Newton Park and Conservation Lands
Webster Conservation Area and
Hammond Pond Reservation
LOCATION: Newton Center and Chestnut Hill
Newton Conservators trail map (Buy a copy of our trail guide)
and driving directions on Google Maps for entrances at:
The Street at Chestnut Hill Hammond Pond Parkway
Warren Street Madoc Street
MBTA: a 0.5 mile walk from Newton Center Station, or
a 0.5 mile walk from Chestnut Hill Station
Other maps and aerial
photos: Newton Assessor Bing
Connects to: Houghton Garden
LONGEST WALK: 2.0 miles (a longer walk that includes this park and another one)
Webster Conservation Area: Conservation Commission
Hammond Pond Reservation: DCR
The largest conservation area in Newton
is wooded, with noted rock outcroppings of Roxbury
Puddingstone, brooks, ponds, wetlands, fields, and an historic woodland garden.
Activities to enjoy here are walking, jogging,
nature study, geology study, birding, rock climbing, and cross-country
Gooch's Caves - These are Roxbury Conglomerate
Sandstone Ledges - These thick ledges
alternate with Roxbury Conglomerate rock. They are sandstone formations
that may have been river deposits. You can see the evidence of ripple
marks, such as are made by water. Note the very long, almost vertical
joints toward the westerly end of the ledges. The ledges are located
west of Hammond Pond Parkway and north of the MBTA track, off the
southbound lane of the Parkway. Enter the pathway about 600' south
of Beacon Street, where a loop trail circles around the ledges.
Deer Park - Mrs. Webster brought a couple
of dozen deer into the area many years ago. Today no deer remain in the enclosed area
of six acres. A loop trail follows the outside of the fenced area.
Hammond Woods and Pond - The trails and
cliffs attract hikers and rock climbers. The pond,
as a "great pond" (any pond larger that 10 acres) is state-owned,
operated by the DCR. Its average depth is just four feet. Access
is from the gravel beach on the west side of the pond, near the parking lot of The Street at Chestnut Hill shopping center. The pond
and its adjoining marshes and woodlands provide valuable habitats
for a diversity of wildlife, aquatic species, and native plants.
Houghton Garden - This section of the
park is described on a separate page.
began farming the eastern section.
||A railroad line,
now the MBTA, was built.
The culvert from the 1850 Hammond Brook Canal went underneath the
bought the land and moved the Kingsbury house to 137 Suffolk
Road. The Websters lived at 307 Hammond Street.
||Webster gave 38 acres of the southern half to the Commonwealth.
a seven acre playground at the end of Warren Street to the city.
of the southern half was sold by the state to Congregation Mishkan
Tefila, after an unsuccessful lawsuit by the City of Newton that attempted to block the sale.
|City of Newton
took by eminent domain portions of the former Webster and Houghton
lands for conservation.
City bought Webster Vale. This later became the Charles
Cohen Conservation Area.
||Congregation Mishkan Tefila sold 22 acres of Webster Woods to Boston College
||Mayor Ruthanne Fuller announced plans to work to protect Webster Woods
Taking Care of Hammond Pond, by Jennifer Steel, Senior Environmental Planner for the City of Newton
This park is described in the AMC
Massachusetts Trail Guide.
book, Exploring in and around
Boston on Bike and Foot, describes a 2-mile walk in Webster
Chestnut Hill Association
History in the Stones
King's Handbook of Newton (1889)
"So broad and sequestered and unfrequented is this lovely forest that no sounds of prosaic human life invade its cloisters, and nothing disturbs the saunterer's reflections but the low songs of the birds, or the scampering of an occasional gray squirrel over the dry leaves."
2003 Hammond Pond
2010 Hammond Pond "Access Enhancements" Proposal
2017 goatscaping project
1970s map of Hammond Woods
Photos by Anne Kane
Photos on Flickr
... and more ... and more ... and still more