Bear Hill Tower is a fascinating abandoned structure in Stoneham, Massachusetts within the Middlesex Fells Reservation.
The first structure built at the summit of Bear Hill was a wooden tower constructed by the Appalachian Club in the late 1890s. In 1908, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), managers of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, noticed that the wooden tower was unsafe. The MDC boarded up the tower after reporting on the poor quality of the structure. A few months later, a new steel tower was proposed at the top of Bear Hill.
The Metropolitan District Commission approved plans for a new steel tower to be built and funds were allocated to the project. It was completed in late 1908. The tower features a unique open design with a steel spiral staircase running up it. At the top, there is an observation deck. For decades, the tower has stood atop Bear Hill and it remains standing today.
For many years, the tower had been abandoned and visitors were welcome to climb up the tower. Sadly, the entrance was closed off in 2023. It seems like the government has regained focus on the tower as the entrance is closed and a fence was placed around the structure. The reason for closing off the tower is unknown but likely has to do with some repairs. Hopefully, the tower will be open again soon!
Bear Hill Tower Trail
Trail Webpage: wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/bear-hill-tower-trail-in-massachusetts-134203877
- Trail Length: 0.43 miles
- Trail Difficulty: Easy
- Elevation Gain: 143 feet
- Route Type: Out-and-back
- Dog Policy: Dogs are welcome on the Bear Hill Trails, but they should be leashed.
The hike up to Bear Hill Tower is very quick and easy. There is a dedicated trail leading up to the tower and it can be found just past the informational kiosk near the parking area. The hike up to the tower is about 0.20 miles. Out-and-back, the whole trail is 0.43 miles and features 143 feet of elevation gain. It is rated as easy and is a wonderful hike for children and dogs. Much longer hikes are also available in the Middlesex Fells Reservation.
- Year Established: 1908
- Year Abandoned: N/A
- Original Function: Observation tower
Bear Hill Tower Location
- Address: Fallon Road
- Town: Stoneham
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: 42.465774, -71.107292
- Parking Notes: Parking is available at the trailhead to the Bear Hill Trail. There are about 3 dozen parking spots just off Fallon Road in Stoneham. Parking here is free.
- Parking Directions: HERE
- Location Directions: HERE
A look inside the tower!
Awesome abandoned old tower!
Nice hike leading up to the old tower