What are the Quincy Quarries?
Quincy Quarries is a historic reservation area in Quincy, Massachusetts. Architect, Solomon Willard selected this site in 1825 to be the source of granite for the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, MA. This led to the creation of the Granite Railway designed by Gridley Bryant in 1826. This was the first commercial railroad created in the United States.
The Tragic History of Quincy Quarries
In 1963, the final quarry officially closed. The abandoned quarries filled up with rainwater and ground water. The depth of the water became a desirable area attraction for cliff jumpers and swimmers.
Like most places, there is sadly a history of tragedy at Quincy Quarries. Due to cliff jumpers misjudging the water depth, there have been 51 deaths either due to cliff jumping or drowning. Plus, some people have suffered accidental falls after becoming intoxicated. This resulted in this area being nicknamed “death quarries.”
Fed up with the obvious public safety hazard, most of the quarries were filled in. The “Big Dig” highway project in Boston became the obvious solution in 1985. They transported all of the dirt to fill the quarries which drastically improved the safety of the area.
A New Start for Quincy Quarries Reservation
Since the main quarries were filled in, the Quincy Quarries Reservation is now a popular area for rock climbers, hikers, and surprisingly graffiti artists. There is so much unique artwork on the boulders that you have to see it and experience it for yourself.
An extra bonus is that Quincy Quarries is connected to stunning trails of the well-known Blue Hills Reservation. There’s no graffiti in Blue Hills, but it is a must visit for hikers. I recommend the Skyline Trail.
Basic Park Information
Hours of Operation:
- Open from dawn until dusk.
Park Rules: Please absolutely NO…
- Swimming or diving.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Motorized vehicles within the park.
- Dumping or littering.
- Destruction, removal and injury of vegetation, animals, structures or artifacts.
- Hunting, trapping and the possession of any firearms, bow and arrow or explosive devices.
- Open fires.
Caution: Please be aware of your surroundings while climbing. I did notice a bit of broken glass and trash in the area. Not directly on the rocks where we climbed but nearby. Some of the boulders and cliffs are steep as well so be sure to hike with a buddy and wear proper footwear. Always prepare and go at your own pace. There are plenty of flat areas as well if you don’t want to climb.
Getting to Quincy Quarries Reservation
- From the South: Take Route 93 to Furnace brook parkway (Exit 8) follow signs to Willard Street and cross under Route 93. Take the first right onto Ricciuti Drive at Men’s Warehouse and a large “Quarry Hills” sign. The Quarries are ¼ mile on the right.
- From the North: Take Route 93 to Furnace Brook Parkway (Exit 8) turn right on Ricciuti Drive, between Men’s Warehouse and a large “Quarry Hills” sign: The Quarries are ¼ mile on the right.
Public Transportation to Quincy Quarries, MA.
- MBTA: Red Line to Quincy Center, take MBTA bus #215 to Copeland and Willard Streets, turn left on Willard, cross under the Expressway and take the first right onto Ricciuti Drive. The Quarries are ¼ mile on the right
- Free parking lot! Ricciuti Drive West in Quincy (Exit 8 off of Route 93)
- Tip: If the lot is full, I would just try parking at the Blue Hills Reservation parking lot on Willard Street since it is right next to Quincy Quarries. Only a 20-24 minute walk depending on where you enter Quincy Quarries.
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Things to Do: Experience A World of Color
Despite having been to Blue Hills Reservation many times, this weekend was my first time stopping at Quincy Quarries. I found the vast amount of styles of graffiti art astounding. If I were to visit again, I think I would do so in the spring or the fall to see the area with more seasonal colors to match the vibrant artwork. This is a great spot for a picnic, photography, rock climbing, and hiking.
Enjoy a Scenic View of Boston, MA
The scenic view of Boston from the boulders is well worth the trip to Quincy Quarries. I simply did not expect to see such an unobstructed view of the city. Typically you have to hike up to the top of the Skyline Trail in Blue Hills Reservation to see the city and even that is partially obstructed by trees. The view from the quarries is very easy to get to and I would recommend it.
Matt and I had a great time hiking in the area and will definitely be back at other times of the year. It is so convenient to Blue Hills that there’s no reason not to stop by on one of our many hiking adventures. I thought the area could use a bit of a clean up, but since we visited just post-winter after the snow melted, I’m not shocked. I’m guessing its much cleaner in the spring, summer, and fall months.
The view and graffiti art are definitely worth the stop if you are in the area. If you are looking for more hiking or walking destinations, then be sure to check out the following posts!
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Hello everyone! I am a Boston based blogger that loves all things travel and lifestyle. You can usually find me working away at my university job, snapping pictures, thrifting, or trying out some new recipes.