This is probably the most popular and most extensive climbing area within the Boston area. It lies in Quincy, SE of Boston.
Climbing access here has been eliminated at times. Fortunately, with a collaboration of climbers & non-climbers, the situation has improved and climbing has resumed more recently. Amazingly, some of the quarries have been filled in
with dirt. Unfortunately, this has given access to graffitti artists. For those who have not been here since 1991, it is amazing how different it looks. This area has wonderful, compact, granitic rock, variety of routes, and so many variations for the Boston-based climber. Many of these would be considered squeezed but for the lack of better climbing in the area. There are at least 21 faces or craglets to climb here. At one point, this had some of the best Massachusetts routes climbing over water...sadly, no longer. There's a great shot of how it used to be done on p. 152 & 153 of Boston Rocks II
. There are routes up to 90 feet tall in some spots.
Toula described it as “over-loved.” Some say, love the one you're with.
Historically, parked cars are at greater risk than climbers in this locale. Do not leave anything of any value within your vehicle.
This is somewhat complicated here. The 1987 Boston Rocks
listed these various chunks of rock into faces. The more recent editions of Boston Rock II
reorganized these into Walls. There was a subtle shift and a not so subtle shift. Overall, these walls essentially go clockwise Walls A-S, a linear progression with a few wrinkles in the fabric. See the aerial shot just to the right=>
The organization from Boston Rocks is used here. Much thanks to Steve Marr
for his help. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, & H faces circle the former Little Railroad Quarry clockwise. The Boston Rocks II
wound up calling these A, B, C, D, E, F, & G Walls surrounding the same quarry.
The others are harder to describe in words, especially since they drained Granite Rail Quarry (a very deep quarry) and filled it in with dirt (wow!). Walls I & J aka Faces J & K are around to the right of H.
Faces L, N, P were not above water. Now, Walls J, K, L, M, & N are the northern walls of the quarry area. Faces M, Q, Granite Rail Quarry Face were above water, now there is just dirt. Now, Walls O, P, Q, R, & S continue around as you follow the rock clockwise. Now, S Wall is the N Face.
Swingle's Quarry is on the other side of O & P Walls. Nearby is Badger's & Bunker Hill Quarries.
Swimming, while tempting on a hot day, was strictly illegal here. Deaths had occurred here. It's no longer an issue for the Granite Rail Quarry. Photos
show how the 200 foot deep Granite Rail Quarry has been filled in. It's amazing how deep the quarries once were. Too bad they didn't leave the water & dirt out
. Here's an after shot
, compare them.
Originally, granite quarrying began back in 1825 here. Solomon Willard discovered the stone here was good for building. Stone from this site was used for the Bunker Hill Monument, the Titanic Monument, and others. As a result, Quincy became known as the Granite City. The quarry closed in 1963. Some of the photographs
from the preclimbing days may be interesting. The Metropolitan District Commission purchased 22 acres including the quarries here. Now this is under the Department of Conservation and Recreation
The Friends of the Blue Hills Reservations operate the Quarry Granite Rock Climbing Museum (617) 326-0079.
There are interesting structures nearby from the Granite Railway Incline. There is a monument located for the Granite Railway Quarry. Portion of Railroad bed terminus located at Bunker Hill Lane (nation's first industrial railroad). Some foundational remains of quarry structures include several small powder magazine and the nearby stone-walled, roofless shell of the Quincy owned Lyons Turning Mill. A spider watertower and two microwave towers are nearby.
By car: Southeast of Boston, go on Route 3/I-93 South or the Southeast Expressway to exit 8 and the Furnace Brook Parkway, go Southeast on Williard, head West immediately along Riccuti Drive. Park. There have been multiple sites for parking over the years.
By public transportation: Take the 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 1/4 mile on the right.
Weather station 4.8 miles from here
105 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',23],['2 Stars',22],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Quincy Quarries
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Quincy Quarries:
Featured Route For Quincy Quarries
By john strand
From: southern colo
Aug 16, 2011
Good point, but if you need gps to find the Quarries, you're kinda fucked.
By patrick donahue
From: Gunnison, Colorado
Feb 22, 2012
Hey, does any one know if it is possible to set up a highline in The Quarries? If so, how much line is needed, and where is the best place to set it up?
By Alex Harrison
May 6, 2012
Many fun climbs, but so many jerk kids throwing glass bottles, great place for a laceration.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jun 29, 2012
I just got word of a huge paint dump/spray on the Pins Wall...assholes.
Apr 16, 2015
I was at The Quarries on Tuesday, and I found a good bit of booty. If you describe what you have lost, I will get it back to you.