Hazel Path at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Hazel Path at Mount Auburn Cemetery

On a formerly steep, narrow, and overgrown site, Hazel Path creates a connection to Washington Tower, an iconic structure in the oldest and highest part of the landmark Mount Auburn Cemetery (MAC). Hazel Path is also an active interment ground that accommodates the increasing burial of cremated remains at MAC. 

The essence of the design lies in its planting and the seasonal range of experiences. The woodland, where Remembrance Stones and sub-trails mix, is planted with mountain and sheep laurel, dwarf fothergilla, rhododendron, plum yew, viola, wild ginger, foam flower, sedge, and more. 

Hazel Path’s namesake is represented by 10 types of hazel shrubs along the length of the path, which make a spectacular display of flowers on bare winter branches. From January through mid-April, the yellow-gold to rusty pink flowers of different species of winter hazel, witch hazel, and hazelnut bloom and spread a citrus-like scent. 

“Remembrance Stones” will be engraved to commemorate those buried at Hazel Path. These glaciated boulders are embedded in hillsides, under trees, and along the path. 

Shady and sunny meadows complement the mature meadow at the base of Washington Tower, and the site sits across from Harvard Hill, a burial ground for Harvard University, which was MVVA’s first restoration project at MAC in 2016. Hazel Path will change and adapt as plants and soils develop, but it will always be a place for remembrance, reflection, beauty, and enjoyment.