Newton Conservators logo fall photo of Sawmill Brook
 
 

Long Walk or Bike Ride

Along the Charles River Path
Loop from Watertown Square to Auburndale

 

This loop walk or bike ride is about 12 miles long.

You can start the trip at any point along the loop. The description below starts from Bridge Street and heads west. Parking is available on the side streets parallel to Bridge Street. The eastern half of this trip is on the trails described on these two pages of this website:

Galen Street to Bridge Street   Bridge Street to Moody Street

See this page for descriptions of shorter walks along part of the same route.

Note: In December 2015, a new section of the path was completed along the river, making a direct connection between Elm Street and the Charles River Museum of Industry. The next edition of the map on this page will include the new path. For now, please refer to this article. The description and photos below include the new path.

 

     
 

Larger map

Printable map    
     
Boston Globe map WalkBoston map    
Begin at the corner of Bridge Street and California Street. Cross Bridge Street at the traffic light and walk west on the sidewalk of California Street.  
     
Enter the Riverwalk.  
     

Cross the Blue Heron Bridge, which opened in 2004.

 
     
When the path ends at Farwell Street, turn left on the sidewalk, cross the bridge, and then cross the street to rejoin the path on the Newton side of the river.  
     

The path on the south side of the river ends at Elm Street.

In December 2015, a new section of the path was completed along the north side of the river, making a direct connection between Elm Street and the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation.

Ignore the arrow on this sign.

 

 
   
Instead, turn right and walk across the bridge.
   
Looking upstream, you can see the new pathway next to the museum.
   
As you reach the end of the bridge, look down to see the new path.
   
Turn right to enter the path.
   
The path circles underneath the bridge, and comes out onto the walkway next to the museum.  
   
Consider making a visit to the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation.  
   
Continue past the museum and walk through the park to Moody Street.
   
Refreshments and diversions of all kinds are available if you turn left and cross the Moody Street bridge.  
   
The Riverwalk continues for a short while on the south (Newton) side of the river. But we won't be going this way. The north side offers a much nicer route.  
     

Instead, cross the Charles at the northern end of the Moody Street bridge.

If you wish to turn back at this point, consult this guide.

 
     
Enter the riverwalk on the far shore.  
     
When the path ends at Prospect Street, turn right and go a few feet to the entrance to Mt. Feake Cemetery, on the left side.  
     
Bear left at each intersection, keeping along the river.  
     
Go straight through two intersections with Swan Street to a "T" intersection. Turn right, then immediately left on Maynard. Follow Maynard past a right turn to another "T" intersection. Turn left.  
     
Approach the cemetery gate.  
     
A pathway goes to the right of the fence.  
     
Turn into the parking lot before the first big building on your left.  
     
Go past several Brandeis University buildings, and continue straight through the next intersection.  
     
Rejoin the Charles, on your left. You are now on Charles River Road.  
     
Turn left onto the sidewalk of (busy) South Street.  
     
Turn left on Norumbega Road.  
     

Pass Norumbega Tower.

The tower is no longer open to the public. Here's what the view from the top used to look like.

 
     
Bear left to avoid the ramp to I-95.  
     
Walk up the stairs at the end of the parking lot.  
     
Cross the bridge and go past the canoe and kayak rental site.  
     
Continue past the Marriott hotel.  
     
Pass the entrance to Norumbega Park. It is along the banks of the Charles, but does not lead to our destination.  
     
Enter Auburndale Park at Islington Road.  
     
Bear left when the path divides.  
     
Continue past the playground.  
     
The path goes back into the woods.  
     
Continue on the road through DCR's Forest Grove reservation.  
     
Continue straight, crossing Riverview Avenue.  
     
Pass the new DCR boat launch on Woerd Avenue.  
     
A pathway opened in 2006 begins at the end of the boat launch parking lot.  
     
The pathway ends at this parking lot.  
     
Continue along the left edge of the lot, along the river. The blue stripe marks the route.  
     
The pathway resumes for a moment at Prospect Street. Turn left onto Prospect Street, and cross the bridge.  
     
At the far side of the bridge, cross the street and enter the Riverwalk again.  
     
The path approaches the Moody Street bridge.  
     
Cross Moody Street, and enter the Riverwalk.  
     

Proceed along the edge of the river; bear left towards the museum..

   
The new path begins next to the museum entrance.
   
The path goes below the Elm Street bridge.
   
The path loops around and goes up to the bridge. Turn left on the bridge, and enter the Riverwalk.  
   
     
Cross Newton Street and continue on the Riverwalk.  
     
Cross the river on Farwell Street.  
     
Enter the Riverwalk again.  
     
Cross the Blue Heron Bridge.  
     
The path ends on California Street.  
     
Follow the heron footprints on the sidewalk, turning left across the Bridge Street bridge. Walk past the site of the Bemis Dam.  
     
Cross the street and enter the Riverwalk.  
     
If you have a longer trip in mind, you can follow the signs for the East Coast Greenway, which eventually will lead from Maine to Florida.  
     
Bear right onto a dirt path as the trail approaches a swimming pool.  
     

The walkway ends at Galen Street in Watertown Square. Turn right to cross the river.

If you're in the mood for more riding, the Paul Dudley White Bike Path extends from here to the Science Museum in downtown Boston.

 
     

Turn right onto the sidewalk of California Street.

 
     
Cross a footbridge over Laundry Brook.  
     
Continue along the edge of Allison Park.  
     
Walk past Post 440, the home of the Conservators annual meeting, and also of the Friday Newton farmers' market.  
     
Return to the starting point at Bridge Street.  

 

 

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