website at http://www.massaudubon.org for the latest program information - search for "Choose a Sanctuary", then "Blue Hills". The cost for entrance to the museum is $3 for nonmember adults, $2 for nonmember seniors, and $1.50 for nonmember children. The Nature Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
From journal Boston's Best Views