I cant believe that I live 15 minutes away from this gorgeous place! And admission is free! Long Hill has long been on my radar of places to check out in the North Shore, and on Sunday, I finally visited with Mom and Dad. They'd been at least once before.
Long Hill is a Trustees property, featuring gardens and trails surrounding a historic house built in the 1920s. It served as a summer home for Atlantic Monthly editor and publisher Ellery Sedgwick and his wife Mabel. The house is still there, but I'm not sure if visitors are allowed inside. The real attraction is the garden, dotted with charming features that are well-marked on the illustrated maps available at the property entrance. Points of interest include a croquet lawn, lily pools, and a little zen pagoda to sit and chill in. The main house itself is something to see too, Federal-style and covered in Japanese wisteria.
The trees at Long Hill are crazy awesome and well-labeled. Many -- like the Copper Beech near the front entrance -- offer shady, secluded canopies. Other favorites included the Weeping Hemlock, the Weeping Cherry, the Twiggy Hemlock, and the Silktree. I imagine that in spring, there are more flowers to the garden, but we were content with the trees.
Our visit quickly turned from a leisurely stroll to an episode of Survivor when we ventured into the Habitat Trails advertised on the backside of the garden map. We intended to do the Main Loop Trail, which is only 1.2 miles, but by the time we got to the first vernal pool (presently dried-up), the bugs were brutal. The trails border wetlands, making everything, well, wet. So lots of interesting mushrooms, but also nasty mosquitos. When we bailed on the main loop, we took the Tupelo Trail, a 0.1-mile trail that would take us back to the house, only to discover that the Tupelo Trail is steep. Like, wicked steep. We made it to the top, but it was rough. Long Hill is a hill indeed.
Long Hill, in summary:
- Sweet gardens and awesome trees. Cool place for a picnic or short stroll. And FREE!
- Detailed maps available at front entrance make for fun exploring.
- At least in summer, stick to the main house. The woodland trails are buggy, wet, and can be crazy steep.
- Is there a bathroom at this place? Where is the bathroom?