Newton Conservators logo Nahanton Park

Newton Park and Conservation Lands

  Charles River Path - Galen Street to Bridge Street

LOCATION: Watertown to Nonantum

A great blue heron at Watertown Dam

Newton Conservators trail map   (Buy a copy of our trail guide)

Location and driving directions on Google Maps for entrances at:

Galen Street  Forte Park  Bridge Street

MBTA: Many bus lines end on Galen Street at Watertown Square

Other maps and aerial photos:   Bing   

Connects to: Charles River Path: Bridge Street to Moody Street

SIZE: About one mile long

LONGEST WALK: 2 miles round trip (longer walks that include this park)



Charles Riverwalk - DCR

Forte Park - Parks and Recreation


The Riverwalk features vestiges of one of the oldest dams on the Charles River, with remains of raceways built by David Bemis in 1778, and scenic views of the Charles River. The path from Galen Street in Watertown Square, improved by the MDC in 1998, offers scenic overlooks, a fish ladder at Watertown Dam, falls, fishing areas, and boat launches.

Forte Park, formerly Allison Park, features a soccer field, basketball courts, children's playground, and restrooms. On summer evenings, herons roost on the Charles River bank next to the park.


1753 David Bemis bought 37 acres surrounding the river.
1760 Bemis Mill and Millrace built.
1778 Raceway built by David Bemis on 1/2 acre.
1821 Rolling stone dam built
1822 Breached rolling stone dam built to power textile mills owned by the Bemis family on both sides of the river.
1880s Aetna Textile Mill Building constructed.
1944 Dam breached.
1974 MDC was persuaded not to rebuild dam and to leave the breach as a passage for anadromous fish to lay eggs upstream, the fry returning to the ocean.
1998 Riverwalk built from Galen Street to Bridge Street.


Walks along this path

DCR website and map

This park is part of Walk 25 in the book, WalkBoston   

More about the Blue Heron Trail

Essay by Alison Leary


Boston Globe article and map

Wildflowers Near the Charles River

Bemis Dam

Discover Historic Nonantum brochure

Newton Patch: More than "Dirty Water": The History of the Charles River in Newton

Watertown Dam

1975 Charles River Pathway Plan

1998 Upper Charles River Master Plan

2003 Upper Charles River Reservation project update

US Environmental Protection Agency

US Geological Survey

The Charles River in the 1970s

Photo gallery

Fishing in the Charles River

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